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English Language Learners (ELL)

ELL Contacts

ELL Program Brochures

Elementary ELL Program
Secondary ELL Program

Philosophy/Vision

picture of ELL teacher and studentsThe Issaquah School District uses an acceleration model that provides ELL students with powerful learning experiences that stress complex, engaging activities and direct teaching of the English language. Language and skill development is accelerated, so students can meet high standards in ALL academic areas. 

The Washington State English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPs) provide learning targets for teachers as they help the ELL students learn English.

More than 1,200 students receive ELL services in the Issaquah School District. These students represent 75 different cultures and language groups. The most common are Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese (2017 data).

General Information/FAQ's

How do students qualify for ELL services?

Students must meet eligibility requirements to qualify for ELL services. Eligibility is determined by the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA). There are three levels of English language development determined by the ELPA. You will receive a letter reporting the results of this test. If your student is Emerging or Progressing, s/he is eligible for active ELL services.
  • Emerging:  Your student will be eligible for ELL services.
  • Progressing: Your student will be eligible for ELL services.
  • Proficient: Your student will not be eligible for ELL services, but will qualify for extra academic support if needed for two years after transitioning from active ELL services.
To see a Family Guide to ELPA21 (in English and Spanish), click here:
http://www.k12.wa.us/ELPA21/Timeline.aspx
To see sample test items, use Google Chrome and the following web address: http://www.elpa21.org/assessment-system/sample-items

How often will students be tested?

All ELL students will take the annual ELL assessment each February or March. Scores are sent home from the district office after testing results are received from OSPI. 

If they qualify for ELL services, what kind of help will they receive?

Students will not be removed from their classroom or change schools. They will receive services in their school.

Elementary ELL model:

Elementary ELL student readingThe “Supportive Mainstream" model is used in our elementary schools. In this model, students spend their day in a regular classroom. Many of the classroom and ELL teachers are trained in Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design). As the basis for service, ELL certificated teachers and paraprofessionals push into the classroom to help students develop academic language, and/or provide other interventions as needed, to be successful in their class. 

Middle School ELL model:

In the middle school ELL program, a certificated teacher teaches the English Language Development class for ELL students. This class works to build student proficiency in academic language, helping students access the core curriculum throughout the rest of their day. These classes focus on oral language development, explicit instruction in the structure of the English language, and academic language development through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They may also support the student in their core classroom work. Some middle schools also provide after-school support for ELL students.

High School ELL model:

In the high school ELL program, a certificated teacher teaches an English Language Development class for ELL students. This class works to build student proficiency in academic language helping students access the core curriculum throughout the rest of their day. These classes focus on oral language development, explicit instruction in the structure of the English language, and academic language development through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. They may also support the student in their core classroom work. Some high schools also provide after-school support so that students can receive extra help with academics and language learning. 

How can I request an interpreter?

You may request an interpreter to help you communicate either over the phone or during face-to-face conferences. The interpreter can be requested by a parent or by an ISD staff member. If you are a staff member, please talk to your school secretary about the procedure. If you are a parent, please let your child's teacher know if you would like to use an interpreter, and she or he will make arrangements. 

picture of ELL students working on project together

Resources

Issaquah School District resources for families 

 

ESL classes for adults: King County Library System, Bellevue College ESL classes, Hopelink English for Work adult classes, Central Washington University Sammamish Continuing Ed ESL Classes, and Renton Technical College adult classes