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English Language Learners

English learners (ELs) in the Belle Plaine School District are eligible for instructional support in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. In this program, students receive English language instruction in the four domains of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  Licensed ESL teachers support the English language acquisition process, and provide this service primarily in collaboration with the classroom teacher and ESL paraprofessionals.  

Instructional goals address the English Language Development (ELD) Standards; abbreviated forms of the standards are:

  • The Language of Social and Instructional Language

  • The Language of Language Arts

  • The Language of Mathematics

  • The Language of Social Studies

  • The Language of Science

The ELD standards for English learners were adopted by the state when Minnesota joined the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium in 2011. 

For more information on the standards go to

Program Eligibility, Assessments and Proficiency Levels

A student is assessed for the ESL program if a primary language other than English is indicated at registration. The WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) or WIDA MODEL is used to determine a language proficiency level and service needs. 

The state-required ACCESS test is given annually and measures the overall language proficiency of each student.  The data from the ACCESS test helps determine what supports are needed for language development in the content areas prescribed by the ELD standards.  Assessment data is compiled annually through this and other state and district assessments, such as Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) tests. 


The WIDA English Language Proficiency Level names and score ranges from the ACCESS test are as follows:

Level              Score Range     

Entering           1.0 – 1.9

Emerging         2.0 – 2.9

Developing      3.0 – 3.9

Expanding       4.0 – 4.9

Bridging           5.0 – 5.9

These levels describe a range of language proficiency, from knowing very little or no English (Entering), to being fully proficient and able to work in a mainstream classroom without any English language support (Bridging). Students are exited from the ESL program when their English proficiency level approximates that of a native English speaker.

Families are informed of assessment results and proficiency level changes through annual mailings or during conferences. In addition, ESL progress reports and parent-teacher-student conferences inform families about English language and academic progress throughout the year.


Angie Kahle

Student Support Services Director

(952) 873-2402

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