Summer 2023

ESRP 9000 Professor

Jason Abreu, Ed.D.

ESRP 9001 Professor

Jason Abreu, Ed.D.

Executive Summary

This strategic research project was designed to provide an understanding of the ESL students’ instruction and support within the South Kitsap School District from teachers, staff, parents, and community. From a school psychologist’s perspective, there are more frequent referrals to assessment for special education from this ESL student population than from the native English-speaking student population. The need for further professional development training and support for teachers with ESL students will prevent a lot of misunderstandings. The result of misunderstanding ESLs’ learning culture has been the complication of excessive referrals to special education for assessment. A frequently lost alternative in the school district is a failure to work with ESL students’ language challenges as they gain language fluency and proficiency. Language acquisition takes time to develop, but many of these students are intelligent and require 504 accommodations support other than special education such as through the MTSS program screening as they gain English language knowledge that allows them to participate fully in general education. To correct these complications of over-referral, better ESL professional development training must be provided for teachers. Also, parent participation and support with a better understanding of the various foreign cultures and languages that ESL students represent is needed to provide them with educational opportunities that are more specialized to their needs. This support would help the English transition progress while allowing the ESL students to participate better in general education.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education