• Program for English Language Learners

    The Tumwater School District's Program for English Language Learners (ELLs) 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 170 eligible English language learners in the district with over 20 different languages and cultures represented.

    Program Goals:

    • Guide our ELL 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 ELPA21 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 ELL 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 ELL teacher may monitor their progress as a form of service and provide support as needed.  An elective ELL class 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.

    ELL Program Staff
    Lisa Justice, ELL Program Coordinator & Teacher
    Cherie Andreassen, Secondary Teacher
    Rechelle Schimke, Secondary Teacher
    Star Brown, ELL Paraprofessional
    Amber Morales, ELL Paraprofessional 
    Sara Crimmins, ELL Paraprofessional

    For more information, contact:
    Lisa Justice 360.709.7547