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English for Speakers of Other Languages

West Des Moines Community Schools students come from culturally and linguistically diverse homes representing over 70 different languages.  To support the development and enhancement of academic English, we serve around 10% of our student population in our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.  

Program Vision

English learners in West Des Moines Schools will be active scholars who engage in meaningful learning experiences, guided and lifted by all district personnel, supporting simultaneous development of language and content in order to communicate, collaborate, solve problems, and prepare for the future, as confident citizens, embracing our diverse and changing world.

Program Services

In the WDMCS, English learners receive services through the newcomer program, stand-alone English language development, collaborative teaching or sheltered instruction.  All English learners receive direct support from an ESOL teacher, and all services provide students access to the district core curriculum. 

Waiving Services

Parents have the right to decline ESOL Services for their student.  If a parent wishes to waive ESOL services, a meeting is held to discuss concerns and potential outcomes. Parents annually complete and sign a waiver form. Parents have the option to un-waive services at any time.

Communication in Languages Other than English

School districts have an obligation to ensure meaningful communication in a language parents can understand.  Arrangements are made by the school for interpreters. Please contact your student’s ESOL teacher if you need an interpreter available for school-related situations.

Learn More About Communication in Languages Other than English


Free transportation is provided for English learners only if they must attend a school other than their neighborhood school to receive ESOL services. If assistance is needed to pay bus fees, the school’s secretary or principal should be contacted to determine eligibility for assistance.