English Language Learners

Curriculum – ELL Facilitator

Contact Information

Emily Gotto, ELL Facilitator
Address:  2500 Edgewood Road NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
Phone: 319-558-3498  
Email: egotto@cr.k12.ia.us

English Language Learner (ELL) Program


The Cedar Rapids Community School District ELL Program serves approximately 650 students in grades K-12 from more than 45 countries.  These students speak over 40 different languages.  The ELL program began in Cedar Rapids in 1979. 

The ELL program currently has five elementary, two middle school and two high school sites.  Students living outside the attendance area of these sites are bussed to the closest building with the program. 


  • Cleveland Elementary
  • Hiawatha Elementary
  • Hoover Elementary
  • Kenwood Elementary
  • Van Buren Elementary
  • Harding Middle School
  • Roosevelt Middle School
  • Jefferson High School
  • Kennedy High School

Elementary sites use the Pullout model for ELL services; middle and high schools use Content Based ELL programming.  At all ELL sites, students are grouped according to both grade and language proficiency levels.  Students receive ELL services daily from an endorsed ELL teacher.

The TELPA (Tennessee English Language Proficiency Assessment) is the screening tool used to measure English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.  Students who score Non-Proficient or Limited Proficient qualify for English language development services.  

The CRCSD ELL Program uses the following curriculums:

  • Elementary - Treasure Chest, by Macmillan/McGraw Hill
  • Middle School – INSIDE, by National Geographic/Cengage
  • High School – EDGE, by National Geographic/Cengage

All three curriculums are comprehensive literacy programs that focus on the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing in English. 

As ELL students make gains in language proficiency, they are expected to attempt more and more academic assignments.  They are encouraged to work in what Vygotsky (1983) calls their “zone of proximal development” -- just beyond their current language capabilities -- and participate in all cooperative-learning situations.  Classroom teachers modify assignments and differentiate instruction to accommodate those ELL students who have not yet achieved full proficiency in English.  The ELL teacher and the classroom teacher work as a team in order to support the English language development of each student.

 Extra support (additional elementary ELL group time; RTI or Extended Learning classes at the secondary level) is offered to students who are brand new to English.  These students may receive ELL services twice a day.  Intermediate and advanced ELL students receive at least one 30-40 minute elementary group time, or at least one ELL class in middle school/high school. 

In our efforts toward continuous improvement, CRCSD acknowledges the research on academic success for ELL students learning in co-taught classrooms (content area teacher along with ELL teacher). Current middle and high school classes include:  co-taught math, co-taught LA, co-taught US History.