English Language Learners (ELL)


The Wausau School District’s ELL Program facilitates the acquisition of English by Limited English Proficient Students in a natural, effective manner while acquiring content area knowledge as well as acclimation and acculturation skills enabling them to become self-sufficient, responsible citizens. 


FAMILY INVOLVEMENT – We believe that ELL students:

  • have families that are in integral part of the educational process
  • should have district support in promoting family involvement.

CULTURE/LANGUAGE - We believe that ELL students:

  • should be supported and encouraged in their native language and culture
  • must be culturally understood by teachers, fellow students, and community
  • should have their culture represented in all curriculum areas.

EDUCATORS - We believe that ELL students:

  • have a right to professional educational services from qualified, caring, and accessible ESL staff
  • have the right to culturally sensitive school personnel.

SELF ESTEEM - We believe that ELL students:

  • need positive role models
  • should be recognized as individuals
  • should be provided acceptance and pride in their differences
  • can learn
  • should recognize and promote their own gender equity.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT - We believe that ELL students:

  • should have a safe physical and emotional learning environment
  • should have a person and place where they feel free to experiment with the language and having their needs met
  • should not be isolated totally from their English speaking peer
  • should be provided with an appropriate sized classroom and class.

CURRICULUM / INSTRUCTION - We believe that ELL students:

  • learn at their own pace
  • need realistic approaches
  • need age appropriate language.
  • need a variety of methodology of instruction.
  • can learn.
  • need to learn the four basic skills of English so they.
  • can be successful lifelong learners.
  • have a need and a right to be taught curriculum that is meaningful, comprehensible, and developmentally appropriate.
  • need to be provided the experiences necessary to develop background knowledge to be successful learners and citizen in BOTH cultures.
  • learn just as any other students do with wide ranges in abilities and/or disabilities.
  • they should be taught using developmentally appropriate materials.
  • learn best in a challenging yet non-threatening environment where experiential, whole language methods are used for authentic purposes.            

The Wausau School District has one Early Childhood Center, 13 Elementary Schools, two Middle Schools and two High Schools. Five teachers are at the A.C. Kiefer Early Childhood Center conducting morning and afternoon classes five times a week. At the Elementary level there are 178 ELL Certified, ELL Kindergarten or ELL/Mainstream teachers. Middle School has 11 ELL Certified or ELL/Mainstream Teachers and at the High School level there are 11 ELL Certified or ELL/Mainstream teachers.  The WSD has a Newcomer Center at the elementary, middle and high school level with 2 ELL Certified Teachers and bilingual aide support.