Main Menu

Explore More

Clarkston Community School District

English Language Learners (ESL)

20-21 School year is over!

We did it! Thank you to all of our teachers, parents and most of all students, for all of their hard work during this school year. This year has been unforgettable. WIDA scores are scheduled to be released in the middle of the summer and planning will take place accordingly for next year. If you need to contact the team over the summer, please reach out to Ann Krause at Otherwise, see you in the fall!


Welcome to the team, Megan Shaffer! 

Megan Shaffer returned to the Clarkston district in May to rejoin the ESL department. She has taught many subject areas over the years in both Chicago and metro Detroit, but is very happy to be back with the Clarkston team and serving as an ESL teacher at NSE, PKE and CE. Megan holds a Master’s degree in TESOL, and most enjoys learning about the cultures of her multilingual learners and families. Megan lives in Troy with her husband, and has three sons who currently live in Boston, Milwaukee, and New Orleans which gives her great places to visit. She is looking forward to a summer full of travel and is hopeful for a calmer year ahead.

This month's ESL newsletter

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. 


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.


Staci Puzio, Director of Student Growth & Well-Being

Tena Moiles, Technology/Data Pupil Accounting

Ann Krause,  Pine Knob ESL Teacher & ESL Subject Area Coordinator

Emily Grammatico, Clarkston Junior High School ESL & Spanish Teacher

Christina Verkest, Clarkston High School ESL & Spanish Teacher

Brittney Doyle, Sashabaw Middle School, Andersonville and Bailey Lake Elementary School ESL Teacher

Heather Post, North Sashabaw Elementary School ESL Aide

Ana Escamilla, Pine Knob and Independence Elementary School ESL Aide

Monserrat Escamilla, ESL Parent Liaison

Katherine O'Keefe, ESL Virtual Mentor


Program Policies

Please read about our program policies in the ESL Handbook.

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



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.


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!