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English Language Development

Durango School District 9-R ELD Program Overview
The essential role of a culturally and linguistically responsive English language development (ELD) program is to support students’ learning by helping them build bridges between what they already know and what they still need to learn.  Our ELD instructional program builds on students’ diverse cultural strengths and background knowledge and leverages students’ home language(s) as an asset for learning. 
While we build on students’ multilingual assets, our instructional program is considered an “All-English” program.  Direct English language and literacy instruction is provided by certified ELD staff.  All eligible students receive daily literacy-based ELD instruction grounded in rich and meaningful language and text from across the content areas.  Our ELD programs are interactive and develop students’ proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing simultaneously.  ELD teachers use data to tailor instruction and set/monitor goals.  
In addition to daily direct ELD instruction, all educators in Durango School District 9-R provide English learners with language development support and create ample opportunities for students to expand their language skills throughout the school day. 
As a school district, we value the role multilingual and multicultural families play in their child’s education.  We recognize how important it is for parents to continue using their primary language(s) at home to help students continue to develop language and literacy skills and background knowledge.  We strive to partner with families as we collaboratively support their child’s academic growth and success.
Identification Process:
If a student uses language(s) other than English in their home and community, we administer an English language proficiency screener when they enroll in Durango 9-R.  We use the W-APT as the screener for kindergarteners and WIDA Screener for 1st-12th grade students.  These assessments are used to determine a student’s English proficiency level in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Based on the screening assessment, a student may qualify for and receive daily English language development (ELD) instruction from a teacher certified to teach English to multilingual learners.
For questions about eligibility for the district ELD program, please contact Kira Cunningham at 406-285-1630 (se habla español).  
During the months of January and February, all English language learners take a state assessment called ACCESS for ELLs®.  ACCESS is a English language proficiency test which allows us to monitor students’ English language acquisition progress on an annual basis.  
Each spring, parents receive a Parent/Guardian Report which shows their child’s results on ACCESS including their English language proficiency level and areas of strength.  At the school and district level we use ACCESS information for staffing and program decisions and to help provide the best ELD services for each student. 
For questions about ACCESS testing, please contact Kira Cunningham at 406-285-1630 (se habla español).   

ELD Staff:


Kelly von Stroh

    Animas Valley Elementary School

Katie Sands

    Florida Mesa Elementary School

Mandy McKown

    Needham Elementary School

Sue Krichman, Amanda Cricco

    Park Elementary School

Darren Cioppa

    Riverview Elementary School

Marci Bastin

    Sunnyside Elementary School

Michelle Fletcher, Paul Hoffman

    Escalante Middle School

Madeline O'Meara

    Miller Middle School

Liz Dillman

    Durango High School

Kira Cunningham

    District English Language Development Specialist