English Language Learner Programming

MacLaren serves English Language Learner (ELL) students in accordance with the Exceptional Children’s Education Act and Colorado Department of Education guidelines. Screening occurs throughout the entire K-12 program and determination of which students will be screened is based off of responses on the Home Language Survey. 

Identification Process and Timeline

MacLaren conducts screening of all K-12 students whose responses were flagged on the Home Language Survey that parents/guardians submitted with their enrollment paperwork. The measure used to determine eligibility for ELL services is either the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) screener for second through twelfth grade students, or the WIDA Access Placement Test (W-APT) for kindergarten and first grade students. 

The cut-points for qualification of ELL services vary by grade and semester tested. Students who score at or below the following qualify for ELL services.

  • First semester kindergarten: 28 out of 30 for oral proficiency (Speaking and Listening)
  • Second semester kindergarten and first semester first grade: 59 out of 63 for overall score in all four domains (Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing) OR not meeting minimum requirements in any domain (Speaking/Listening < 29; Reading < 14; Writing < 17)
  • Second semester first grade through twelfth grade: 3.9 out of 6 for the overall score in all four domains (Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing) 

Students may also qualify for ELL services if there is a sufficient body of evidence. A body of evidence includes any combination of the following: standardized test scores, class grades, and teacher recommendations and observations. 

Parents/guardians may also directly request screening for their child through the ELL Coordinator. Screening occurs within 30 calendar days of the student’s first day at school. 

Parents/guardians are informed of qualification via letter and a meeting is set up with the parents/guardians, the ELL coordinator, and other relevant staff (e.g., classroom teacher, Special Education teacher) to discuss the scores, body of evidence and plan. ELL plans of qualifying students are developed in October. 

Parents/guardians may refuse services at any time. 

Portability of ELL Designation

ELL designation meeting state norms is portable between schools within the State of Colorado. Upon receiving supporting documentation from the previous school, MacLaren will add ELL students to the list of students requiring screening. Generally, a student’s ELL status will follow the state progression; however, some students may be placed at a level that does not follow the state progression if there is a body of evidence to support that decision. While the status may transfer, the particular goals and means of services may differ from school to school according to the school model. 

The state progression of language proficiency is as follows: 

  1. Non-English Proficient (NEP) or Limited English Proficient (LEP)
  2. Fully English Proficient (FEP) Monitor Year 1
  3. Fully English Proficient (FEP) Monitor Year 2
  4. Fully English Proficient (FEP) Exit Year 1
  5. Fully English Proficient (FEP) Exit Year 2
  6. Former English Language Learner (FELL) 

ELL Update Cycle

ELL status for the next year is determined in the second semester and is based on the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs) test score and a body of evidence. The ACCESS test is comparable to the WIDA and W-APT screeners, testing students in the same four domains (Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing). Parents/guardians receive mid-year updates after the administration of the ACCESS test in January or February. End of Year progress reports and recommendations are written at the end of the school year and sent to parents. 

ELL Programming

Small-group and individual instruction as well as in-class support are the main instruments used to offer ELL programming during school hours. Classroom teachers and teaching assistants also receive ongoing training from the ELL Coordinator, so they are best equipped to support their students’ learning in the classroom. In the Lower School, small group or individual instruction with the ELL Coordinator typically occurs during extension or leisure, although there are times when it may occur during different subjects. In the Upper School, this instruction is typically given during tutorial, although there are times when it may occur during different classes throughout the day. 

The goal of each programming option is to provide students with the appropriate support to best promote growth in the students’ ability to speak, listen, read, and write in English. 


Direct questions or concerns about the ELL Program at MacLaren to Mrs. Grey, ELL Coordinator.
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