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Welcome to Sunset's ELL Program!

Sunset's ELL (English Language Learner) program works with students who qualify for language support. The ELL teacher and classroom teachers collaborate to promote language acquisition, as well as grade level content knowledge. Together we work to ensure all ELL students receive the support and instruction they need to succeed. 


ELPA Testing Information

Upcoming ELL Testing        

What:  ELPA21 (English Language Proficiency Test for the 21st Century) 

When: Testing Window between January 31-March 30 

Who: All active ELL students Emerging-Progressing, including Levels 1-3, all waived ELL students, and any Native American students who qualify for extra language support 

What you can expect:  Students will take four test sections: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The test will be entirely online using the same test engine as Smarter Balanced. (There will also be a short paper-and-pencil Writing section for Kinder and Grade 1 students.) Each test section should take an hour or less. Your building’s ELL teachers will proctor the test. See your school’s ELL teacher for more information about when the test will be given at your school.  

Why: The results of this required annual state test will help teachers and parents understand how ELL students are learning English, and what other supports they need. Families will receive a score report after the test is completed.  

To see a Family Guide to ELPA21 (in English and Spanish), click here: 

To see sample test items, use Google Chrome and the following web address: 


ELL Updates

What Every Parent Wants to Know About the Issaquah School District

Come learn more about the Issaquah School District on February 1 at the Issaquah School District Admin Building on February 1 at 6:30pm. Parents and staff will present information about school programs, behavior expectations, grading, assessment, communicating with schools, and other topics regarding education in the Issaquah School District. Interpretation available in Mandarin, Spanish, and Korean. If you need interpretation in another language, please contact Lorna Gilmour by Thursday, January 18 at


Welcome Letter, 2017-2018    

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! My name is Jennifer Pierce and I am the certificated ELL (English Language Learner) teacher at Sunset. Your child qualifies for language support through the ELL program. The goal of our program is to help students develop language proficiency for social and academic purposes by providing support in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Throughout the year I will be collaborating with your child’s classroom teacher to align my instruction with what students are learning in their classroom. This model allows me help students access the grade level information and content needed to be successful in their daily lessons.

The Issaquah School District encourages a push-in model for all ELL instruction at the elementary level. This means that I will not be pulling your child out of their classrooms for ELL instruction. Instead, the ELL para-educator or I will be working with your child several times a week in their classroom to ensure that they do not miss out on anything in their homeroom. We will focus on the skills needed based on each child’s English proficiency level.

In early spring, students will take the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) assessment. This assessment is aligned with Common Core State Standards and will assess the language demands in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. All students who participate in the ELL program will take this test.

I will be at Sunset on Tuesdays, Wednesdays (until noon), and Thursdays. During the school day I am often away from my desk working with students, so email is the easiest way to get in touch with me. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about the ELL program. I am very excited to work with your child this year!

ELPA21 Test Score Information

If your child took the ELPA21 assessment last spring (2017), scores are now available in Family Access. To access these scores, log onto family access and click “test scores” on the left side of the screen. You will see a Proficiency Level and scores on a scale of 1-5 for Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. Students with a proficiency level of Emerging or Progressing will continue to receive ELL support at school. Students who are Proficient will not receive active ELL support, but will be monitored and will receive support if needed.

If your child is new to Sunset, they took a placement test based on information you provided on the Home Language Survey form that was completed during enrollment. You should have received (or will be receiving soon) a letter from the district with information about your child’s ELL level.

Test scores from the 2018 ELPA will be available this summer.