English Learners

  • In District 28, we are committed to providing a learning experience that values a student’s native language and culture. It is our goal to support English language development in the areas of speaking, listening, reading while also supporting a child’s social-emotional well-being.

    Across the district, we have multiple EL teachers who are dedicated to supporting our students during individual, small group, and whole-class instruction. See the English Learners Teachers directory at left for an overview or our teaching staff.

    EL Identification

    In District 28, we are committed to providing a learning experience that values a student’s native language and culture. It is our goal to support English language development in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing that also supports a child’s social-emotional well-being. 

    As part of the registration process in all districts, all families complete a form called the Home Language Survey to inform staff if there is another language spoken at home. If either question on the Home Language Survey is answered ‘yes’, a child is given an assessment to measure his or her English language proficiency. 

    Students in kindergarten are assessed with the MODEL, and students in grades 1-8 are assessed with the WIDA Screener. 

    The assessment results help the District identify students who may benefit from additional supports and opportunities to build their language development and strategies to independently reach academic standards. The students receive individual scores for speaking, listening, reading, and writing. They also receive an overall composite score that combines the four scores. 

    If a student in kindergarten receives an oral language composite score below 5.0, he or she is eligible to receive additional supports and English Learner (EL) services. If a student in grades 1-8 receives an overall composite score below 4.8, he or she is eligible to receive additional supports and EL services.

    After a student is assessed, his or her parents will receive a letter with the assessment results and a recommended plan. If the student qualifies for EL services, the support he or she receives will be specific to his or her needs. Students will receive services in their general education classroom and/or in a small group to support their language development and academic growth. 

    The goal of the support is to help students successfully and independently access learning in the general education classroom at high levels of social and academic English proficiency. The support is responsive to each student’s needs, and it discontinues when he or she demonstrates English language proficiency. 

    ACCESS Testing

    Each year, the District is required to formally assess the language proficiency level of students receiving EL services to determine if they continue to be eligible. In January & February, students in kindergarten through grade 8 are assessed with the ACCESS test. Students are assessed in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  

    At the beginning of the next school year, parents & guardians will receive a letter with the ACCESS results and a recommended plan. If a student receives an overall composite score at or above 4.8, he or she will exit the EL program. If a student receives an overall composite score below 4.8, he or she continues to be eligible to receive EL services.