English as a Second Language
At WDMCS, English as a Second Language (ESL) is specially designed instruction that teaches English Language Learners (ELL) English language skills, which include listening, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, content, and vocabulary. ESL instruction is primarily in English.
Home Language Survey
All new students to WDMCS are required to fill out a Home Language Survey. If it is evident the student has a native language other than English, the child and family are referred to the child’s designated school for registration and assessment for possible ESL services.
Students are tested on their oral, written, and reading proficiencies. If the student qualifies for ESL services, they will receive those services at their home school. If the home school does not have ESL services, the child will be referred to a school in the district that does have an ESL program.
Elementary – Free transportation is provided for ESL students only if they must attend a school different than their neighborhood school to receive services. Instruction will be based on the individual child’s instructional and language needs.
Secondary – Free transportation is not provided at the secondary level. If assistance is needed to pay bus fees, the school’s secretary or principal should be contacted to determine eligibility for assistance.
Services & Assistance
The ESL teacher will provide pull out instruction, which means a student will be pulled out of the regular classroom to receive individual instruction. In addition, the ESL teacher will collaborate with the general education teacher to provide support within the regular classroom. As a student’s language skills progress, less intensive instruction will be provided. Students also may receive push in and co-teaching services and instruction by their ESL and classroom teacher.
Newcomers – For those students at a very basic level of English instruction, newcomers programming is available. This is an intensive two to three hours of instruction in basic English skills. Newcomers programs are available at Indian Hills Junior High and Valley High School.
ESL classes – Specially designed courses are taught by ESL teachers to further develop the language skills for the English Language Learner.
Sheltered Classes – Limited numbers of special courses, taught by a regular education teacher, are available to English Language Learners who are beginning to become proficient in the English language.
Resource – ESL teachers are available during certain periods of the day to assist ELL in completing coursework and requirements in general education classes. Resource assistance is available to ELL students throughout their school career, as needed.
Declining ESL Services
If a parent wishes to waive ESL services, a waiver form must be signed by the parents or legal guardian.
Communicating With Parents
Full-time Spanish interpreters are available in the district. Arrangements are made by the school for interpreters in other languages as needed. If you speak a language other than Spanish and wish to have an interpreter available for school-related situations, please contact your student’s ESL teacher.
Helping Your Student Succeed
- Be involved in your student’s education.
- Ask questions of your child and the school. When in doubt, call the ESL teacher.
- Make school and schoolwork a priority.
- Encourage your child to become involved in after-school activities.
Dr. Laurene Lanich
ESL and At-Risk PD/Curriculum Facilitator
Click Here to view the ESL Programs and Personnel List divided by school building.
Lau Plan (pdf)
The Welcome Center is located at:
Valley High School
3650 Woodland Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266-2198
During the summer months appointments can be made by contacting Joy Zuber, District Registrar at (515) 633-5101.