English Language Learning

Sycamore Community School District 427 offers an English Language Learning (ELL) program that enhances the classroom experience for our students. We value the native language, culture, and background knowledge of each of our students. The ELL staff utilizes this information along with a strong family connection to accelerate the acquisition of linguistic, academic, and social skills. Our continued goal is to transition our students from the ELL program into general education classes with high levels of academic success.

Screening Assessment

When students first register for school, each family completes a Home Language Survey. If another language is spoken at home and/or the student speaks another language, one of the ELL teachers in the school will assess the student’s English language proficiency level.
Based on the English proficiency level attained, the student may qualify for participation in the ELL program. If a student does qualify, parents will be notified.

Parent Notification

Each year, parents will be notified whether their child will continue to qualify for ELL services. This notification will be provided both in English and the home/native language. At any point in this process, parents have the right to decline recommended services for their child. To waive services, parents must provide written intent to withdraw their student from ELL services to the ELL teacher at their child’s school. This written letter must contain the reason for withdrawal of services.

Annual Assessment

All students who qualify for ELL services are assessed annually to determine if they will continue to qualify for these services during the following academic year. Students are assessed using the state-mandated ACCESS assessment. Parents will be notified of their child’s ACCESS assessment scores each year.

All students who exit the ELL program will be monitored by their building ELL teacher for two academic years following their exit date.

Interpretations and Translations

Home and school communication is a priority of the Sycamore School District.  To ensure effective communication takes place, ELL families are identified via the Home Language Survey (HLS).  The information collected from the HLS is uploaded in the district’s Student Information System and it becomes available to building level staff.

The district has created documents and other relevant information in Spanish that is available for parents.  Spanish translation can be provided by calling your home building or 815-899-8199.

Parents can request that ELL teachers/interpreters be present at school meetings, parent/teacher conferences, and IEP meetings.


Ryan Janisch, ELL Services Director
Joyce Majerus, Southeast Elementary School
Rene Hoeve, North Grove Elementary School and West Elementary School
Claribel Robles, Sycamore Middle School and Sycamore High School