Wayzata Public Schools English Learner Program

  • Wayzata Public Schools serve over 200 English Learners every year. English Learners in our district speak over 30 different languages. We believe our schools are enhanced by the presence of students who come from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. We seek to build on students' strengths with a program that allows them to access the curriculum and build English proficiency.
    English Learner Program Staff
    Director of Special Services: Lori Fildes
    Consulting Associate Principal: Alison Nisbet
    Teacher Resource for EL and Title I Programs: Ann Fehrenbach
    Paraprofessionals: Every school that serves ELs in Wayzata has a paraprofessional who supports EL students, working under the direction of an EL teacher.

Mission of Wayzata Public Schools' EL Program

  • The mission of the Wayzata Public Schools English Learner Program is to align with the district’s mission and to insure that each English Learner develops linguistically, academically and cognitively within a socially and culturally supportive environment.
    The English Learner program will provide all students with the opportunity to:
    1. Develop academic English so that they can succeed in the general education program 
    2. Engage in school and social environments by building social language skills along with an appreciation for cultures different from their own. 
  • As part of the registration process, all families registering a child in Wayzata Public Schools complete a Home Language Questionnaire at the Welcome Center. This questionnaire identifies students who need to be assessed to determine if they qualify for services in the EL Program. Welcome Center staff notifies EL teachers of students who need to be assessed based on the response to the questionnaire.  
    Entrance Criteria 
    Once the need to assess a student for EL services has been determined, an EL teacher administers the WIDA MODEL English Language proficiency assessment. A composite score of 4.9 or below on the MODEL, together with additional developmentally appropriate assessment data (NWEA, DRA, teacher observations), grades, work sampling, and parent input qualifies students for EL services.  
    Exit Criteria 
    Students exit the EL program when they are deemed to have achieved a level of English Language proficiency that allows them to be successful without the support of English Language instruction. The following are the specific exit criteria for each grade range:
    Grades K-2
    In order to exit the EL Program, students must achieve a composite score of 5.0 or above on the WIDA MODEL or ACCESS and demonstrate grade-level proficiency by meeting two of the following criteria:
    • Proficiency on additional assessments (NWEA, Benchmark assessments, etc.)
    • DRA level at grade level  
    • Student demonstrates the ability to do grade-level work
    • Positive teacher recommendation based on content area achievement
    • Parent recommendation to exit
    • Maturity and confidence level of EL
    Grades 3-12
    In order to exit the EL Program, students must achieve a composite score of 5.0 or above on the WIDA MODEL or ACCESS and demonstrate grade-level proficiency by meeting two of the following criteria:
    • A score of “meets standards” or “exceeds standards” on the MCA II Reading
    • An average score above the 40th percentile on the NWEA reading test
    • A passing score on the GRAD Reading or Writing tests
    • Student demonstrates the ability to do grade-level work
    • Positive teacher recommendation based on content area achievement
    • Parent recommendation to exit
    • Maturity and confidence level of EL

Parent Notification

  • When a student initially qualifies for EL services, EL teachers use the letter below to notify families.  After the initial placement in the EL Program, families receive annual notice of their student's participation in the program.
    Parent Involvement 
    WPS recognizes that parents are an integral part of students’ educational program.  There are many ways for parents to be involved in our schools and programs.  Schools communicate with parents regularly via newsletter, website, curriculum nights, and PTA meetings. Elementary and Middle School teachers hold biannual formal parent-teacher conferences in addition to communicating by phone and email as needed.  High School teachers hold conferences every term.  Documents are translated and interpreters are used as needed.
    Parent Meetings 2013
    Meetings for parents of ELs are held at least annually.  At these meetings, parents are informed about the program, and are invited to give input.  In addition, teachers provide strategies for working with their children at home to support their academic achievement. Transportation to these meetings and interpreters are available if needed.

The English Learner Program in Wayzata Public Schools

  • EL instruction focuses on the explicit teaching of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, through content. Our model is primarily a pull-out model with focus on the development of academic language and skills. Some language instruction occurs in the general education classroom. The total amount of EL instruction varies according to the students' needs.
    EL instruction is informed by theories of language acquisition, current pedagogy, and current materials. The State of Minnesota's standards for English Language development, students' ACCESS scores, together with formative and summative assessments guide EL teachers' instruction and provide a touchstone for collaboration with mainstream staff. EL teachers focus on literacy and specialized vocabulary and academic language in the content areas. Paraprofessionals support the instruction EL teachers provide according to student needs.
    Service from EL Teachers and other Program Staff
    All ELs, including those who receive Special Education services, may receive English Language Development instruction from a licensed EL teacher. ELs may receive other support services such as Title I and Vision 21. The service an EL receives from EL teachers will depend on the following criteria: the student's proficiency level, previous schooling and the amount of time in the United States, and current academic achievement level. District EL staff collaborate with personnel from other district support services such as Special Education, Title I, intervention services, and gifted and talented. When appropriate, these services are combined with the EL student's general education program and EL services. For example, a student can receive both EL services and Title I service. Consideration is given to the student's individual need and access to the general education curriculum and standards.
    Please see the links on the left side of the page for specific information about the EL program at the different grade levels.

English Learner Program - Grades K-5

  • At the elementary level, EL services are available in all seven buildings and are provided by EL teachers and supported by EL paraprofessionals. Teachers use the pull-out model, push-in model, or both to support language and content area learning.
    Pull-out model: Students are in mainstream classes for the majority of the day. EL teachers work with small groups to target specific English language needs. Beginning ELs receive more EL instruction than intermediate or advanced students.
    Push-in model: Students are in mainstream classes for the majority of the day. The EL teacher may work with students in the mainstream classroom to improve academic English in content areas and paraprofessionals may support generalization of skills previously taught by an EL teacher.
    Elementary EL teachers use a variety of materials, including content area texts and materials from the mainstream classroom, the EL component of the mainstream Scott Foresman Reading Street curriculum,  leveled readers, RAZ kids, Evan-Moor Educational Publishers Non-fiction Reading Practice materials, and Reading A to Z.  In addition, in Grades 4 and 5 teachers use National Geographic Reach materials.

Middle School English Learner Program

  • East Middle School serves as the center for EL services at the middle school level. EL coursework emphasizes an integrated approach including listening, speaking, reading and writing. A separate Academic Support class taught by the EL teacher provides individualized support for content area and academic needs for all EL students as needed.  EL paraprofessionals work with students to support progress in mainstream classes. Entering and Emerging level students receive more intensive support than Developing and Expanding level students.  EL classes are based on proficiency level.
    The Middle School uses Pearson’s Shining Star curriculum, Time for Kids and novels, along with content area curriculum resources.

High School English Learner Program

  • At the high school level, EL courses and support are offered for students at the Entering, Emerging, Developing, Expanding, and Bridging levels of English proficiency.  All courses include instruction in the four domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing with an emphasis on academic language and skills.  Technology tools for academic success are also taught at all levels.
    Classes taught include EL 1 for levels 1 through 3, EL 2 for level 4, and EL 3 for level 5.  Academic Skills, a workshop style course emphasizing the skills needed for academic success and providing content area support is also offered. In addition, a sheltered Social Studies class, Cultural Literacy, is offered for EL students.  The curriculum focuses on government, citizenship and current events.  Reading, writing, listening, speaking and academic skills are also taught.
    EL teachers monitor EL students’ progress in content area classes and collaborate with general education teachers to maximize student growth.  EL paraprofessionals, under the supervision of EL teachers also provide academic support for EL students in their content area classes.  Content area learning is supported using both the pull-in and push out models.

Non-Public Schools

  • Wayzata Public Schools receives Federal funding under Title III.  It is required that we consult annually with non-public schools located within the WPS boundaries. Non-publics are given an opportunity at the annual meeting to accept or decline services.

WIDA - World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment

  • WIDA is a consortium of states dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English language learners.  The State of Minnesota has adopted the WIDA English Language Development standards, and uses WIDA's assessment system for monitoring the progress of English Learners. Learn more at www.wida.us.

WIDA Assessments

  • The State of Minnesota has adopted WIDA's assessments for annual measurement of students' progress. ELs will take the ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State) test each spring. ACCESS test results are sent home in the fall of the following year. The MODEL (Measure of Developing English Language), WIDA's tool for on-going progress monitoring may also be given. Scores from these tests will be used as part of the identification process. Please see the links below for information from the WIDA website.

English Language Proficiency Levels

  • As defined by WIDA
    Level 1 - Entering
    Level 2 - Emerging
    Level 3 - Developing
    Level 4 - Expanding
    Level 5 - Bridging
    Level 6 - Reaching

AMAO - Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives

  • WPS accepts federal Title III funding which requires the district to meet AMAOs that report English Learners progress toward and attainment of English proficiency and academic achievement standards.  AMAO is measured using annual ACCESS testing.  Families would be notified by the district if a school fails to make AMAO.