Program Description

The Intermediate District 287 Multilingual/ English Learner Program is an innovative, trauma-informed, responsive program rooted in equity, academic celebration, and the very best educational practices for language acquisition instruction for students with the most unique learning needs.

Our district strives to support the language acquisition needs of all English Language Learners; This includes students with a variety of physical, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Our multilingual programs are student-centered, founded in the greatest of care, and promote the well-being and advancement of all the academic modalities available to our students.

Language instruction is delivered by licensed multilingual teachers in all grade levels and programs throughout District 287. Instruction is delivered in English and supports the development of the student in a holistic and celebratory way. With a deep focus on both language and academic advancement, our teachers help students in the acquisition of English to access content, academic problem solving, and language proficiency in a variety of ways that are constructed to highlight and utilize our students’ strengths.


The mission of the District 287 Multilingual Program is to support our unique learners in a way that ensures each student is seen, valued, and supported in the academic modalities available to them. We are committed to innovative, trauma-informed, responsive multilingual student instruction rooted in equity, academic celebration, and the very best educational practices for language acquisition instruction for students with the most unique learning needs.

Our Approach

Our K-12 multilingual instructional model emphasizes the uniqueness of each learner and supports language communication through content; Multilingual teachers use a variety of innovative teaching models and instructional resources to support individualized student goals in continuing to build a foundation of content knowledge, academic skills, and language proficiency. This foundation helps multilingual learners (MLs) access academic language and content in their courses. Multilingual teachers, Special Education teachers, and content area teachers collaborate and coordinate curriculum to reinforce content and language taught to our multilingual students.

How We Serve Our Multilingual Students

The Intermediate School District 287 Multilingual 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. Additional details related to the ELD Standards can be found on the WIDA website.

The six levels of English language proficiency describe the trajectory of language development that students may follow over time.

  1. Entering
  2. Emerging
  3. Developing
  4. Expanding
  5. Bridging
  6. Reaching

Our multilingual teachers work closely with our ML’s to administer the ACCESS or Alternative ACCESS assessment every year. We use these scores and formative information about our students to help make decisions regarding support, instruction, grouping, and reclassification.

Curriculum and English Language Development Standards

Our multilingual team strives for a full understanding of students' needs; Our academic assessments and asset-based approach ensures appropriate curriculum development and support for students with unique disability types. 

The following teaching models have been adopted to support our students:

  • Students may spend part of the school day in their classroom, but are pulled out for a portion of each day to receive instruction focused on their academic language development.
  • Students may receive instruction during a regular class period, which is taught by a content area and multilingual teacher to receive course credit. They may be grouped for instruction according to their level of English proficiency.
  • Students may be brought together from several classrooms to integrate language, literacy, and content instruction in a group setting. 

Our kindergarten through transition multilingual programming supports language through content. Multilingual teachers help students build a foundation of content knowledge, academic problem-solving skills, and language proficiency. We work closely with content area staff, specialists, and special education teachers to support language development and content area goals. This foundation helps MLS access academic content in their classes. 

Who is Eligible for 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

For questions regarding multilingual services, please contact:

Autumn Lee-Koomen
Multilingual Program Coordinator

Marisa Nathan
Multilingual Program Supervisor

Interested in Becoming an ESL/Multilingual Teacher With Our Team

We are a fun, innovative team, committed to serving multilingual verbal and nonverbal learners in kindergarten through transitional programs. Students are in a variety of school settings to meet their unique physical, emotional, and/or cognitive educational needs. If you are an adaptable, self-starter, who loves to be on the move and has an intense passion for multilingual students with unique learning and ability types, we need you!