The English Learner program is for students whose primary language is a language other than English and have scored Emerging or Progressing 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 EL program. The VPS EL program serves over 3000 students who speak nearly 100 different languages.
A variety of EL services are provided at students’ neighborhood schools. District-wide Interpretation and translation services support parent involvement in schools. Nine district interpreters/translators—six Spanish speakers, two Russian speakers and one Chuukese speaker—are available to assist families with school-related issues.
Our elementary literacy curriculum incorporates Common Core State Standards for English language arts, the state English Language Proficiency Standards and research-based strategies for academic oral language. The goal is to build skills in the areas of English academic vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing. Through explicitly scaffolded lessons, instructors teach specific content and language objectives, providing ELs with the fundamental academic skills they need to support their English literacy development and build a base for classroom instruction in all content areas.
Secondary EL services are provided at all schools through the sheltered or supportive mainstream instruction model, which integrates English language and grade-level content instruction specific to meeting the English language proficiency needs of our secondary students. McLoughlin Middle School and Fort Vancouver High School also offer programs that include intensive English language development for newcomers and recent arrivals. Some secondary schools offer academic language development classes for long-term English learners.