The Savannah Country Day School

Service Through Knowledge and Character

English to Speakers of Other Languages

Country Day School proudly welcomes qualified international and limited English speakers and offers them the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the school community.  The ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) program is designed to meet the needs of non-native speakers of English for participation in the mainstream academic curriculum, school activities and successful transition to life in the United States. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for further study and success in English language universities. 

Program Overview

Celebrating linguistic diversity and a multicultural student body, SCDS ESOL seeks to provide special support for its non-native English students in a small, close-knit environment with much personal attention.   Daily, intensive language instruction by a qualified teacher is provided during the regular school day, and also in afterschool tutorial sessions.  Whether students are living with their own, or with host families, guidance and support in student/school/family communication in scholastic and cultural adjustment is a focus.  Personnel are prepared to assist in the adjustment process as students become accustomed to life in the United States.
Students spend one to two years in ESOL classes which provide immersion instruction in academic language, grammar, social communication in a structure based on the four skill areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing.  Classes are small, and meet one period per day for 40 minutes.  Courses are taught using a functional approach, and students are assessed according to the standards of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).  Students follow the mainstream curriculum for all other courses. 

Student Life

We are a day facility, and do not provide boarding services at this time.  Generally, students must arrange for their own room and board if not living with their own family.   
Savannah Country Day School provides a multitude of sports, arts, clubs and activities in addition to its rigorous academic program.  Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the many available options in order to integrate fully into the life of the school.  We recognize that this can be a large time commitment, and students should keep this in mind when considering the school. 

Please make inquiries to:

Terri Barfield. Director of Admissions
(912) 961-8806 or
Fun Gobel, ESOL 
(912) 925-8800 x. 8795 or

Application, Admission, Fees, International Requirements

Students accepted SCDS in the Lower School may enter at the novice level in English, however they are pulled-out for individual or small group instruction in English, but follow the mainstream curriculum the rest of the day. 
It is recommended for Middle School students to have had some experience in English before entering SCDS. Students enrolled in Upper School students must be at least in the intermediate range to comfortably manage the rigorous curriculum in mainstream classes. 
The application process requires that students who apply provide official school transcripts, teacher recommendations, a personal essay, proctored standardized testing, and an individual oral proficiency interview on SKYPE with the ESOL teacher. An additional fee of $4,000 is added to the tuition to cover the costs of the ESOL Program. 

The application and acceptance procedures require that students enrolled at SCDS are issued I-20 paperwork to submit for their student visas.  All passports, visas and international documents must conform to United States Homeland Security guidelines.

Evaluation, Credit and Graduation Requirements, Accommodations

The choice of a one-semester period of pass/fail assessment is afforded ESOL students upon enrollment at SCDS.  In these cases, students receive their grades, but grade percentages are not calculated for Grade Point Average (GPA) until after the first semester is completed.
SCDS requires three years of a world language for graduation.  While ESOL classes are given credit toward graduation in student support, ESOL classes are not counted toward the three-year world language requirement. English Language Learners may have all or part of the world language requirement waived on a case-by-case basis when the administration deems it necessary.  
In addition to developing their skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, students learn academic skills that will benefit them in all their courses such as understanding the honor code, using the student portal of the school’s website for syllabi and homework assignments and online library resources.  Technology is woven throughout the ESOL curriculum and students use the Internet as a research- writing tool.  Applications and programs such as iMovie, Power Point, and Quizlet  assist the learning process in all skill areas.
Students learning English language are encouraged to use dictionaries, computers, and electronic ‘pen’ translators to facilitate access to the curriculum.  Students are also granted additional time on tests and exams as needed.