The English Language Acquisition (ELA) Program

The English Language Acquisition (ELA) Program


The English Language Acquisition (ELA) Program is designed to offer educational experiences that allow English Language Learners (ELLs) to develop academic skills and concepts at the same level as other students while acquiring English language proficiency.

English Language Development  

Provides quality English Language Development (ELD) programming for all ELL students.


  • English as a Second Language (ESL) and transitional Bilingual Education (grades K-3)
  • Bilingual Education allows Spanish-speaking students to develop literacy in their home language while transitioning into English
  • Both ESL and Bilingual programs develop English reading, writing, speaking, and listening using the Avenues program


  • ESL programming at all schools for all levels of ELLs
  • The goal of secondary ESL is to develop academic English skills in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing using Inside (Middle) & Edge (High)
  • Both programs are leveled, researched-based, and meet both ELD and Language Arts standards


  • Timberline PK-8 School and Skyline High School
  • These center school programs offer intensive, supplementary support for ELD while students who are new to the country acclimate to the U.S. school system, culture, and academic content areas


To monitor the progress of all levels of ELLs in order to ensure academic success and grade-level English language proficiency.


  • Home Language Survey W-APT screener
  • Based on the results of this screening, schools will consult with the parents or guardians as to the appropriate ELA program for the student

Direct Programming

  • ELL staff monitors progress through observation, formative assessments (Avenues, Inside, and Edge assessments, etc.), and summative assessments (ACCESS, TCAP, and unit tests)
  • ELL teachers collaborate with the classroom teacher (elementary) or the core area teachers (secondary) to ensure academic progress in all subject areas
  • ELL staff maintain ELL Plans in Alpine Achievement to document progress and interventions

Professional Development

  • ELL teachers receive training to work as ELD collaborators, and consultants in their schools
  • ELL teachers receive training in sheltered instruction & academic language development (SIOP)

Sheltered Instruction

  • ELL staff train and collaborate with classroom teachers to implement and increase sheltered instructional (SIOP) strategies in the classroom
  • Sheltering makes grade-level content accessible to ELLs and promotes academic language development
  • Sheltering includes the use of strategies such as graphic organizers, vocabulary development, and cooperative grouping, and can benefit other students, especially those who are reading below grade level or have difficulty with academic content.

Additional Student Support

Dual Services – Additional Specialized Services


  • ELL students who have received appropriate instruction according to the District ELA Plan and who are not making adequate progress based on the MTSS model will be referred to the CLD (Culturally Linguistically Diverse team) to review language impact on student performance.  Consultation with the CLD team will guide the evaluation for special education eligibility in order to support district efforts to avoid over or under representation of ELL students in special education. 

Dual Services

  • If an ELL student is identified for Special Education services, the student will receive appropriate services from both special education staff and ESL staff. The ESL teacher will complete an English Language Learner plan in Alpine Achievement to document services and student achievement. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) team will document language acquisition services in the IEP.
  • If the IEP or 504 team, which must also include parents and an ELL specialist, makes an individualized determination that it is appropriate to provide indirect services due to the documented nature of the individual language and special education needs of the student, the language development service model will be documented in both the ELL Plan and in the IEP. The ESL teacher will provide a consultation/indirect service model if the individualized determination is made that language development services are best delivered by special education staff. The ESL teacher will document this consultation in the ELL Plan in Alpine Achievement in the fall, winter, and spring in order to monitor student progress throughout the year.
  • Decisions about the content of a student’s IEP or 504 Plan, including the provision of ELL services and whether an ELL student with a disability can be exited from direct ELL services, must be made by the student’s IEP Team. The IEP team for a student who is dually identified (ELL and Special Education) will also include the student’s parents and an ELL specialist. Any changes in the service delivery model will be documented in the IEP.
  • ELL specialists will submit a list of dual-identified students and their service delivery model to the ELL Office in order to ensure that proper monitoring and documentation occurs in collaboration with Student Services.
  • Re-designation may be considered when an individualized determination is made that it is inappropriate to provide dual services (ELL and special education services) due to the documented nature of the individual language and special education needs of the student. If and when a student who is dually identified as ELL and Special Education is considered for re-designation but does not meet district-identified re-designation criteria, the IEP team, which also includes parents and an ELL specialist, will meet to discuss re-designation. The team will review a body of evidence to determine if the data supports exiting the student from ELL services, and if so, that decision and supporting documentation will be submitted to the ELL Office and the Student Services representative for review. If the ELL office or Student Services representative has questions or comments, those will be submitted to the school IEP team. When a student is exited from ELL services, the IEP will be updated to reflect the change in the student’s ELL status.  The student will then be a part of the district identified re-designation and monitor process.
  • Collaboration between ELL and Special Education teachers with regard to dual-identified students will occur in the fall, winter, and spring. The service model will be reviewed, and if changes are needed, the IEP team, which also includes parents and an ELL specialist, will meet to discuss the recommended changes.

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