English Language Learners (ELL)

  • English Language Learner Program



    We are a diverse school district serving students who speak more than 75 different languages at home, with approximately 28% of our students qualifying for free/reduced lunch K-12.  While our ELL program comprises 7.5% of our district population, nearly 20% of our students speak a different language at home.  Currently our top languages are Spanish, Amharic, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tigrinya.  We value each student’s native language and culture and the richness this diversity brings our school community.  Because of our large variety of languages, Shoreline’s ELL program uses English as the language of instruction.


    The Shoreline School District offers an English Language Learners (ELL) program for students of limited English proficiency. The primary purpose of the ELL program is to provide students with an educational environment that gives them the best opportunity for success. The district’s K-12 program is designed to develop competency in English as rapidly as possible in order to provide a language base for the regular curriculum. The program focuses on developing oral proficiency with the integration of reading and writing as the student progresses through the various stages involved in learning a new language.

    Access to the ELL program is determined by a student’s score on the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA-Placement), upon entry into school.  Students who score as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced qualify for ELL services. ELL services are available at all schools in Shoreline.  In the elementary schools, both pull-out and in-class models of instruction are used to support conversational and academic language proficiency. In the secondary schools, instruction is provided through ELL classes and sheltered content courses.  In accordance with state law, students exit from ELL when they score as Transitional on the state English language proficiency test.