Our English Learner (EL) program supports learners in developing English language needed to succeed in school and beyond. Language instruction is delivered by licensed EL teachers and highly qualified EL paraprofessionals at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. Instruction is delivered in English and targets the development of both language and academic content.
Our K-12 EL instructional model emphasizes learning language through content. EL teachers help students build a foundation of content knowledge, academic problem-solving skills, and language proficiency. This foundation help students who receive EL services access academic content in their grade-level classes. Content-based text series have been adopted at all grade levels (K-12) to support this model.
We use a balanced approach to servicing students who receive EL services, including, English Language Development and Co-taught Classes. Our EL teachers have co-taught in a number of classes including: literacy, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
Clustering and Class Placement
We cluster students who receive EL services by language proficiency and proximal age to promote strong academic and social support systems within the classroom.
Time of Service Recommendations
We established minimum times of direct English instruction for all grade levels. Less proficient students receive more hours of instruction than those who are more proficient.
Older students generally require more instruction because there tends to be a greater academic discrepancy between them and their native English-speaking peers. Our time of service recommendations are:
Kindergarten through grade 5:
- Beginning and emerging: 110-150 minutes per week
- Intermediate and advanced: 80-110 minutes per week
Grades 6 through 12:
- Beginning and emerging: 300-450 minutes per week
- Intermediate and advanced: 225-300 minutes per week
We adopted the WIDA identification criteria for determining whether a student with a home language other than English qualifies for EL services.
K-12 English proficiency assessments in speaking, listening, reading, and writing are administered to students in order to:
- Determine entrance and exit status for EL
- Identify students' language proficiency levels
- Gauge student progress
- Cluster and place students
ACCESS for English Learners:
In accordance with the State of Minnesota English Learner policies and procedures, exit criteria from EL programming is indicated by an overall composite score of 4.5 or higher with a minimum score of 3.5 in three of the four language modalities (speaking, listening, reading and writing) on the ACCESS for ELs.
The district utilizes the WIDA Screener for students who do not have recent ACCESS scores. As per MDE guidelines, students must receive an overall score of 4.5 with 4.0 minimums in all domains of the WIDA Screener. Students not meeting these criteria are recommended for EL identification.
This assessment is available for testing kindergarten students. A student is identified as an English learner if the overall composite score is below 5.0 or any domain score is below 4.0.
Our K-12 English Learner Program teaches language through content. EL teachers help students build a foundation of content knowledge, academic problem-solving skills, and language proficiency. This foundation helps ELs access academic content in their grade-level classes. The following content-based text series have been adopted to support this model:
- Elementary Curriculum (Grades K-5): Reach by National Geographic
- Middle School Curriculum (Grades 6-8): Inside by National Geographic
- Senior High Curriculum (Grades 10-12): Edge by National Geographic
The Intermediate School District 287 EL Program adheres to the Minnesota State-adopted WIDA English Language Development Standards. These standards represent social, instructional and academic language in the areas of Math, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts which students need to understand and use to succeed in school. Additional details related to the ELD Standards can be found on the WIDA website.