Office of Multilingual Learning
360 Colborne St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Over 14,000 students in Saint Paul Public Schools are enrolled as English language learners. Our ELL students receive services targeted at building English language proficiency along with strong foundations in academic areas. Not only do we support our ELL students to be successful in school but we also encourage our ELL students to be successful contributors to the community. Our ELL teachers work with content teachers to ensure that students excel.
Learn more about the past, present, and future of the ELL Programs!
History of ELL Programs
Since 1975, ELL Programs have existed to serve the needs of ELL students. We are continually refining and making our services more effective for our ELL students. Read the History of ELL Programs to learn more about our past, present and future.
Among the 38,500 students in Saint Paul Public Schools, more than 14,000 are ELL students and more than 126 languages and dialects are spoken by our students. The number of ELL students in Saint Paul Public Schools has increased more than 240% in the last twenty years and the diversity of ELL students continues to grow. You can read more about the demographic changes in ELL and SPPS as well as national trends in ELL demographics on our Demographics page.
There is a variety of ELL programs available for ELL students in grades K-12. We strive to make our programs high quality and focused on the needs of students. Whether students are newcomers or have been in the United States for a longer length of time, our programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of students at each stage of their language learning. We also offer programs that help students retain, develop, and maintain their native languages and cultures based on the belief that research has shown that strong knowledge of native language, literacy, and culture contributes to faster learning of a second language, literacy, and culture. You can download the ELL Fact Sheets to read descriptions of our ELL programs or visit the ELL Programs section.
Community Engagement Opportunities
Parents and community members have opportunities to engage with district staff through various parent advisory committees hosted through the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. We invite you to contact us and join in on any of the parent advisory committees below.
Hmong Parents Advisory Council (HPAC) meets monthly on the first Mondays to provide parents and students opportunities to learn more about the SPPS district, community resources, and ways to support the education of their students. HPAC also provides opportunities for parents, students, and community members to express concerns, suggestions, and feedback on SPPS district initatives and services through public forums held at each HPAC meeting. HPAC is governed by an executive board consisting of parents, staff, and community members.
Latino Consent Decree (LCD) Latino Parents Advisory Committee (LCD PAC) meets monthly on Wednesdays to provide parents and students learning opportunities around specific issues and concerns. Parents participate in workshops and presentations coordinated in partnership with community organizations and local businesses. LCD PAC encourages Latino parents to get involved with their children's education and provides resources to develop leadership skills among Latino parents. LCD PAC is a school board appointed parent advisory committee and submits a report to the SPPS Board of Education at the end of each school year.
Somali Parents Advisory Committee (SPAC) meets monthly on Fridays to provide parents and students with information about the SPPS district and to serve and a forum for parents and students to express their concerns. SPAC serves as a venue for SPPS staff and Somali parents to learn from one another and to work together towards a successful education for Somali students. SPAC parents and students build on their knowledge of the school system and engage in meaningful district initatives.
Karen Family Nights are held three times a year for parents and students to learn more about the SPPS district and it's many opportunities. Families engage in conversations about the services offered to students and provide valuable feedback about services for Karen students.
Family engagement nights for various other language groups such as the Oromo Family Night and the Amharic-speaking Family Night are also available. These family engagement opportunities occur once a year and provide a venue for parents in these communities to learn more about SPPS and about services available for students.
Translation Services is housed within the Communications Office and consists of translators who provide translation of SPPS district and school documents in Hmong, Karen, Somali, and Spanish. Interpreters are also available through Translations Services in many different languages. Go to the Translation Services website to learn more the services available or call (651) 767-8334.
Resources for Learning English
The following are online resources for learning English:
For More Information
Contact the ELL Department for more information on any of it's programs and services.