Back to top

Napa Valley Schools Uses Ellevation to Effectively Exit and Monitor English Learners

About Napa Valley Schools

Napa Valley Schools is located in northern California. Comprised of 30+ schools, the district has approximately 18,000 enrolled students, of which nearly 3,500 are English Language Learners. 

Napa Valley Embraces New Technology

Implementing technology to improve student outcomes is nothing new for Napa Valley Schools. As an innovative and forward thinking district, Napa Valley is just one of a select number of school districts in California that provides all students with access to a laptop or tablet. The district also partners with a local non-profit to incorporate project-based learning and assess pedagogical research. When it came time to finding a technology solution that would address their English Learner program pain points, Ellevation was the obvious choice.

Fostering Instructional Conversations

Like many school districts in California, Napa Valley has a large population of long-term English Learners (LTELs). The data in Ellevation has been able to shine a light on students who have been in the district’s EL program for more than four years. 

“You can tell when you’re working with an underperforming EL that they’ve been an EL for quite some time, but you might not know at a glance that they’ve been in our program for seven years,” says Sarah Williams, Director of Assessment, Achievement and English Learner Services at Napa. “Access to this type of data opened the doors for revealing conversations about other areas of learning needs such as Special Education.”

Navigating Complex Reclassification Criteria

Napa Valley invested time and energy into understanding what makes an EL ready to exit their program and move on to become college and career ready. Because of results from their extensive research on student cohorts, the district developed custom exit criteria with multiple data points differentiated by grade level. Prior to Ellevation, this process was “all hands on deck” with manual data pulls and cumbersome excel functions. The Exit Center in Ellevation has made it easy to automatically view students who are ready to exit the program based on the district’s grade-specific exit criteria. 

RFEP Monitoring Made Easy

Another immediate benefit Sarah noticed was just how easy it was to apply a technology solution to mandatory student monitoring, a process that was otherwise administered by pencil and paper. Before Ellevation, Sarah didn’t have an accountability system for student monitoring and often had to rely on the word of site administrators as to whether or not the 800+ RFEPs were being monitoring. 

Looking to the Future with Napa and Ellevation

Napa Valley enabled a call to action that the EL program had been missing. “We often think about our EL program as helping the canaries in the coal mine, meaning that if our ELs are doing well, then our instruction for all students is good,” says Sarah. “We use Ellevation to find sites where ELs are progessing, capture that school’s best instructional practices, and duplicate the findings across the district.”

Now that Napa Valley has witnessed the effects of Ellevation, they are further rolling out Ellevation to help their classroom teachers identify their ELs and learn about their language acquisition needs. 

Prior to Ellevation, we spent most of our time trying to pull together the data and crossing items off our compliance checklist. Now we’re able to quickly access information and have a more meaningful conversation.