English Language Learners population growing

District has four full-time teachers in place

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— The growth of the Steamboat Springs School District's English as a Second Language Program has the attention of administrators.

"The way our numbers are increasing, we have to talk about how our schools are changing," said Kelly Stanford, the district's director of curriculum and instruction.

Stanford gave a short presentation to Steamboat Springs School Board members during Monday's meeting, telling them there are nearly 100 English Language Learners who receive student services through the district's ESL program.

When Superintendent Donna Howell accepted her job four years ago, there were 12 ELL students and the district was beginning to explore its options regarding ESL services, she said.

This year, the district has four full-time teachers for the first time, giving Soda Creek Elementary, Strawberry Park Elementary, the Steamboat Springs Middle School and the Steamboat Springs High School its own ELL teacher.

"We have expanded services to meet the needs of students," Howell said. "By all accounts, it is going very well."

Soda Creek has 31 ELL students as of Oct. 2, which is the largest number among district schools. Strawberry Park, which had been sending most of its ELL students to Soda Creek in recent years, has 27 ELL students.

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