Academics » EL



The ELL Program is for children who have another language in their background.  The acronym stands for English Language Learner. 

Students in the ELL Program receive specialized instruction to help with their English Language Development.  These services are provided by the classroom teachers and some students receive additional help from our ELL Instructional Assistants, Mary Anne Underwood and Deepika Somlaa.  If you have any questions, please contact the ELL Program Coordinators, Renee Ostrander [email protected] and Rachel Varga [email protected]

English Learner Program

We have a dual obligation for the education of English learners.  These responsibilities include developing students’ English proficiency and providing access to academic content instruction. Newly-enrolling students who have a primary language other than English, based on the Home Language Survey, are given the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) to determine their level of English proficiency.  The district expects reclassification to fluent English-proficient status within five years for students who enter the district at the “beginning” level.

At Westwood Elementary, all English learners typically increase one proficiency level for each year they are enrolled and are reclassified as Fluent English Proficient prior to promoting to middle school.

English Language Development

English learners receive concentrated instruction in the use of the English language that is appropriate for their grade and English language proficiency level. Such instruction must be provided by a teacher with advanced training in special strategies to help students increase their English proficiency and learn academic subjects taught in English.

English language development (ELD) is embedded in all activities conducted in English throughout the school day, and students receive focused ELD instruction targeted to their specific proficiency level. 

Useful Websites:

  1. The U.S. Department of Education recently released a toolkit for Hispanic families that includes a variety of resources to help students succeed in school. The toolkit was developed with guidance from over 1,800 Hispanic parents at Parent Information and Resource Centers across the country and is available in both English and
  2. The following website contains some simple flashcards that may help with specific content areas - such as social studies and science topics.
  3. The following website provides books online for students, some in different languages.  Children can register for free and use the library to read books right on their computer. 

    The mission of the International Children's Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world's children in becoming effective members of the global community - who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas -- by making the best in children's literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children's books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children.