Frequently Asked Questions

My child was born in the United States. Why do you need to assess English language?
In order to personalize learning for each student, we want to learn as much about them as we can. After conducting an initial language survey, we have conversations with families to learn about their cultural and language background. Based on what we learn from families we may need to see if there is an opportunity for continued academic English language growth. This English language screener assesses the students’ abilities to understand and use the language of their classes. Sometimes, even though students have basic communication skills, they need help understanding and using the more formal language of school.

How does an English learner teacher help students?
English learner teachers help students in two ways. First, for students who are at beginning levels, English learner teachers help students to learn basic communication skills. Second, English learner teachers focus on academic language development, which includes vocabulary and language structures, oral proficiency, reading, and writing.

How will I know how my child’s English is developing? 
Each year your child will take an English Proficiency Test called the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. They will receive scores in four language areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Families will receive the scores later in the year, along with an interpretive guide (available in most first languages). Your child’s teacher or English language teacher can explain what each of the four scores means. English learner teachers and classroom teachers will use the information from these standardized language assessments and ongoing, daily assessments to plan for language learning experiences and work for each student. Teachers will share ongoing language development with families throughout the year.

How can I support my child at home? 
One of the best things families can do for their child is to continue to develop a student’s home language. This increases the ability to acquire new or additional languages.

If you have additional questions, please contact your child’s school at the phone number below:

  • Centerview Elementary: 763-600-5500
  • Northpoint Elementary: 763-600-5700
  • Park Terrace Elementary: 763-600-5600
  • Woodcrest Spanish Immersion: 763-600-5800
  • Westwood Intermediate and Middle School: 763-600-5300
  • Spring Lake Park High School: 763-600-5100