English Learners Program

Welcome to the Sartell-St. Stephen English Learners (EL) webpage!
 
Sartell students come to us from all over the world, and this year, more than ten different languages are spoken by the children in our classrooms.  

For more information, please contact:

Kristina Oscarson, EL Teacher
Email (preferred): kristina.oscarson@sartell.k12.mn.us 
Phone: 320-656-3701

or

Katy Vinje Stark, EL Teacher
Email:  KatherineVinje.Stark@sartell.k12.mn.us
Phone: 320-656-3701

English Learner Plan of Service


What is EL? 
English Learners (EL) are K-12 students who work in a program that teaches the English language to students whose native language is not English. Students are taught by a licensed EL teacher using a methodology similar to that of teaching a world language to a native English speaker. Our current program includes about 40 students representing eleven languages other than English. Schools must provide equal educational opportunities to all students. Failure to take action to overcome language barriers gets in the way of equal participation.

How do students qualify for EL classes?
Any student qualifies for the EL program if he/she meets any of the following requirements:
• The student's first language is not English.
• The student comes from a home where the language spoken is not English.


Determination for participation in EL programming varies by age level.  In grades K-2 students lacking English skills to participate fully in classes taught in English are selected for service based on developmentally appropriate assessments. In grades 3-12 students scoring below the state cutoff score on the test of emerging academic English, ACCESS are enrolled in EL services. 
 

Identification, Entrance & Exit Criteria:

Step I
Home Language Questionnaire or teacher referral indicates possible EL status. 

Step II
District 748 Registration Form and informal family interview (preferably at the time of registration) indicate possible EL status. 

Step III
Assess Oral, Reading, and Writing English Proficiency

Step IV
Initial Placement Decision - If a student is not proficient in one or all of the three areas assessed in step III, he/she meets state criteria for EL service. 

Step V
Parent Notification - Parents are notified within 10 days of enrollment that their son/daughter qualifies for EL services and informed of student's proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing, using the District's Parent Notification Form. Included in the notification is the amount of time and type of EL service. The letter informs parents of their right to refuse service.

Step VI
EL Service - Support student in reading, writing, and speaking/listening.

Step VII
Exit - When student scores "proficient" in the reading, writing, and speaking of English on local or state assessments, he/she is exited from EL service.
 

Which District 748 schools offer EL programs?
Currently, EL services are offered at all four schools in the district.

 

What native languages are represented in the program?
Amharic, Arabic, Cebuano, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Japanese, Laotian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

 

How are EL classes organized?
Elementary EL:
In K-6 schools, the EL program uses either a pull-out or a push-in model of instruction. English Learners may leave their mainstream classroom to spend a period of time each day in EL instruction. The amount of time a student receives English instruction depends on his/her level of language proficiency. Instruction is focused on English language development with emphasis on increasing vocabulary, reading comprehension and strategies, writing skills, and cultural understanding.

 

Secondary EL:
Guidelines recommend that beginning students study English up to three hours daily; as a student progresses, EL service time is reduced. EL uses both the pull-out and push-in models at the middle school. Sartell High School uses a pull-out setting at the high school while implementing research-based practices in content area classes. The amount of time a student receives English instruction depends on his/her level of language proficiency. Instruction is focused on English language development with emphasis on increasing vocabulary, reading comprehension and strategies, writing skills, and cultural understanding.

 

When do students exit the program?
Students exit the EL program by demonstrating appropriate achievement levels in mainstream and EL classrooms and by achieving required proficiency levels on state assessments.

 

How long does a student receive EL service?
Typically, students will learn to speak English well within 1-3 years. Academic English, the language needed to read, write, and be successful in school, can take 5-10 years to learn. Ongoing evaluation will determine the need for continued support.

 

My child was born here. Can he still receive help from the EL teacher?
A student may receive EL services even if he/she was born in the United States if the student first learned a language other than English and/or comes from a home where a language other than English is usually spoken. The student must qualify for EL services based on the district's language assessments.

 

My child speaks English well. Why is he receiving EL service?
Your child might be an advanced level EL student. Advanced students are often able to speak English well, but they are still learning English needed to read and write at grade level.

 

Can I refuse EL support for my child?
You may refuse EL support for your child if you wish. You will need to contact your child's EL teacher and sign a form indicating this.

 

 

 

Resources:  

Colorín Colorado   Reading help in English and Spanish
 
Online Dictionary   Free online dictionary for word translations in several languages.