Six schools in Pierce County were recognized by the state Board of Education for achievements by their English Language Learner (ELL) 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 Tacoma.
Those six are among 42 schools across the state receiving the first ever English Language Acquisition Award.
“Given the increasing number of English language learners entering our schools, it is important to recognize the great work staff are doing in assisting our students toward English language acquisition,” said Gil Mendoza, assistant superintendent in the state education office. “The efforts of the award-winning schools have gone unheralded for years, yet thousands of students from this important group have gone on to be motivated and succeed in school due to their and others’ untiring efforts.”
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.
The state board created the language acquisition award to recognize schools whose ELL students are making the greatest progress toward English proficiency.