English Language Learners

​The Shelton School District offers a program for students where English is a second language. The primary purpose of the ELL program is to provide students with an educational environment that gives them the best opportunity for success. 



The district’s K-12 ELL program is designed to develop competency in English as rapidly as possible in order to provide a language base for the regular curriculum. The program focuses on developing oral proficiency with the integration of reading and writing as the student progresses through the various stages involved in learning a new language.


As part of our registration process for new students, parents must respond to questions regarding the student’s first language. If the first language is anything other than English, the student is referred to the ELL program staff for testing. Access to the ELL program is determined by a student’s score on the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) upon entry into school.  


Students who score as Emerging or Progressing qualify for ELL services. English Language Learner students are taught by teachers trained in ELL methodology who provide specialized instruction. In accordance with state law, students exit from ELL when they score as Transitional on the ELPA21. 


1. What is the purpose of the ELL program? 


The ELL Program provides supplemental, or additional, services for English Language Learners. The purpose of this program is to provide these students an educational environment in which they have the best possibility for academic success, and to develop English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 


2. How are students identified to be in this program? 


When students enroll in school, parents fill out an enrollment card. If parents indicate that their child’s first language is not English, we screen the student to see if he/she qualifies for ELL services. 


3. If my child qualifies, does he/she have to be in this program? 


No, parents always have the right to waive services. Parents will be informed that research shows eligible students who do not participate in the program often find school more difficult. 


4. What does my child do during the day in this program? 


Our ELL students participate in mainstream classes as well as scheduled ELL instruction in small groups based on each student’s proficiency and grade levels. 


5. When do students stop receiving ELL services? 


All ELL students take an English proficiency test (ELPA21) every year. They exit the ELL program when they demonstrate proficient listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English.


6. How long will my child be in this program? 


Students who are just beginning to learn English usually are in the ELL program for three to five years. More advanced English Learners may exit in one or two years. Younger ELL students almost always exit more quickly than older ELL students.