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Clarkston Community School District

English Language Learners (ESL)

The CCS ESL Dept is proud to introduce our new Elementary ESL Teacher, Pam Haines! She comes to us with 13 years of experience working with language learner students. She has kids in the school district. She loves to garden and spend time with her family, including her new puppy. She will be working with students at Bailey Lake, Independence and Renaissance, as well as a few of the virtual students. 

ESL, International exchange and some members of the CHS Peace Club took a cultural field trip to Detroit to explore some culture. Students completed a scavenger hunt at the Detroit Institute of Arts, had lunch in Dearborn at the Golden Bakery and explored Mexican Village. This was all in preparation for the district's International Night which is schedule for May 4th, 2022 and will feature students highlighting and sharing their cultures via hands on activities, music, food and dance. Stay tuned for more details on this event!





We're Glad You're Here

English Learners receive a broad spectrum of specialized services based on their individual needs. These services include English language development classes, co-taught general education classes such as math, history and science and general education support classes.

Initial Placement

Testing and potential placement in the ESL program is based on the Home Language Survey portion of the Clarkston Community Schools District registration form. If the parent of a new enrollee indicates that the student’s native or home language is other than English, the student will be assessed within 10 school days to determine eligibility in the ESL program. The assessment tool will be the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT). Test results assist educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELs. The W-APT is one component of WIDA's comprehensive assessment system. ACCESS for ELs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English Learners (ELs). It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English. Parents will be notified of the student’s eligibility and given the opportunity to accept or refuse ESL assistance.

Continued Eligibility or Exit from the ESL Program

Students are assessed on a yearly basis in all four-skill areas as required by state law. If WIDA testing determines that a student has not reached the appropriate level of proficiency, he or she will remain in the ESL Program. Students who reach the appropriate proficiency level are exited from services, but are monitored for a four-year period to ensure that adequate progress in English and success in the classroom continues.

Special Program Offerings

Secondary ESL Support in English Language Arts

To develop English language proficiency at the secondary levels, students will be placed in an English Language Arts class and will with a certified English teacher along with a certified ESL Teacher to support them in mastering the curriculum. As needed, the ESL teacher serves as not only an advocate for the individual students' needs in the mastery of the content, but also focuses on special needs of the non-native speaker in the four skills of listening, speaking reading and writing.

Project-Based Learning

In the Junior High School, students have the opportunity to pair service learning and academics in a special class called Project Based Learning. Here, students block their English and Social Studies classes and combine the real world with academic service learning. ESL students are placed in this class in 8th and 9th grade and it is a great change for them to work on social and academic language. 

Spanish for Spanish Speakers

In collaboration with the world language department, the ESL teams to foster the primary language skills of native Spanish speakers in a unique after school enrichment program. Focus primarily includes literacy and vocabulary development, while working to increase academic and social language in the native language. Students are engaged with a variety or activities and resources, many to take home and use in their homes, as well as provided with snack and transportation. For more information about schedule and joining, please reach out to Ann Krause.

International Student Program at Clarkston High School

Clarkston Community Schools is committed to diversity. An international student program at Clarkston High School is a major point of pride in this exploration of diversity.  Each school year, up to 25 students from around the world are able to enroll in a CHS curriculum and have the opportunity to receive a diploma and participate in a variety of additional activities and programs, such as academic service learning, a cultural display event - International Night, World Language Days and so much more. 

Family Outreach

Clarkston Community Schools is committed to equity among all students. A Parent Liaison is on staff with the ESL team who serves to communicate information to Spanish speaking families in their native language on a regular basis. Additionally, the team works on a quarterly basis to provide evening enrichment programs designed to support literacy growth and community engagement among families of the ESL community in the Clarkston area. 


Exchange students from Italy and Sweden smile together in our celebration of cultures at International Night 2019.


ESL and international students gather together on a field trip to Southwest Detroit to explore some culture in our own city!


Middle school students take a visit of the Junior High with their ESL teacher in the spring before they make a big transition.


Students gather together to learn some geography in the unique after school program, Spanish for Spanish Speakers.


Students from Korea and Vietnam smile together at our 2019 International Night.


Volunteers work with families at a family literacy night hosted by the ESL team.


Our staff smiles during a Winter Family Literacy night in 2019.


Translation Services

Clarkston Community Schools is committed to communicating with students and families in their native language wherever possible. This website is equipped with Google Translation Services to translate our entire site into dozens of world languages. Just click the globe icon at the top of any page and select your preferred language.

Interpretation Services Available

Contact Ann Krause or Monserrat Escamilla (see below) if interpretation services are required for school-related meetings.

Volunteers work with students in the after school Spanish for Spanish Speakers program.



Program Policies

Please read about our program policies in the ESL Handbook.


Staci Puzio, Director of Student Growth & Well-Being

Tena Moiles, Technology/Data Pupil Accounting

Ann Krause, ESL Subject Area Coordinator

Emily Grammatico, Clarkston Junior High School ESL & Spanish Teacher

Christina Verkest, Clarkston High School and Secondary Virtual Support ESL Teacher; Sashabaw Middle School Spanish Teacher

Brittney Doyle, Sashabaw Middle School, Andersonville  ESL Teacher

Megan Shaffer, North Sashabaw, Pine Knob and Clarkston Elementary Schools ESL Teacher

Pam Haines, Bailey Lake, Independence Elementary, Renaissance and Virtual Support

Heather Post, North Sashabaw Elementary School ESL Aide

Ana Escamilla, Springfield Plains, Bailey Lake and Independence Elementary School ESL Aide

Monserrat Escamilla, ESL Parent Liaison - Elementary



Resources for Parents and Students

Literacy Resources


Family Podcasts

Sign up for Remind

Remind is an anonymous text service that sends messages out to students and families with reminders of events, resources and services. It allows for those receiving the messages to reach out to an advocate if there are questions.

Links to distance learning and online resources

Google Classroom Links (invitation only, please contact your teacher for classroom code)

ESL Bitmoji Classroom - Literacy games, resources and links to book recordings found here. Feel free to spend time exploring. Other resources are periodically posted here. Check with your ESL teacher.

How do you celebrate holidays in your culture?

There are so many different ways to celebrate the winter holidays. With the help of the ESL department along with international students in Clarkston Community Schools, holiday celebrations from around the world are highlighted by interviewing those who celebrate them right in our very own district. Students share about the traditions, food, games and more that they can't wait to celebrate each year around this magical time. Enjoy and share!