Bilingual Education

  • Yelm Community Schools is committed to providing high quality education programs designed to ensure students from all backgrounds are served in an equitable and inclusive environment. The English Learner (EL) program works to meet the cognitive, academic, linguistic, and social-cultural needs of the EL students within grade-level core instruction. The program serves each eligible student by providing individualized language support designed to ensure EL students acquire full English proficiency as quickly and effectively as possible. 


    • Meaningful, research based, high quality professional development to all teachers, instructional assistants and school leaders surrounding language acquisition and working with language learners. 
    • Ensure compliance of state and federal services.
    • Ensure all resources are allocated efficiently and effectively based on student needs.
    • Collaborate meaningfully with district staff, families, and communities.


    • About 3% of the total student population (approximately 173 students) qualify for EL program services.
    • EL students are enrolled in all of the district’s K-12 schools.
    • Our students come from various cultures and speak over 17 different languages, however, Spanish is most prevalent. ( approximately 75%)
    • The number of eligible EL students in the district has increased by almost 2% since 2014 (OSPI Report Card)


    In Washington State, the qualification process for the EL program begins when a parent/guardian enrolls their child and completes a Home Language Survey.  If the returned survey indicates that a language other than English was the first language learned or is currently used by the student, then their English language proficiency must be assessed.  The English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) is the language proficiency test used in Washington schools. This assessment measures a student's English language knowledge and skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.  The ELPA21 language screener is used to determine initial eligibility for the EL program.  Continued eligibility is based on the annual ELPA21 summative assessment.  For additional information regarding the ELPA21, please visit the website.


    Supportive Mainstream is the language instruction model used in Yelm Community Schools. Under this model, classes are taught in English by content teachers that differentiate or modify lessons making them comprehensible for all students. EL students are expected to meet the same high academic standards as their native English speaking peers, therefore it is important that they have access to all core subject matter.

    The role of the EL teacher is to work collaboratively with general education teachers, as well as the para-professionals to develop plans and monitor the language proficiency and academic progress of each of their EL students. All eligible EL students are assigned a para-professional who has been trained in English language development, and provides direct supplemental support using those ELD strategies. The levels of support provided vary depending on the individual needs of the student. Some examples of language support include:

    • Push-in support: EL para-professionals provide supplemental language support within the core content classes. 
    • Pull-out support: Small group or individual intervention provides intensive language instruction outside the classroom and outside of core instruction. 


    Erin Kennelly - EL Specialist/Teacher (YCS)
    Yamaira Delgado - EL Para-Educator (Ridgeline MS & Yelm MS)
    Rosie Fuentez - EL Para-Educator (Southworth & Mill Pond)
    Carmen Miskimens - EL Para-Educator (Prairie & McKenna)
    Dianne Olsen - EL Para-Educator (Fort Stevens)
    Karen Vega Sanchez - EL Para-Educator (Yelm HS)
    Casimira Velazequez - EL Para-Educator (Lackamas)





    Parents can support their child’s education in a number of ways:

    • Help your child/children maintain their native language by continuing to speak and read stories with your children in your language. Knowing more than one language is a skill to be valued and encouraged.
    • Encourage your child to pursue biliteracy by learning to read and write proficiently in your language.
    • Studies have shown that when children continue to learn their native language, it makes the process of learning English easier.

    Access the OSPI website for Dual Language Learners.


    Under state and federal law, all parents have the right to information about their child’s education in a language they can understand. 


    The State Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (TBIP) is part of Washington’s Basic Education Act. This program provides funds to districts throughout the state to ensure equal educational opportunities for students from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. The goal of this program is to aide students in their language development and proficiency, enabling them to have meaningful access to grade level content. For more information visit: State Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (the phrase State Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program would be a link to the OSPI website.


    The Washington State English Language Development Standards (ELDS) is a resource for classroom teachers to use when working with EL students as they acquire English.

    ELP Standards with Correspondence to K-12 and Common Core Standards
    Home Language Survey