• Program for Multilingual Learners

    The Tumwater School District's Program for Multilingual Learners (MLs) provides support for students whose first language is a language other than English and who qualify for supplemental services. These students must master academic content and a new language at the same time.  Currently, there are approximately 200 eligible Multilingual learners in the district with over 20 different languages and cultures represented.

    Program Goals:

    • Guide our ML students to English proficiency as quickly as possible
    • Provide content-based instruction which promotes academic success as well as English language acquisition
    • Honor bilingualism, biliteracy, and cultural diversity

    How does a student qualify?
    During the enrollment process, all parents or guardians complete the Home Language Survey.  If a language other than English was the first language learned by the student or if another language is spoken most often by the student at home, then program staff will assess the student’s English proficiency using the WIDA Screener.  Parents are notified by mail if their child qualifies for supplemental services.

    How will academic and language support be provided?
    Support can be provided in a variety of ways, depending on the language needs and stage of development of the student.  The majority of language instruction takes place in the general education classroom during academic instruction.  Teachers use sheltered instruction strategies to make academic content more understandable for ML students.  Some students may require service in small groups, or individually, while others may be better served through extra help in the classroom.  For those students performing at grade level, the ML teacher may monitor their progress as a form of service and provide support as needed.  An elective EL LAB is available to our qualifying high school and middle school students.  In these classes, students receive specialized English language instruction as well as academic support.

    ML Program Staff
    Lisa Justice, ML Program Coordinator & Teacher
    Bailey Braden, Elementary School ML Teacher
    Emily Donbeck, Middle School ML Teacher
    Connie Phegley, High School ML Teacher
    Star Brown, ML Paraprofessional
    Karina Rogers, ML Paraprofessional
    Chrystal Smith, ML Paraprofessional 
    Lindsey Wittenberg, ML Paraprofessional   

    For more information, contact:
    Lisa Justice 360.709.7054
    lisa.justice@tumwater.k12.wa.us