English Language Learners

Our diversity is a community treasure, and equity is at the core of our mission. We’re dedicated to building a culture that embraces the unique identity and potential of each child. Where we come from, the languages we speak, our race, ethnicity and identity are all assets that we celebrate and nurture in each of our kids.

In order to best support our English Learners, we are committed to improving instruction and student achievement outcomes for every student by providing a rigorous, enriching educational experience. DPS prioritizes culturally responsive curriculum and supports, including materials for our English Learners and is proud to offer the Seal of Biliteracy.

  • Many roles are designated as ELA-S, which stands for English Language Acquisition-Spanish. ELA-S instruction is a developmental bilingual program offered to Spanish-speaking students who are not yet proficient in English. In ELA-S classrooms, instruction in core subjects is primarily in Spanish, gradually transitioning into more English instruction as students become more proficient. This model ensures that English Learners are developing academic language and core content knowledge while building literacy skills in both languages.
  • In order to meet the needs of our diverse learners, all teachers who are new to DPS will receive an ELA designation. No matter the designation (ELA-T, ELA-E and ELA-S) all teachers are strongly encouraged to complete the Basic ELA Teacher Qualification Training their first year.

Student Facts:

  • Our students speak more than 194 world languages.
  • 36,600 students, or 42%, are English learners.
  • Our ELA program supports nearly 25,000 students.
  • Spanish is the primary language for the majority of English learners in DPS. Other languages include Vietnamese, Arabic, Karen, Burmese, Somali, Amharic, Russian and Nepali.