The ELL (English Language Learners) program is a sequential program of courses to teach students the English language. This includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students use literature at grade-appropriate levels to learn English along with direct instruction in grammar and the structure of language. The objective of the ELL program is to provide English language learners with instruction and support that will enable them to be successful in mainstream English and content classes.
Upper School international students take a test to determine their beginning placement in ELL I, II, III, IV, or mainstream English, and then they usually advance one level per year. Students in ELL English classes take mainstream math and elective classes. They may take either mainstream or sheltered history and science classes depending on their skill level and teacher recommendations. Students satisfy the English graduation requirement by completing four years of English including ELL IV or English 12. ELL students are also required to complete a course in communications (during their ELL III or ELL IV year) in order to graduate. Students seeking an International diploma may earn it by advancing as far as ELL III.
Middle School international students also take a placement test to determine their English proficiency. However, they take mainstream English, history, science, math, and elective classes. In addition, they may take either another language or English tutoring classes depending on their English level. ELL support is provided by in-class supports and tutorial supports as needed.