• Services for English Language Learners  


    The primary priority for English language learners is to improve English language acquisition and thus academic performance through a system of support from preschool through grade 12 while honoring their own heritage language(s). Our ultimate success will be measured by all of our ELL students graduating from Vashon Island High School college and career ready with a Seal of Biliteracy as well.

    The Vashon Island School District uses Washington State English Proficiency Standards (ELPS) to provide learning targets for teachers as they assist students in learning English. Approximately 75 students receive English language development services in our district, representing several different cultures and language groups.


    Our district uses a Supportive Mainstream Model. Students are in mainstream English speaking classrooms most of the day. Teachers provide supplemental language inside and/or outside of the classroom and within literacy intervention and homework support programs. Supplemental English instruction is conducted using specific language acquisition strategies and models, including Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) and Guided Language Acquisition Protocol (GLAD). Additionally, each school building is assigned a designated teacher to provide individualized and group services, advocate for students and work with classroom teachers to facilitate improved learning. The type and frequency of support depends upon each student's individual needs.

    How are students identified for English language development services?

    All students enrolled in our district are required to complete a Home Language Survey, a standard form issued by the State of Washington. If the responses on the Home Language Survey identify the student as a potential English language learner, the student will be given an English language screening test, to see if the student qualifies for ELL services per state and federal regulations. We are not able to waive the screener--it is a state and federal requirement.



    How do students continue to receive English language development services?

    Continued eligibility will be determined by the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA-21). There are three levels of English language development: emerging, progressing and proficient. Families will receive a letter reporting the results of this test usually around the end of June. If a student is emerging or progressing, s/he will continue to be eligible for ELL services.

    • Emerging: The student will be eligible for English language development services.

    • Progressing: The student will be eligible for English language development services.

    • Proficient: The student will not longer be eligible for ELL services, but will continued to be monitored as a transitional student with sheltered instruction for two years. 


    Personalized Education Plans

    Once a student is identified and qualified as an ELL student, an ELL lead teacher will oversee the services for the student. These lead teachers will observe the student engaging in listening and speaking tasks as they relate to these five language areas: comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. This observation will inform the development of a personal education plan for each ELL student to be shared with the student's classroom teacher(s).

    Interpretation and Translation Services

    Under state and federal law, all parents have the right to information about their child’s education in a language they can understand. Title IV Regulations | Chapter 28A.642 RCW | Chapter 392-190 WAC
    Please click here, for more information about this topic posted on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's website. 


    Colorin' Colorado (in both English and Spanish)



    Test Refusal

    We strongly discourage parents/guardians from excluding their child(ren) from state assessments. Some critical consequences when our students do not take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21) include:
    • Teacher and staff lack full information about the instructional needs of students who do not take the ELPA21, which could lead to some students not receiving all the instructional support they might need to be successful later in school;
    • Our school district is deprived the opportunity to fully analyze district performance for our English language learners; and
    • A zero score is generated and counts against Vashon Island School District's Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (federal accountability targets). 
    If you still desire to exclude your child from testing, please complete our ELPA21 Refusal Form (Spanish) and return it to your child's school office. Please be aware that your child is expected to attend school during the testing window and participate in alternative learning activities at the teacher's discretion. If you have any questions, please contact your child's school administrator or counselor.

    Waiver for English language development services

    You have the right to decline services or to remove your student from services at any time; however, it is the preference of our school district that students who qualify for services, receive the services in order to fully support our students. If you choose to waive services for your child(ren), you may complete the waiver form and return it to:

      Director of Teaching and Learning
       Vashon Island School District
       P.O. Box 547
       Vashon, WA 98070