Welcome, English Language Learners!
Our District's English Language Learner (ELL) Program serves approximately 1,800 students in grades K-12 from more than 75 language and cultural backgrounds. We provide English Language Development instruction and specialized support for English Learners in all of our schools. The mission of the ELL program is to ensure English Learners are socially, culturally and academically prepared to be successful and contributing members in our District and our global society.
For more information about the program — including ELL student identification, programming, and exit criteria — please refer to our District's K-12 Lau Plan for serving English Language Learners.
How does it work?
Students who speak a language other than English or in addition to English must take an English Language proficiency assessment when enrolling in our district as required by law.
All new student enrollment occurs in the school that serves the area where the student lives. During the enrollment process, a Home Language Survey is filled out to indicate the student’s language background and experiences. The building secretary will then communicate with the district ELL Assessment Specialist if the Home Language Survey indicates a need to screen the student for English proficiency. All ELL screenings take place in the child’s school.
If you have questions regarding the ELL Screening process, please contact the ELL Assessment Specialist at (319) 688-1000.
The following linguistic, social and academic goals are connected with the district Lau Plan:
- Promote understanding, respect, and appreciation for the cultural and linguistic diversity of our student population.
- Collaborate with the school community to engage in culturally responsive teaching practices and implement rigorous, research-based, and engaging instructional practices that are designed to meet the unique needs of English Learners.
- Facilitate opportunities for families of English Learners to develop home-school partnerships and encourage involvement in their child’s education.
- Develop academic proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English and ensure achievement of grade level standards.
- Develop cognitive academic language proficiency as well as basic interpersonal communication skills (CALP and BICS).
- Ensure English Learners are able to successfully participate in classroom learning experiences and other school activities while maintaining a positive attitude toward self, school, and community.