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North Kitsap School District

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Multilingual Learner Program

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The North Kitsap School District Multilingual Learning Program is designed to help eligible Multilingual Learners  improve their English language proficiency and achieve academic and social success within North Kitsap Schools.

What is the Multilingual Learner Program?

The Multilingual Program is a federally funded initiative for students whose native language is not English. Approximately 5% of the NKSD student population qualifies for Multilingual services. Around 71% of our Multilingual students speak Spanish as their first language, while others speak languages such as Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Armenian, Chinese, French, Italian, Polish, Albanian, Bulgarian, Farsi, Norwegian, Russian, Indonesian, Tongan, Thai, and Twi. We aim to foster respect and appreciation for diverse languages and cultures.

It typically takes 3 to 7 years for a student new to the country, with strong academic backgrounds and no English language skills, to become proficient in English and reach grade level. Students who begin in kindergarten tend to make faster language progress than those who enroll in 5th grade or higher. This is partly due to the increased demand for academic skills and language at higher grade levels. Even when a student appears to have age-appropriate oral language skills, they may still be two or more grade levels behind in reading, writing, and other subjects, as these skills require more time to develop.

Who is eligible for Multilingual services?

Students enrolling in the North Kitsap School District, whose first learned language is not English, are administered the WIDA screener to determine eligibility for the Multilingual program. This placement test must be given within ten days of the student's entry into the district.

Eligibility for English Language Development (ELD) services depends on a student's domain scores and overall score on the WIDA Screener assessment. To be considered ineligible for services, students must meet the minimum score in all four domains and achieve the overall composite score. If a student qualifies for a domain exemption and meets all other criteria for ineligibility, please contact OSPI for guidance.

Grade Level Minimum Domain Score Minimum Composite Score
 Kindergarten (through December 31)  5 (listening and speaking)     5 (oral language) 
 Kindergarten (beginning January 1) and Grade 1      4 (all domains)   4.5 (overall)
 Grades 2 through 12  4 (all domains) 
 5 (overall)

*Under federal guidelines, parents must be informed of student placement in a language program within 30 days of placement.

Multilingual Instructional Models

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Related Policies and Procedures

Contact Us

Teaching & Learning Department
18360 Caldart Ave NE
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Fax (360) 396-3934

Gwen Lyon
Executive Director of Teaching & Learning
(360) 396-3021

Valerie Anderson
Assistant Director of State & Federal Funding
(360) 396-3017

Joaly Ray
Program Coordinator
(360) 396-3095
Locations: NKSD South - Poulsbo Elementary, Hilder Pearson Elementary, Vinland Elementary, Poulsbo Middle School, and North Kitsap High School 

Hortensia West
Program Coordinator
(360) 396-3096
Locations: NKSD North - Suquamish Elementary, David Wolfle Elementary, Richard Gordon Elementary, Kingston Middle School, Choice Academy/NKOA, Kingston High School

Alexis Wendt
Teaching & Learning Secretary
(360) 396-3561