English Language Learners

Our district offers a Supportive Mainstream model to serve our English Language Learners (ELL). Supportive Mainstream is an alternative instructional program with the following characteristics:

  • Students are in mainstream English speaking classrooms most of the day.
  • Teachers (classroom, instructional specialists and the district ELL instructional specialist) provide supplemental English language support inside or outside of the mainstream classroom.
  • Mainstream and supplemental English instruction is provided using specific strategies to foster English language development and make grade-level content meaningful and accessible.
  • Mainstream content teachers collaborate with specialists to facilitate language support in content classrooms. The goal of the ELL program is to support students in accessing grade level content while increasing language proficiency.

Identifying Students In Need Of ELL Services

Each student enrolling in the Richland School District completes a Home Language Survey (HLS). Any student with a primary language other than English will then complete the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) screener, if the student has not been previously identified in our state. Any student who is not proficient on the WIDA screener is enrolled in the ELL program. Parents/guardians have the right to waive services.

Our Evolving ELL Program

As more students and families in need of English Language Learner services, we are working to improve support for them and their teachers and better structure our program to ensure their success. This includes hiring additional staff, providing additional services and considering new ways to incorporate ELL into our learning community. A committee of staff and community members is studying the feasibility of a dual language program in our schools and other models for ELL instruction. 


Kendra Koopman
ELL Secretary
(509) 967-6056

Heather Tolon
ELL Instructional Specialist 
(509) 967-6094