English Language Learners

  • Guidelines

    English Language students in SPPS:

    • acquire English language proficiency through standards-based content instruction
    • acquire language forms, functions and uses through and within a meaningful context
    • have access to their grade-level curriculum so they can meet academic standards and graduation requirements within a reasonable length of time
    • are supported to help them move from the beginning levels of English language skills to proficiency within the state-set timeline.


    English Learner Services Elementary

    • English Language Development (ELD) instruction is delivered through collaboration, co-teaching, and small groups.
    • EL students at all English proficiency levels are part of mainstream classrooms and receive English language development and support from both the EL teachers and classroom teachers.



    • ELD instruction through content is delivered through sheltered courses for students in the beginning proficiency levels of English, and through the co-teaching model for students in more advanced stages of English proficiency.


    In effective EL practices, all educators:

    • engage in instructional collaboration. For example:
      • Plan for differentiated instruction for all content areas
      • Assess and monitor student progress
      • Reflect on the collaborative process and adjust teaching practices
    • design language objectives based on students’ language proficiency levels
    • scaffold and differentiate instruction with regard to content, process, and product
    • provide explicit instruction in literacy components
    • develop academic language during content area instruction
    • provide visual and verbal supports to make core content comprehensible
    • encourage peer group learning opportunities
    • capitalize on students’ home language, knowledge, and cultural assets
    • provide regular, structured opportunities to develop written language skills
    • develop reading and writing abilities of ELs through text-based, analytical instruction
    • provide opportunities for extended discussion of text meaning and interpretation
    • provide small-group instructional support for students struggling with literacy and English language development.

  • Assessment

    • Home Language Survey – required by state law for all students including English speaking students  
    • Initial English language proficiency assessments:  
      • Kindergarten-Wida ACCESS Placement Test (K-WAPT)
      • WIDA Screener Grades 1-12
    • Annual assessment: ACCESS for ELLs for grades K-12 and Alternate ACCESS for Special Education students
    • Levels of service determined by MCA, WIDA Screener, ACCESS for ELLs, and EL teacher recommendation
    • Formative and summative assessments of individual and class progress