ELL Program Mission Statement

The mission of the ELL program is to ensure equity and access to a high-quality education for English Language Learners (ELLs) to reach their greatest potential. ELL Teachers will develop, implement, and evaluate research-based language instruction education programs (LIEPs) for English learners to attain English proficiency and achieve state academic content standards..

Educational Goals

Waconia Public Schools' educational goal is to have measurable Limited English Proficient gains every year for all ELL students which will be measured through the use of an administered LEP assessment in addition to, teacher observation, alternative assessments, and student qualitative portfolio work.

Content Area Goals

The primary goal of Waconia Public Schools is to have all EL students attain proficiency in all academic areas using the current district curriculum. The goal includes incorporating appropriate reading and writing strategies, critical thinking and problem solving strategies for all proficiency levels and content areas. It will be measured through both formative and summative district and state assessments.

ELL Educational Approach

ELL faculty, general education classroom teachers, and Title I program teachers and bilingual/ELL educational assistants have a role to play in the development of academic content skills for limited English proficient students. All support programs must begin by aligning their curriculum with MN state standards. This can be addressed through what bilingual and ELL teachers refer to as sheltered English content instruction or content-based programming. This can be practiced by ALL teachers who teach limited-English proficient students. Sheltered strategies will not only benefit second language learners, they will benefit any student who is struggling with class material. The guiding principle for sheltering English is to keep the standards for academic content and skill development as high as possible while simplifying the language, making it more accessible to students. Beyond the obvious example of avoiding complex syntax and vocabulary, language simplification usually involves creating enhanced contexts in which language and content are presented. Teachers enhance context by providing visual props, hands-on learning experiences, drawings, pictures, graphic organizers, and small-group learning opportunities.

Language Instructional Program