The English language learner program is for students whose primary language is a language other than English and have scored at Levels 1, 2 or 3 on the state English Language Proficiency assessment. All students whose primary language is one other than English are tested on their proficiency in English to determine eligibility for services in the ELL program. The ELL program serves approximately 2,950 students who speak 81 different languages.
ELL services are provided at students’ neighborhood schools. Interpreter and translation services support parent involvement in schools. Ten district interpreters/translators—six Spanish speakers, two Russian speakers and two Chuukese speakers—are available to assist families with school-related issues.
Our elementary literacy curriculum incorporates Washington State Learning Standards for English language arts, the new state English Language Proficiency Standards and research-based strategies for academic oral language discourse. The goal is to build ELL students’ skills in the areas of academic vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing. Through explicitly scaffolded lessons, instructors teach specific content and language objectives, providing ELL students with the fundamental academic skills they need to support their literacy development and build a base for classroom instruction in all content areas.
The elementary ELL program provides district-wide consistency in the delivery of services and regular professional development for site-based literacy facilitators, ELL leads and those who instruct ELL students.
Secondary ELL services are provided at all schools through the sheltered instruction model, which integrates English language and grade-level content instruction specific to meeting the language proficiency needs of our secondary students. McLoughlin Middle School and Fort Vancouver High School also offer programs that include intensive English development block classes and intermediate ELL classes. McLoughlin, Gaiser, Discovery and Jason Lee middle schools, along with Fort Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay and Skyview high schools offer academic language development classes for long-term English learners. In addition, bilingual paraeducators are available at some sites to facilitate communication and school involvement and participation by non-English-speaking students and parents.