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D45 Art Show

Apr 19

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Healthy Kids Day

Apr 27

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D45 STEM Day

May 2

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Board of Education Meeting

May 6

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Early Dismissal

May 15

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Board of Education Meeting

May 20

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Memorial Day - No School

May 27

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End of Nine Weeks

May 28

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Last Day of Classes - Early Dismissal

May 28

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Report Card Day

May 28

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Board of Education Meeting

Jun 3

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Board of Education Meeting

Jun 17

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The vision of District 45 is to prepare students to successfully navigate a dynamic world. Bilingualism, the development of language and literacy skills in both English and a home language, is an academic advantage to equip children to navigate our globally connected society. We want D45 English learners to see bilingualism as an asset to their future. English learners enter our schools with incredible strengths having come from a home where another language is spoken. We want to build on those strengths. In D45, we believe language and literacy, embedded in a rigorous and relevant curriculum, will help children fully develop their capacities to read, write, speak, listen, and use language strategically and effectively.

Lisa Speakman
Director of EL/Bilingual Services
[email protected]

Multilingual Program Staff:

Amy Baker Zaleski
District Biliteracy Instructional Coach
[email protected]

Melissa Carpenter
District EL Literacy Leader
[email protected]

Leticia Carmona
District Parent Liaison
[email protected]

D45 Multilingual Programs:

Programming for English Learners

Full-time Transitional Bilingual Education (Spanish): Students in our full-time TBE program are offered a self-contained classroom in which English and Spanish are both used for instruction. The classroom teacher is a certified bilingual educator. Students remain in this setting from PreK-3rd grade. After 3rd grade, Spanish literacy services are given as needed in a pullout setting from 4th-8th grades.

Part-time Transitional Bilingual Education (Spanish): Students in our part-time TBE program are offered a self-contained English classroom. ESL services for English support are offered by an ESL endorsed teacher. Spanish support can be provided if needed.

Part-time Transitional Bilingual Education (Urdu): Students in our part-time TBE program are offered a self-contained English classroom. ESL services for English support are offered by an ESL endorsed teacher. Urdu support can be provided if needed. This program is only offered at Stevenson and York Center Schools.

Transitional Program of Instruction: Students in our part-time TPI program are offered a self-contained English classroom. ESL services for English support are offered by an ESL endorsed teacher.

Middle School Foreign Language Programming

Spanish I– Grade 8 students have the opportunity to begin learning Spanish as a foreign language during this interactive, exploratory course.

Heritage Spanish– Grade 8 students who speak Spanish in their homes are offered Heritage Spanish instead of Spanish I. Heritage Spanish includes opportunities for Latino students to engage in rich discussions of their cultural identity through exploration of literature, history, music, art, and food across the Spanish-speaking world.

English Learners and Language Development at D45

Who are English Learners (ELs)?
English learners are multilingual students who enter school speaking English and one or more home languages. These students receive instructional support in developing the academic language skills needed for school success. In D45, we value the rich cultural and linguistic strengths of our English learners.

How many EL students are there in District 45?
English learners make up 25% of our population in District 45. We have approximately 850 students identified as ELs in our multilingual programs. 75% of our English learners have Spanish as their home language.

How are students identified for the Multilingual Programs?
When families register their child for school, completion of a Home Language Survey is included. If another language is spoken in the home and/or spoken by the child, all Illinois school districts are required by the State to screen students for English language proficiency. The screener measures the student’s ability to listen, speak, read and write in the English language. Students whose scores qualify them are invited to participate in one of our multilingual programs.

How long does it take to learn another language?
The most comprehensive research on language learning has been completed by Wayne Thomas & Virginia Collier, professors emeritus, George Mason University. Thomas & Collier studied the language acquisition of 7.5 million English learners over 32 years and across sixteen states. In their findings, Thomas & Collier found that the most significant variable in how long it takes to learn English is the amount of formal schooling students have received in their first language. They found that it typically takes between 5-9 years to learn another language academically (Thomas & Collier, 1997). It takes 5 years or less for students with a solid foundation in their first language and up to 9 years or more for students whose foundational language development was inconsistent.

Our full-time transitional bilingual education (TBE) program in District 45, although being transitoinal after third grade, has a content allocation plan to help K-3rd bilingual teachers know how to balance English and Spanish instruction. It provides consistency between bilingual programs across the district and supports students in learning both of their languages.

Students in the EL program, part-time TBE and TPI (transitional program of instruction) students, receive support in their English development with the support gradually released as the child acquires English and attains higher levels of English proficiency.
Every child is different and regardless of the type of multilingual program, some students take less than 5 years to acquire English and others take longer.

How do we know if our ELs are making progress in the English language?

All English learners in Illinois public schools grades K-12 must be assessed annually for English proficiency growth and academic progress. Every year, the ACCESS for ELLs exam is used to assess English language proficiency while the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) exam is used to assess academic achievement in English.

As a district, we also use local measures to monitor the academic progress of all learners. ELL teachers, bilingual teachers, and general education teachers work collaboratively to ensure English learners are showing growth in English.

How can parents help their children learn?
Students who can speak, read and write in their home language will learn English more quickly. You don’t need to teach reading twice. The home language skills transfer. A solid foundation in the home language will help children to learn a new language because they transfer what they know.

Parents can help by:

  • Promoting the advantages of being bilingual
  • Reading stories or telling stories to or with your child at home within the language you feel most comfortable
  • Using your home language to discuss the academic topics like math, science or social science, which are taught at school
  • Being patient and supportive; developing a second language for academics takes time, effort and understanding
  • Taking your child to museums, theaters, libraries, and parks
  • Keeping in contact with your child’s teachers and school
  • Encouraging your child to participate in after-school activities
  • Celebrating and acknowledging the growth your child makes in both languages
Multilingual Program Documents:


  • ACCESS- annual assessment of English language proficiency given to all students in Grades K-8 identified as English learners including students whose parents refused services
  • Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR)- annual assessment of academic achievement in English language arts and mathematics given to all students in Grades 3-8
  • Illinois Science Assessment (ISA)- annual assessment of academic achievement in science given to all students in Grade 5 and Grade 8


  • ISIP español- online Spanish reading assessment given to students in the Full-time TBE program to assess reading progress given three times per year.
  • MAP- online English literacy and mathematics assessment given to all students in the Grades 2-8 to assess student progress given three times per year.
  • MAP español- online Spanish literacy (TBE in Grades 4-8) and Spanish mathematics (Grade 2 only) assessment used to assess student progress given three times per year.

BPAC (Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee)

A leadership group of bilingual parents who help to organize parent learning opportunities for all bilingual parents in our D45 community.

Current leadership members by school

  • Ardmore: Sra. Fabiola Gomez
  • North: Sra. Vicky Arenas, President
  • Schafer: Sra. Olga Tapia
  • Stevenson: Mrs. Komal Goyal
  • York Center: Sra. Sara Hernandez & Sra. Francisca Diaz
  • Westmore: Mrs. Maria Moreno
  • Jackson: Sra. Carmen Lopez
  • Jefferson: Mrs. Marie Motyckova
  • D45: Mrs. Mia Bohlin; Mrs. Leticia Carmona, Secretary; Mrs. Lisa Speakman, Ms. Bianca Diaz
  • Community member: Sra Maria Puga, Vice President

Related links for families


ESL Online Resources

Spanish online resources