• Identify effective systems/programs/practices for serving the needs of secondary English Language Learners (ELL) Newcomers with a specific focus on students with interrupted formal education drawing on research and best practices in other school systems.
  • Recommend changes to improve BPS ELL newcomer program services for the 2015-16 school year and beyond.
  • Create an input and communication plan that involves impacted stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Significant increase in BPS of secondary ELL newcomers with interrupted formal education. Current systems are not meeting the needs effectively.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Advisory to the Director of Teaching and Learning in charge of ELL program administration

Plan of Work:

  • Establish purpose and norms.
  • Ground the scope of the committee’s work within the parameters of federal law, state (WAC/RCW) and OSPI ELL program guidance.
  • Conduct research on best practices for secondary ELL Newcomers, drawing on both written publications and the knowledge and experience of expert practitioners who are involved with successful Newcomer programs.
  • Determine how best to apply what we learn within our specific context in Bellingham.
  • Make recommendations for improvements to the secondary ELL Newcomer Program.


  • Amy Carder, Director of Teaching and Learning
  • Steve Clarke, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
  • Jeff Vaughn, Principal Bellingham High School
  • Phyllis Textor, Principal Sehome High School
  • Nikki McFarland, Assistant Principal Squalicum High School
  • Byron Gerard, Principal Options High School
  • Larisa Shuvalova, ELL Specialists BHS and KMS
  • Isabel Meaker, Special Asst. to the Supt. on Family Engagement


  • Attend monthly meetings
  • Engage in additional readings and tasks outside of meeting times as necessary/appropriate


  • February 2015 through June 2015. At the end of the 2014-15 school year, the team will determine whether this work group needs to continue.

Budget Implications:

  • Unknown. The recommendations may involve small changes that require reorganization of existing ELL funds, or they may involve broader changes that require additional budget for transportation, staffing, materials, etc.