District English Language Learners include hispanic and Native American students.

A report on English Language Learners was presented by Curriculum Director Melinda Boyle at the Nov. 27 meeting of the School District 509-J Board of Directors.

In the 509-J District, 710 students are classified as English learners. Those students make up 24 percent of 509-J's enrollment.

Of the 710 total students, 694 receive services as English learners, and 16 waived the services. Those learning English included 415 elementary students, 185 middle school students, and 109 high school students.

Boyle said they are students who are learning English as a second language, with the majority being Hispanic or Native American. There were 486 Native American English learners and 222 Hispanic English learners.

While Hispanic students speak Spanish as their first language, tribal students also struggle with English, Boyle said.

"They have a different dialect of English and need more academic language training," she said, to understand studies and do well in school.

After students in the English Language Learners program leave the program, the school district monitors them for four years (at whatever grade they are in) to see how they are doing in school.

The program appears to be helping. Figures showed 26 percent of English Language Learner students graduated from high school in 2014, and 46 percent graduated in 2016.

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