English Language Learner

Student helping another student learn English.

The ELL program is about supporting students so they become competent in English and successful in all subjects. Our ELL classrooms honor and respect the many cultures that gather there each day.

Transitional bilingual instruction for students learning English
The district’s English Language Learner program provides services to approximately 3,000 students from 102 language groups. It is also known as the transitional bilingual instruction program. The program gives students the support they need to successfully learn conversational and academic English. The ELL program is available to qualified students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Enrollment in ELL
Parents complete a Home Language Survey (HLS) at the school when they register their student. If the parent indicates that the student’s primary language is something other than English, the student is referred for an English proficiency assessment. The student is given the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA). This test checks a student’s overall ability to communicate and understand English through speaking, listening, reading and writing. A certified ELL teacher or trained WELPA proctor administers the test. If a student scores at Level 1, 2 or 3, he/she is eligible for transitional/bilingual services.

Schools with ELL programs
The English Language Learner (ELL) program is offered at all elementary schools and designated middle schools and high schools. Middle school and high school students attend a school as close as possible to their neighborhood school.

  • Elementary: all elementary schools have ELL services
  • Middle school: all elementary schools have ELL services
  • High School: Juanita, Lake Washington, Redmond

Bilingual Resources
These Web sites offer more information for parents and others interested in English Language Learner services.

Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence (CREDE)
CREDE provides information and research that supports English Language Learners.

Colorin Colorado
This is a bilingual site for families and educators working with English Language Learners. The focus of the site is on developing reading skills.
Un sitio bilingüe para familias y maestros para ayudar a los niños a leer.

Eastside Cultural Navigator Program
The Cultural Navigator Program offers free, confidential social service assistance to individuals and families who have limited English language skills. View the program's flyer to learn more in English, Spanish, Chinese or Russian.

ELPA21 is a group of states (including Washington) designing and developing an assessment system for English language learners. The system is based on the new English Language Proficiency Standards and addresses the language demands needed to reach college and career readiness. To learn more, please click on the title.

English Language Development Standards and Language Proficiency Levels (OSPI)
This site provides information about the English Language Development standards and Language Proficiency Levels for the state of Washington.

MSP/HSPE Graduation Requirements (OSPI)
Looking for information about the MSP/HSPE or graduation requirements? The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has documents about the MSP/HSPE and graduation requirements for parents.

Multilingual Math Glossary
The McGraw-Hill Companies developed a multilingual math glossary that translates math terms into 12 languages plus English. There is a glossary for K-5 and grades 6-12.

Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol (SIOP)
Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol, often referred to as SIOP, is an instructional framework that helps teachers enhance English language proficiency in ELL students while teaching other content areas.

Contact Information
For more information about the ELL program, contact the ELL Office at or by phone at (425) 936-1323.