Multilingual Education

  • The Office of Multilingual Education and Related Programs (OMERP) engages with our Multilingual/ESL educators working with English Learners (EL) by providing and coordinating access to professional development, supplemental materials, and teacher coaching. We are committed to English Language Development (ELD) for EL students beginning in early childhood by implementing English literacy instructional frameworks that prepare EL families to become independent readers and writers in English. We lead with an intentional focus on providing K-12 EL, immigrant students, and their families with rigorous support and experience that will prepare them for college and life success.

    • Parents of Potential English Learners (ELs) must complete the Home Language Survey (HLS) found in the school enrollment package, and then WIDA scores must be submitted to our office by the school. WIDA scores may be accessed by calling 313-870-5545 or emailing Joseph Schwartz
    • We have a strong commitment to families sharing in their child's education by translating relevant communications from the largest non-English fluent populations in the District, such as: Arabic, Spanish, Bengali, Dari, Hmong, and Pashto. For more information, call 313-873-4020 or email Tina Villarreal-Hernandez
    • Internal Staff: for guidance and resources for Newcomers, English Learners, and Immigrants, access the Hub


    Alignment to the District Vision and Mission

    Outstanding Achievement - English Learners are prepared by highly-qualified ESL, Multilingual, and Core Subject Area Educators through a rigorous curriculum that is aligned with the ESSA, WIDA and ELD Standards and additionally supported by Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). English Learners are given the opportunity to engage in multicultural programs through the World Languages Program and from our dual language schools.

    Transformative Culture - To ensure that English Learners, immigrant students, and their families are respected and connected to our curriculum, we select curriculum materials that include experiences of others, as well as identify with the learner's worldview. Our curriculum and coaching immerses students in exploring new cultures, while holistically ensuring the child's culture is included and valued. 

    Whole Child Commitment - We provide ongoing support to special education teachers and families involving Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans. Additional language services are provided as requested involving after-school and extracurricular activities (i.e., STEM Enrichment, Academic Games). 

    Exceptional Talent - We adopted the core curriculum that is fully aligned to the Common Core of State Standards in all subject areas; Math, Social Studies, Science, and English Language Arts. Our curriculum sets an expectation that every English Learner will show competence in very specific skills and knowledge with the support of school/ district administrators, Multilingual/ESL teachers and support staff. Instructional strategies and assessment are also provided by WIDA. All teachers working with EL are provided with additional training on Frontline.

    Responsible Stewardship - We serve more than 7,000 multilingual students, speaking 54 different languages in schools throughout the district, helping EL master the English language and American culture while mastering core subject areas. We have an intent focus on developing English speaking, reading, writing and listening skills. Our celebrated partnerships within the Detroit community and across the world have been showcased by local museums, international institutes, external partners, volunteers and organizations invested in English Language Development and Culture. 

    Detroit Public Schools Community District does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, and religion.

    Seal of Biliteracy

    The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy (MI-SoBL) was created to recognize high school graduates who exhibit language proficiency in English and at least one additional world language. The Seal may be awarded to any student receiving a high school diploma, a high school certificate of completion, or a high school equivalency certificate, who has demonstrated Intermediate High Proficiency on acceptable world language assessments. The Seal was created to encourage students to study world languages and embrace their native and heritage languages. The Seal will provide employers with a way to identify individuals with strong language and biliteracy skills. The Seal may serve as an additional tool for colleges and universities to recognize applicants' language abilities for admission and placement. For this year, 2023–2024, DPSCD is only testing seniors.

    There are three ways for students to receive the seal:

    • A learner from outside the U.S. who has had formal schooling and transcripts to show they completed the 6th grade year of instruction and meets high school graduation requirements
    • Heritage speaker or multilingual learner who meets high school graduation requirements
    • Classroom second language learner in IB/AP programming that shows strong language skills

    To apply or ask questions, please contact Sean Gordon or Erica Lopez-Negrete.


Contact Information

Important Documents