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Welcome to North Kansas City Schools!

English Language Learners

North Kansas City Schools currently serves more than 1,700 students, grades K-12, in the ELL Program, with 900+ elementary students, 200+ 6th grade and middle school students, and 300+ high school students receiving ELL services. Many different nationalities and languages are represented, with 118 different languages being spoken by these students. The top languages include Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Somali, Pohnpeian and Kurdish.

NKCS ELL (English Language Learner) Welcome Center
1950 NE 46th St Kansas City, MO 64116



At the elementary level, services are provided in most students’ home schools and focus on developing language through integrated reading, writing, listening, and speaking instruction by English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) certified teachers. ELL Paraprofessionals provide additional support to assist students with acquiring language and content. ELL Teachers follow the district’s Balanced Literacy Units of Study for Readers and Writers Workshop, either pushing into grade-level classrooms for in-class support or pulling students out for more intensive support, as needed.  

The district offers before- or after-school tutoring at ten elementary schools with high ELL populations. Tutoring consists of 40 minutes per day, three or four days a week, utilizing Imagine Learning, a research-based language and literacy software program. Imagine Learning is also used as a strategic intervention to provide additional support to those students who need it during the school day.

Additionally, the district offers an intensive extended summer learning program to students at the lowest levels of language proficiency. This program has proven very effective in combatting summer language and literacy loss for these students during the summer.


At the secondary level, the ELL instructional model is site-based with most students being served in their home schools. Students new to the United States or with limited formal schooling receive their instruction in intensive Newcomer/Beginner programs at Northgate Middle School and North Kansas City High School. ELL Paraprofessionals provide support to individual students or small groups of ELLs in the ELL resource room or in the general education classroom, often providing reinforcement of concepts and vocabulary from students’ content courses.

ELL instructional services in grades 6-12 focus on developing language through integrated reading, writing, listening and speaking instruction by ESOL certified teachers utilizing Pearson-Longman's "Keystone" or Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's “English 3D”, a program developed specifically for the needs of long-term English learners. Intermediate and advanced ELL students are scheduled for at least one block per day for language instruction during their English Language Arts (ELA) block.  ELL Flex or Advisory classes provide High School ELLs with additional support for their content area studies.

Newcomers and Beginners receive more intensive instruction in English language development each day, utilizing Keystone Keys to Learning or Building Bridges for ELA and sheltered content instruction in math, science and social studies via dual-certified teachers. One high school and one middle school utilize Houghton Miffling Harcourt's "Read 180" and "System 44", which provides additional language and literacy support to students at lower literacy levels.  

After-school tutoring and summer school opportunities are also available for secondary ELLs.

Adult Learners

North Kansas City Schools offers free English Language Learner classes for adults ages 17 and older who want to learn or improve their English skills. 

Adult Education & Literacy

Technology Help Videos

Available in Arabic, Karen, Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese

Contact Information

ELL Coordinator
Lezlie Paden
(816) 321-5859

Administrative Assistant
Valorie Ross
(816) 321-6948

Assessment & Data
Martha Medina Maldonado

(816) 321-5713

ELL Teaching & Learning Coach
Natalie Ortiz
(816) 321-4331

Interpreter /Translator
Maria Perdomo
(816) 321-5891