English Learner (EL)

English Learner Program

The Minnetonka School District offers an educational program to meet the needs of students who are English Language Learners in grades K-12. This program addresses two areas: language acquisition and cultural adjustment.

The English Learner (EL) program may sometimes be referred to as the English Learner Program or English as a Second Language Program. Language is an essential tool for communication and the fulfillment of academic and personal needs. The staff of the EL department fosters meaningful understanding of American English and respect for all languages and cultures by facilitating classroom and personal success.

Our goal is to provide appropriate learning experiences for every EL student with consideration given to each student’s first language levels, English abilities in academic and social contexts, and school readiness.

Minnetonka EL at a Glance

  • Approximately 180 students district wide (100 elementary, 80 secondary).
  • Students come from homes that speak more than 40 different languages.
  • The top languages other than English in Minnetonka include: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Somali, Cambodian (Khmer) and Arabic.

EL Resources

Entrance and Exit Criteria

With the introduction of ESSA, there are now statewide standardized entrance and exit criteria for all EL programs. View the identification, entrance and exit procedures from MDE. Also view the MDE exit manual.

English Development Standards

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) adopted the WIDA English Language Development standards in 2011. They focus on social and academic language that takes place in classrooms and beyond. View MDE's English language development standards.

Assessments

The EL programs use assessments focused on language proficiency. Some of the standardized assessments for entrance, exit, and program accountability are listed here. View WIDA's ACCESS 2.0 assessment. View the WIDA screener assessment. View the WIDA Measure of Developing English Language (MODEL).

Academic Language

Our EL team focuses on the importance of academic language and how we use language to empower students for success. View WIDA's academic language standards.

English Proficiency Levels

We describe EL levels on a continuum from 1 (Entering) to 6 (Reaching). EL and other linguistically and culturally diverse learners, bring a unique set of assets that often enrich the experiences of all. Our approach is positive and focuses on what EL students can do with language as they are developing their skills. View WIDA's Can Do Descriptors. View WIDA's Performance Definitions.

Parent Notification

Parents are notified by mail of student entrance to the EL program. They are also notified by mail annually for continuation of services or program exit. MDE's Initial Placement Parental Notification procedures can be found on page four of its EL Procedures manual.

Additional Resources

Below are some additional resources families may find useful:


Contact

Christine Breen
Director of Student Support Services
christine.breen@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5036

EL Teachers

Chelsea Jordan (Department Chair)
Clear Springs Elementary
chelsea.jordan@minnetonkaschools.org
95-401-6946

Maura Devanie
Deephaven Elementary
maura.devanie@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-6900

Kristyn Roman
Deephaven Elementary and MHS
kristyn.roman@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-6900

Jayna Rafferty
Excelsior Elementary
jayna.rafferty@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5642

Barb Kalczynski
Groveland Elementary and MME
barbara.kalczynski@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5229

Kari Binning
Minnewashta Elementary and MMW
kari.binning@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5292

Tatyana Fridman
Scenic Heights Elementary
tatyana.fridman@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5449

Heather Daldoul
Minnetonka High School
heather.daldoul@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5700

District Paraprofessionals

Mandi Berndt
mandi.berndt@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5700

Debra Black
debra.black@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-5650

Tami Braiedy
tami.braiedy@minnetonkaschools.org
952-401-6950