Annual Assessment for Multilingual Students

Each year, students in English learner programs take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment (WIDA) to measure their English knowledge and skills. The test measures academic English language proficiency for students learning English in our district and throughout our state.

The test will not affect your child’s grades, but it can help determine whether your child will continue in the English language development program at school. Teachers in our school use this information to help them make decisions about instruction for your child. Teachers also use these test scores to monitor the progress your child makes toward English proficiency.

Your child does not need to study for this test. The test is an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they understand and can communicate in English.

Testing will take place during the school day between January 30 and March 24. Please contact your child’s school for more information.

Services and Programs for Multilingual Learners

Seattle Public Schools offers a variety of instructional programs and services to help students achieve academic excellence while still learning English.

English Learner (EL) services are provided at every school with eligible multilingual learner students.

Kids lining up on a playground to go in to class

Services that Support Multilingual Students

  • High quality, research-based EL program models at elementary and secondary schools that supports student language development and enables meaningful access to grade level curriculum and instruction
  • English language development instruction provided by certificated EL teachers and supported by Instructional Assistants
  • Support for migrant and refugee students
  • Support for students who have exited the EL program
  • Translation and interpretation support for multilingual students and families
  • World language credit and Seal of Biliteracy testing opportunities

Learn how students qualify for English Learner (EL) services.

Translation and Interpretation Services our district provides.

Program Models in Neighborhood Schools

Seattle Public Schools uses research-based, high quality instructional models. Program models differ by school.

Elementary Schools

  • Students are immersed into general education classes with native English speakers and receive support from EL staff. 
  • During a portion of the day, a certified EL teacher or instructional assistant will provide support.
  • EL teachers align their instruction with what is being taught in the general education classroom.

Middle & High Schools

  • Students are placed into sheltered language arts classes according to their level of proficiency in English. 
  • Students take mainstream courses which increase in language demand as they progress through levels of proficiency.

Contact us

Visit our Department Contacts page for staff contact information