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English Learners

Ottawa Area ISD English Learner Resources

Please regularly visit School Improvement Timeline for current information, resources, and professional development opportunities to support all aspects of your English Learner (EL) Programs.  

TITLE III EL Consortium membership

Title III EL funding is supplemental federal funding based upon the number of English Learners enrolled in a district.

To receive Title III EL funds, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) must reach a minimum allocation of $10,000 or join a consortium. Title III immigrant funds are managed locally without a consortium regardless of the allocation amount.

Public school districts and academies in the region with Title III allocations less than $10,000 are invited to join one of our three consortiums in order to access funds:

  • Kent ISD: Serving LEAs in Kent ISD, managed by Casey Gordon & the Kent ISD business office
  • Ottawa Area ISD: Serving LEAs in OAISD & AAESA
  • Muskegon Area ISD: Serving LEAs in MAISD, managed by Rachel Zorn 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered an English Learner?

  • Students aged 3–21 who meet Michigan Department of Education's (MDE’s) English learner Entrance Protocol which can be found at English learner (EL) Resources.
  • Upon first enrollment in any Michigan public school, a Home Language Survey (HLS) must be completed asking (1) the student’s native language and (2) the primary language used in the home.  If a language other than English is indicated for either or both questions, schools must then evaluate English language proficiency.
  • LEAs administer the Kindergarten W-APT or Grades 1-12 WIDA Screener and use that score, in conjunction with grade-level reading and writing data, to determine if the student should be identified as EL [currently called EL or LEP (Limited English Proficient) in our student management systems and Michigan Student Data System (MSDS)]. Students may already be identified as EL (LEP) in MSDS because they were identified in a previous district. In this case, they should have WIDA Access, WIDA Screener, and/or W-APT testing history in the Secure Site, OEAA.  
  • ELs are annually assessed with the WIDA Access or WIDA Alternate Access assessment to measure English proficiency.  
  • ELs are exited from the EL Program when they meet the MDE exit criteria found in the MDE Entrance and Exit Protocol at English Learner (EL) Resources.

What EL Program model is right for us?

Where can EL educators find additional resources and professional development?

  • We have a strong network of incredible EL educators in the region!  
  • Please visit School Improvement Timeline to access instructional resources, links to register for regional and statewide EL professional development, and up-to-date information.
  • We would also specifically invite you to consider joining “EL Connect,” a dynamic group of EL educators that come together throughout the year to learn with and from each other.  

What community resources are available to support multilingual and multicultural families in the region?

  • This  EL Family & Community Engagement Google Folder includes local information regarding:
    • Adult ESL and education options
    • Immigrant services
    • Translation and cultural services
    • Early childhood services
    • Multilingual content
  • Additionally, the Refugee Education Center has partnered with OAISD and the Holland Zeeland Community Foundation to provide services to secondary refugee students and their families.  Contact Hannah Werth  

If an LEA does not accept Title III funds, are services for English Learners still required?

What services does Lori provide to our local district?

  • Lori supports all aspects of EL Programs in the region.  Please email her for individualized support including, but not limited to:
    • Technical Assistance:
      • Identifying English Learners, Immigrant students, & Migrant students
      • Understanding how to layer funds for ELs: General fund obligations, Title I, 31a, Section 41, Title III EL, Title III Immigrant, Title I Part C
      • Assessment & Accountability: W-APT, WIDA Screener, WIDA Access, supports and accommodations on State assessments
      • Understanding legal obligations
      • MMC, Personal Curriculum, WL Credit & Graduation Plans for ELs
      • Michigan Seal of Biliteracy 
      • Read by Grade 3 & ELs
    • Adaptive Program Support:
      • Program development, design, & evaluation
      • Instructional resources & strategies
      • Staffing and scheduling
      • Professional development
      • Coaching
      • SPED/ EL considerations
      • EL data analysis & planning
      • Early Childhood/ EL considerations
      • Community partnerships
      • EL considerations for dual language & immersion programs