New English language development program to be implemented at LAHS


Rohan Vaswani

A new English language development program at Los Altos High School will provide support for English learner students.

The Mountain View–Los Altos Board of Trustees voted unanimously to expand the District’s English language development (ELD) program from just Mountain View High School to both Mountain View and Los Altos. The decision was made following previous Board discussions and the request of the LAHS English Department. The program will be implemented in the 2022–2023 school year. 

Previously, the District’s ELD programs were consolidated at MVHS, meaning that English learner students (EL) at LAHS had to choose between long transportation times or not enrolling in an ELD course.

While there are 169 EL students at MVHS and 66 EL students at LAHS, 92 of the EL students at MVHS are Los Altos residents. The District observed that most EL students needed to take public transportation to MVHS, which for some students meant an hour-long commute one-way. 

From data collected in the 2020–2021 school year, 48.1 percent of EL students increased their ELPI level (English Learner Progress Indicator) at MVHS, a statewide measurement for English proficiency. In the same year, only 27.2 percent of EL students at LAHS saw the same result. 

The proposal for the new program allocates a budget of up to $320,000 to start the program, which may be adjusted depending on enrollment. The budget covers implementing eight ELD class sections at LAHS, textbooks and other materials and hiring instructional assistants. The budget also accounts for the money saved from closing eight to 10 ELD class sections currently at MVHS.

However, none of the plans for the new courses are finalized as the District is still working toward creating a master schedule and meeting staffing needs. Current EL students at MVHS will have the option of staying or transferring while all incoming students will be enrolled in their respective schools.

More information can be found in the proposal