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English Learner Program Overview

The San Mateo Union High School District is proud of the diversity that our English Learners (ELs) add to our school communities. We have students from a vast number of countries that speak a diverse range of languages. Their cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds enrich our school communities. We are committed to fully integrating and educating our English Learners and their families in our schools.


A Snapshot of our English Learners

  • Over 2,000 students in our district are bilingual, with the majority speaking Spanish, followed by Mandarin.
  • English Learners are defined as students who have limited proficiency in English. Over the course of their education, EL students can be classified into various categories. These designations are as follows:
    • EL 1-2 (beginning to learn English)
    • EL 3-4 (at the intermediate stages of learning English)
    • LTEL (long-term English learner – orally fluent in English and continuing to develop academic literacy in English)
    • RFEP (re-classified English proficient – have moved from being an EL to English proficient). Students can have been designated as RFEP at any time in their schooling.
    • IFEP (initial English fluent proficient – after being assessed for the first time a student with a second language demonstrated that they are proficient in English)

SMUHSD EL students fall 2015.jpgThis graph reflects the number of EL students in the SMUHSD for the 2015 fall semester.

EL picture.jpg