At a Glance
The San Mateo County Office of Education and our county's 23 local school districts are committed to ensuring and continuously improving the quality of learning and achievement for all students. This page spotlights Jefferson High School's work to support English learners.
The History of Jefferson High School’s EL Program
The California Department of Education defines an English learner (EL) as a K-12 student who hasn’t developed enough English language proficiency to participate in the regular school program.
In the 2013–14 school year, there were approximately 1.413 million English learners in California public high schools, which constitutes 12.1 percent of the total enrollment. At Jefferson High School, 17 percent of its students were classified as English learners during that same year. Primary languages ranged from Spanish and Filipino to Cantonese and Arabic.
The goal of most programs is to bring all English learners into the regular school program, and that usually means additional layers of support. About eight years ago, district personnel realized this wasn’t happening at the rate they would expect. Achievement scores and graduation rates for English learners were both low, and site and district leaders decided they needed to do something. They committed to improving instruction for English learners and started looking at changes they could make in curriculum and assessment.