Six schools in Pierce County were recognized by the state Board of Education for achievements by their English Language Learner students.
They are Central Avenue, Christensen and Elmhurst elementary schools in the Franklin Pierce School District, and Northeast Tacoma, Point Defiance and Sheridan elementary schools in the Tacoma School District.
The six are among 42 schools across the state receiving the first-ever English Language Acquisition Award.
ELL students are the fastest-growing subgroup of Washington students, according to state officials. The number of ELL kids increased 30 percent between 2005 and 2013. Last year, 187 languages were spoken by Washington students.