Frequently Asked Questions

  • Program Goal

    To enable English Learners to succeed independently with grade level expectations.

    Who are the Elk River School District’s English Learners?

    • About 400 students (3% of the student population) are identified as “English Learners”
    • 38 Languages spoken throughout the district
    • Top Five: Spanish, Russian, Hmong, Lao, Creolized English (Liberia, Ghana, etc.)

    How do we identify English Learners?

    Home Language Questionnaire on the initial registration form usually indicates whether other languages are spoken at home
    MODEL and WAP-T screenings help determine academic English proficiency

    How do we service these learners?

    • In-Classroom Team Teaching (“push-in”)
    • Sheltered Instruction - Direct instruction of EL students with Licensed EL Teachers (“pull-out”) 
    • One-to-One instruction, especially with New-to-Country students
    • Classroom support by EL Assistants

    How are the amount and type of services determined?

    • Based on English proficiency as determined by initial screening and annual ACCESS results
    • Based on academic success as determined by student grades and standardardized test results 
    • Range from no direct service (monitor) to moderate (15-20 minutes) 2-3 times per week to intense (30-60 minutes per day)

    What assessments are used to determine English Language proficiency?

    MODEL, WAP-T, and ACCESS measure English Proficiency in the 4 domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing
    Composite score related to Levels 1 through 6, “1” = “New to Country” English Proficiency, “6” = “Native English Speaker” proficiency

    What are the “Annual Notifications”?

    • Annual notices are sent to parents explaining the EL program and each students’ need for EL Services
    • These are mandated by both the state and federal governments
    • Parents may refuse EL services

    When do we “exit” students from the program?

    • When students score a “5” or “6” on the ACCESS, they may be exited
    • Parents are notified
    • Students will be monitored for the first two years after exiting
    • Students may re-enter the EL Program if appropriate

    How are connections established and maintained with parents and families?

    • EL Staff often maintain regular communication with parents
    • EL Teachers help with conference scheduling and scheduling interpreters
    • EL Family Nights and home visits from some schools help families

    What is the role of the EL teacher in a Special Ed Referral?

    • Work with classroom teachers and Special Ed to determine the need for Special Education services
    • Complete EL Prereferral Interview/Packet
    • Help decision-makers determine whether a student’s lack of academic progress is language-based, i.e. “second language interference” 

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