English Learner (EL)

6 Characters saying hello in different languages

English Learners in NUSD

NUSD currently serves over 15,000 students Pre-K through age 22 (including charter schools). Approximately 15% of Natomas’ students are English Learners, with 2,000 students speaking 49 different languages. More than half of all students in NUSD, including the independent charters, receive Free and Reduced Lunch. Natomas serves nearly 800 homeless families, 1,500 students in special education; and provides mental health services to nearly 10% of the students. Approximately 80 students live in foster care. Just under 62% of the district’s students fall into one or more of the three “high needs” categories: low-income, English Learners, or foster students – criteria identified as a priority in the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

The largest language of ELs spoken is Spanish at just over 50%.  Additionally, the most common languages spoken by EL families are:

  • Punjabi 10%
  • Urdu 5%
  • Hindi 3.5%
  • Russian 3%
  • Tagalog 2.5%
  • Arabic 2%
  • Vietnamese 2%
  • Mandarin and Cantonese 1.5%

There are few newcomers averaging under 6% while Long-Term English Learners (LTELs) average approximately 13%.
8.5% of our ELs are also students with an individualized education plan (IEPs). Approximately 45 ELs a year are in foster care and/or homeless.

English Language Development poster

NUSD English Learners Excel on New State Exam

Natomas Unified’s English Learners are outperforming their peers statewide and countywide – by large margins – in proficiency at reading, writing, speaking and understanding English, according to state data released on October 26, 2018.

The test results, from California’s first-ever English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), indicate that NUSD’s focus on enhancing English Learner proficiency in recent years through strong staff and multiple actions is paying off.

More than seven of every 10 NUSD English Learners passed the state exam, requiring display of well-developed or moderate English skills. NUSD’s passage rate of 71.49% was 6.5 percentage points higher than the state average and 10 points higher than Sacramento County’s average.

For English Learners, gaining proficiency is a big step toward college and career readiness because it enables access to courses required for college admission and beneficial to future success. The ELPAC results are consistent with NUSD’s emphasis on college and career readiness.

Among major Sacramento County school districts, NUSD scored 3.5 percentage points higher than the next closest, 11.7 points above the next, about 16 points higher than the next two districts, and 24 points higher than the final large district.

Nearly 1,600 NUSD English Learners at all grade levels and all schools took the ELPAC exam last spring.

Because the newly released results reflect the first time ELPAC was given statewide – it replaced the California English Language Development Test – no previous results are available to assess year-to-year growth.

English Learner Master Plan

NUSD has utilized classroom walks, parent and staff input through surveys, meetings and focus groups, collaboration with EL experts in the field, research on best practices and recommendations and data analysis to develop a comprehensive English Learner Master Plan. This plan enables us to provide a comprehensive approach for access to high quality, appropriate services and supports to our English Learners as well as providing staff resources, tools and supports to enhance staff knowledge and practices of effective EL instruction.

The Natomas Unified English Learner Master Plan will provide a strong foundation for truly acknowledging that our diversity is a strength, every student can and will succeed, and that staff must be committed, collaborative, caring and exemplary. This foundation will be built by providing a district expectation of high-quality instruction and services for our English Learners based on achievement. We will also celebrate and recognize achievement through opportunities such as the State Seal of Biliteracy

Please click here to open the English Learner Master Plan. English Learner Master Plan is currently in revision for the 2018-19 school year.

DELAC: District English Learner Advisory Committee

Natomas Unified School District’s DELAC Bylaws.

2019-2020 Meetings and Events
9/26/19 5:30-7:00 p.m. DELAC Meeting #1
11/21/19 5:30-7:00 p.m. DELAC Meeting #2
2/20/20 5:30-7:00 p.m. DELAC Meeting #3
4/23/20 5:30-7:00 p.m. DELAC Meeting #4

For more information including meeting agendas, please visit the DELAC web page.

EL Supports at School Sites

Site EL Population (as of 10/2018) EL Support – Who to Contact
American Lakes School 98 = 16% Tom Dickinson
Bannon Creek School 77 = 14% Alana Cayabyab
Discovery High School 13 = 11% Keven MacDonald
H. Allen Hight 110 = 16% Jason Manviller
Heron School 64 = 6% Amy Whitten
Inderkum High School 128 = 19% Dan Motherspaw
Jefferson School 128 = 19% Danisha Keeler
Leroy Greene Academy 64 = 8% Scott Fitzgerald
Natomas High School 135 = 14% Scott Pitts
Natomas Middle School 99 = 13% Marcel Baker
Natomas Park Elementary 127 = 15% Nou Vang
Paso Verde 44 = 9% Anna Jacob and Tonja Jarrell
Two Rivers Elementary 58 = 9% Colleen Perry
Witter Ranch Elementary 90 = 13% Patrick Birdsong

State Seal of Biliteracy

Purpose of the State Seal of Biliteracy (from California Department of Education)

The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) was established to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. The purposes of the SSB are to encourage pupils to study languages, to certify attainment of biliteracy, to provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills, to provide universities with a method to recognize and give academic credit to applicants seeking admission, to prepare pupils with 21st century skills, to recognize and promote foreign language instruction in public schools, and to strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community (California Education Code [EC] Section 51460.)

SSB Requirements
A student who graduates from high school must have achieved a high level of literacy and fluency in one or more language(s) in addition to English to be awarded the SSB.

The student must demonstrate:

1) Completion of all English language arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 in those classes.

2) Passage of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) for English language arts or any successor test, administered in grade eleven, at or above the “standard met” achievement level, or at the achievement level determined by the Superintendent for any successor test.

3) Proficiency in one or more languages, other than English, demonstrated through one of the following methods:

Passage of a foreign language Advanced Placement (AP) examination with a score of 3 or higher, or an International Baccalaureate (IB) examination with a score of 4 or more.

Successful completion of a four-year high school course of study in a foreign language, attaining an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher in that course of study, and demonstration of oral proficiency in the language comparable to that required to pass an AP or IB examination.

Passage of a district test with a score of proficient or higher (if no AP examination or off the shelf language tests exists and the school district can certify that the test meets the level of an AP exam), demonstrating proficiency in all of the modes of communication (reading, writing, and speaking) that characterize communication in the language.

Passage of the SAT II foreign language examination with a score of 600 or higher.

In addition to the requirements mentioned above, if the primary language of a pupil is other than English, he/she or she shall demonstrate English proficiency on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), or any successor English language proficiency assessment, in transition kindergarten, kindergarten, or any of grades one to twelve, inclusive (EC Section 51461).

For questions regarding English Learner Services, please contact the Office of the Chief Academic Officer at (916) 473-0040.