English as a Second Language (ESL)

The purpose of this program is to develop and strengthen the students’ understanding, speaking, reading, and writing of academic English. Instruction and support is provided both within the context of the regular classroom and in a pull-out setting such as in the EL room. In addition, students may receive instruction and support in math, science, and social studies.

River Rouge School District ESL Program

Michigan English Language Proficiency

Based on enrollment information, your student is eligible for services that support classroom instruction and provide additional opportunities for your student’s academic growth and language proficiency. 

While the rate of English language development varies widely from student to student, many students exit the English Language program in 3-7 years. It can take 1-3 years for students to develop everyday English and 5-7 years to develop academic and content English. All English learners must have access to content/academic instruction, with modification and supports as necessary to ensure that the students will be successful academically and be prepared for grade promotion and graduation. Our goal is to provide inclusive services for all English learners. 

WIDA Access

The WIDA Access assessment is given to students in February/March.  

To find out more information, please visit the  WIDA website.

WIDA Screener

The WIDA Screener is given to students that report a language other than English on the Home Language Survey at the time of registration.   The level of services provided to each student is based on the proficiency level of the WIDA Screener. 

Please visit the  WIDA website for more information on the WIDA Screener.

WIDA APT Screener for Kindergarteners and First Grade

The WIDA APT Screener is given to Kindergarten and First Grade students that report a language other than English on the Home Language Survey at the time of registration.  

The level of services provided to each student is based on the proficiency level of the WIDA APT Screener.

How is an English Learner exited from English Language Learner (ELL) programs and services?

When a student demonstrates proficiency on the State language assessment as well as in grade level content, the student will be considered English proficient. The student’s progress in English and the content areas will be monitored for four years to ensure that the student is maintaining English proficiency.  Following this monitoring period, the student is then formally exited from the English Language Learner programs and services.  Should the student need support with English skills at any time during the monitoring or exited time, the student can again receive ELL programs and services.

What rights do parents have?

Parents have the right to decline participation in an English Language Learner programs and services. Should parents wish to refuse ELL programs and services, a refusal process is followed.  Refusals can be renewed each school year.  A parent may also choose, at any point, to cancel the refusal status and elect to receive ELL programs and services.

While on a refusal status, a student will still be considered an English learner and progress will be monitored.  As a requirement of state and federal law, River Rouge Schools is required to assess all English learners, including students on refusals using the annual state English language proficiency assessment.

For more information on the WIDA APT Screener, please visit the  WIDA website.

Translation and Interpretation Services

Over-the-Phone Interpreting

Advantages of Over-the-Phone Interpreting (OPI)

  • It empowers you to speak any language in a matter of seconds.
  • It immediately connects you to trained interpreters of more than 250 languages.
  • It allows a direct contact between you and your families.
  • There is no need to submit a formal request to Language Services.

OPI is Effective in the Following School Settings

  • For quick interactions with students and families (less than 30 minutes)
  • Emergencies, such as an ill or injured student, etc.
  • Interpretation when parents visit or call
  • Scheduling conferences/meetings
  • Reminder calls
  • Phone calls
  • Meetings when a face-to-face interpreter is not available

Working With an OPI Interpreter

The role of the interpreter is to communicate from source language to target language accurately and completely. Interpreters are not facilitators or advocates.

Tips for Working Effectively With an OPI Interpreter

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Brief the interpreter so that he or she has an understanding of what the session entails.
  • Speak directly to the student/parent.
  • Pause after every one or two sentences.
  • Ask if the student/parent understands.
  • Do not use acronyms or technical terms.
  • Clarify unique vocabulary, and provide examples if they are needed to explain a term.
  • To ensure accuracy, your interpreter may sometimes ask for clarification or repetition.

Over the Phone Language Support

  • Language Line –   1.800.514-9237 Clericals and administrators at the school level are authorized to access the code. 
  • Language Line is available in over 50 languages. 
  • If you do not have the language support contact Dr. Williams at 313-203.1542 or e-mail  teressa.williams@riverrougeschools.org
  • 24-hour service

On-Site Interpretation and Translation options via e-mail: 

  • Contact Dr. Teressa Williams at  313-203-1542
  • Oral Interpretations must be requested 5 to 7 days in advance.
  • Document translations must be requested within 7 to 10 days for services to be rendered. 
  • Missed appointments with Onsite Interpreter cost $100.00

EMERGENCY INTERPRETATIONS AND TRANSLATION REQUEST (i.e. health, safety) text EMERGENCIA to Dr. Teressa Williams at  313.283.1257.

ESL Resources

Each item listed below is a clickable link.

 Michigan Department of Education English Learner Resources

 Michigan Seal of Biliteracy

Curriculum Leadership

Nichole German
Chief Academic Officer
Alisha Jones
Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator