Home > Our District > Curriculum & Instruction > English Language Learning

English Language Learners

Shelley Onate

EL Department Chair, Specialist, and Family Liaison

onatea@clarke.k12.va.us | 540.955.6100

Kerri Spitler

Boyce Elementary

spitlerk@clarke.k12.va.us | 540.955.6115 

Lisa Knick 

D.G. Cooley Elementary

knickl@clarke.k12.va.us | 540.955.6110 

What is ELL?

English Language Learning (ELL) provides a multi-faceted English language program for non-English or limited-English speaking students in grades K-12. Eligibility for ELL services is determined through use of the state approved WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT). This assessment assists ELL teachers with programmatic placement decisions such as identification, placement, and course scheduling of ELLs.  ELL services are provided at the student’s home school.

The goal of the ELL program is to help children who are “limited English proficient, including immigrant children and youth, acquire English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards as all children are expected to meet” (ESEA 'English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act’ Sec. 3102).

The ELL program provides ELL students with instruction in the English language by emphasizing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through the use of a structured English language approach. ELL students are provided services in models that best fit the linguistic level of each student while not compromising the grade level content and rigor.  Likewise, service models are differentiated to best meet individual student needs in the most inclusive environment.  A blend of age-appropriate, research-based instructional strategies, such as Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) and instruction in the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards, allows ELLs to access the content of the general education classroom.  

How Can Parents of ELL Students Help Their Children Learn?