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    English Learners (EL) 

    The Seattle Public School District is proud to have the largest English Language Learning student population in the state of Washington. Collectively, our EL students contribute 162 languages to the total of 154 spoken by families across the district and add a linguistically diverse and multi-cultural richness to our growing district-wide student population. The EL Department provides a range of services grounded in language acquisition and promotes an understanding that acquiring a second language is necessary and an asset. 

    Ensuring academic excellence through language acquisition instruction is our primary strategic focus. By focusing on service alignment, an academic delivery model that is grounded in language acquisition through the application of the Common Core State Standards, English Language Proficiency Standards and Next Generation Science Standards we will strive for excellence in every classroom for each EL student across our 104 schools.


    • EL services in all schools that have state eligible EL students
    • Elementary Newcomer Centers: Dunlap Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, and Northgate Elementary
    • Secondary Newcomer Program located at the Seattle World School
    • Migrant student support
    • Refugee student support
    • Proyecto Saber - Denny International School, Chief Sealth International School and Robert Eagle Staff Middle School.
    • Professional development for teachers, instructional assistants, parents, school leaders and central office staff
    • EL Instructional Coaches
    • Exited EL Supports
    • Translation and Interpretation support for EL students and families
    • Student placement testing during the enrollment process and annual testing
    • World language credit for proficiency opportunities
    • Staffing of Bilingual Instructional Assistants


    • Meaningful, research based, high quality professional development to all teachers, instructional assistants and school leaders. Course offerings include a basic foundational understanding regarding the new language demands in the Common Core State Standards and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS).
    • Ensure compliance of state and federal services
    • Establish, develop and sustain a talented, highly skilled, dedicated, and collaborative staff
    • Ensure that all resources (money, time, and people) are allocated efficiently and effectively based on student needs and data
    • Collaborate meaningfully with district staff, families, communities, and higher education institutions

    Contact Us

    Michelle Ota
    Director, English Learners and Translation and Interpretation Services


    Home Language Survey Forms

    Visit OSPI website. Translations available. 

    Information about EL State Assessment

    EL and Native Americans students who qualify will take the ELPA21 (English Language Proficiency Assessment). The 2020 testing window goes from February 3rd until March 27th. If you have questions, please contact your school.

    See the brochure below:

    English Brochure