Program Description

The Intermediate District 287 English Learner Program supports the language acquisition needs of all English Language Learners. Language instruction is delivered by licensed EL teachers in all grade levels and programs throughout 287. Instruction is delivered in English and targets the development of both language and academic content.

Our EL instruction emphasizes acquiring English through the academic content areas. EL teachers support students in acquiring the language to access content, academic-problem solving, and language proficiency.


The mission of the 287 EL program is to support learners in the modalities of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in order to ensure better access to grade-level academic content. Additionally, the EL staff encourages all staff, students, and families to use an asset-based approach in respecting cultures different from their own.

Our Approach

Our K-12 EL instructional model emphasizes learning language through content. EL teachers help students build a foundation of content knowledge, academic skills, and language proficiency. This foundation helps ELs access academic content in their grade-level classes. EL, Special Education and content area teachers collaborate and coordinate curriculum to reinforce content and language taught to EL students. Content-based text series have been adopted at all grade levels (K-12) to support this model.

Time of Service Recommendations

The EL Department has 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:

  • Grade: K-5. Beginning and Emerging: 110-150 minutes per week.
  • Grade: K-5. Intermediate and Advanced: 80-110 minutes per week.
  • Grade 6-12. Beginning and Emerging: 300-450 minutes per week.
  • Grade 6-12. Intermediate and Advanced: 225-300 minutes per week.

Distance Learning

English Learner Distance Learning Appendix

Curriculum and English Language Development Standards

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. EL Teachers work closely with content area staff, specialists, and special-education teachers to support language development and content area goals. This foundation helps ELs access academic content in their grade-level classes. The following supports have been adopted to support this model:

  • Edge, National Geographic
  • Language Power K-8, Teacher Created Materials

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 the ELD Standards can be found on the WIDA website.

Find out if your Student can Receive EL Services?

Identification Criteria:
The Intermediate School District 287 EL Program has adopted the WIDA identification criteria for determining whether a student with a home language other than English qualifies for EL services.

The K-12 English proficiency assessment called the ACCESS 2.0 and Alternative ACCESS are administered to students in order to:

  • Determine entrance and exit status for ELs
  • Identify students’ language proficiency levels
  • Gauge student progress

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.
WIDA Screener: 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.
WIDA MODEL: 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.

English Learner Program Contacts

English Learner Program Contacts

For questions regarding multilingual services, please contact:

Autumn Lee-Koomen
Multilingual Program Coordinator

Marisa Nathan
Multilingual Program Supervisor