1702 N. Main St.
Davenport, IA

ESL Program

ESL Sites

Over 400 students receive ESL services in the Davenport Community School District.  ESL services are provided in each building within the district and with Newcomer Programs at 

  • Intermediate School, 6th-8th Grade:  Williams, serving all intermediate schools in the district, 3040 N. Division St.; 563-445-5250
  • High School, 9th-12th Grade:  West, serving all high schools in the district, 3505 W. Locust St.; 563-723-5600
  • Elementary School, K-5th Grade:  TBD 

ESL Services

English as a Second Language (ESL) is an instructional approach for developing the language proficiency of English Learners (ELs) for both social and academic communication.  The goal of the ESL Program is to provide the language support needed for ELs to engage meaningfully with classroom instruction in all content areas, attain grade-level competencies, and meet challenging state academic standards.  

This support is provided by:

  1. EL teachers during a sheltered instruction period where instruction is focused on ELs’ ability to listen, speak, read, and write in English along with academic content,
  2. EL teachers providing additional language instruction and/or academic support to small groups or individual students within the regular classroom, or
  3. Regular classroom teachers using strategies to help teach concepts and academic vocabulary.
Newcomer ESL Program ESL Program
The Newcomer ESL Program is recommended for non-English proficient and limited-English proficient ELs.  The main goals of this program is to:

  • Help students acquire beginning English skills
  • Provide some instruction in core content areas and support in other areas (i.e., art, music, PE)
  • Guide students’ acculturation to the U.S school system

The decision to exit a student from the Newcomer ESL Program is determined by several factors:  the student’s level of language proficiency, performance in class, and teacher recommendations.   A student can remain in the program up to one year (two semesters) from his/her arrival date if needed.  Some students may exit after one semester if the exit criteria are met.

NOTE:  It is not expected that ELs are proficient in English before they leave the Newcomer Program.

The ESL Program is an English language-acquisition program where students receive support in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing.  The major goal of the ESL Program is to acquire the English language skills of ELs needed to meet academic standards and graduate through:

  • Continuing ELs English language development with an end goal of developing proficiency in English
  • Providing support so ELs are successful in all academic subjects
  • Encouraging, when able, to use ELs first language as a support factor in their instruction.


The decision to exit a student from the ESL Program is based on the student’s proficiency level on the state assessment, English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21).  This assessment is administered to all ELs in grades K-12.

NOTE:  ELs who have been exited are monitored for at least two years to ensure their continued language development and success in general education classes. 


Process to Identify English Language Learners

  1. All families with children enrolled in the Davenport Community School District must complete a Home Language Survey (HLS).
  2. Based on the answers to the HLS, an ESL Coach may administer the ELPA21 Dynamic Screener to assess your child’s English proficiency in listening, reading, speaking and writing.  NOTE:  A child who can understand and respond orally in English in a conversation may not be proficient enough in English to read and understand the academic content material in science, math, social studies and language arts.  However, there may be students who are truly bilingual and not need to be screened for ESL services.
  3. The results of the ELPA21 determine the best ESL Program for your child:  Newcomer ESL Program or ESL Program.  The goal of these programs is to help your child learn the English Language skills he/she needs to succeed socially and academically in the regular classroom.

Transportation to Newcomer ESL Programs

All students who ride the bus must follow district guidelines for appropriate behavior.  ELs who are assigned to a Newcomer ESL Program, where the program site is not the home school, the district provides bussing at no charge. 

Once a student exits the Newcomer ESL Program, the parents have the option to have their student return to the home school or continue at the Newcomer ESL Program site with bussing provided by the district.   When a student transitions to the next level, Elementary to Intermediate or Intermediate to High School, the student is expected to return to the home school.  At this time, a parent may request a Building Transfer to attend another school other than the home school.

Cultural Liaisons

Cultural Liaisons serve as a bridge between the schools and ELL families.  They spend time at each building every week providing translations and supports for families and students. Their office is located at the Achievement Service Center (ASC), 1702 N Main Street, Davenport, IA  52803:

  • Sarahy Arriaga de Castro, Hispanic Cultural Liaison (office) 563-336-7532, (cell) 563-726-2665
  • Lily Nguyen, Vietnamese Cultural Liaison (office) 563-336-7533, (cell) 563-340-1494


If you need assistance with translations, please contact Amy Hassig, ESL Secretary, at 563-336-7461.

For More Information

Please feel free to contact a Cultural Liaison, an EL teacher, or Dawn Anderson Rascher, Program Director of ESL at 563-336-7471