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English Language Learners

 

Picture of elementary students
Picture of elementary students

The Ferndale School District includes students and families who speak 18 different languages (including English).  We serve our students Kindergarten through 12th grade through small group and individualized student support.  At Ferndale High School we offer an ELL course for students who would benefit from additional language and academic content support.


How do students qualify for a district’s English language development (ELD) program? 

When students enroll in school, parents complete a Home Language Survey that asks, “Did your child first speak a language other than English?” If the answer is “yes”, the student takes the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA) Placement Test. Students who score at Levels 1 (beginning), 2 (intermediate), or 3 (advanced) on the Placement Test qualify for additional help to improve their English.


How long do students receive services through the district’s English language development program?

The WELPA Annual Test is given during February and March to every student who is eligible for English Language support. The test measures the students’ growth in English language knowledge and skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. A score at Levels 1, 2, or 3 on the WELPA determines that the student will continue in program. Students continue to be supported   when they meet the exit criteria on the WELPA (Level 4).