Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Native Literacy

Native Student Literacy

The Native Student Literacy program supports and provides equitable access to high quality, culturally responsive language and literacy learning opportunities for American Indian/Alaska Native students in grades K-8.

Program Overview

We believe that highlighting the importance of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures, history, language and knowledge systems can improve academic outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native students in grades K-12.

The Native Education Literacy Liaison promotes in-home and community literacy learning strategies which support American Indian and Alaska Native learners. 

liłlaqəxʷ wiẁsuʔəxʷ kwi łasluud tiʔeʔ cədił sx̌ʷudx̌ʷud čəł. [gʷəł čəwatil əlgʷəʔ.]

Future youngsters will be the ones to hear our talk. [and they will learn.]**(Source: Lushootseed phrase)

Program Enrollment

We encourage you to contact the Language Learning Department, to find out if your student is eligible to participate in our program. 

Students are initially screened for the program if they demonstrate academic need–in recent years the F&P and high school grades have been used to identify students for screening. If students score at levels 1, 2, or 3 on the WELPA placement test they qualify for Native American Title 3 supports. They continue to qualify until the score at level 4 (proficient) on the WELPA annual test, at which point they exit. 

ELPA21 is used to assess both Native American Title 3 and ELL students because both groups of students have a demonstrated need in developing their language skills, regardless of their primary language. The ELPA21 is an important way for schools, the ELL Department, and the Native Education Program to work collaboratively to identify student strengths, needs, and to calibrate programming to meet individual student learning needs.

Program Services

The Native American Title 3 Program provides supplemental academic supports focusing on language skills for qualified American Indian/Alaska Native students. 

The Title VII/Native American Program works with the Native Education Program and the Language Learning Department to coordinate Title 3 services that promote and develop the language skills of students in the Native American Title 3 program. This includes engaging the American Indian/Alaska Native community to reinforce in-home, in-community literacy/English language development, and enhance the cultural-responsivity of literacy/language support strategies already in place in our district. The Title 3 programs supports the Native Education K-8 Literacy Liaison, who plays a significant role in developing and administering the Native Student Literacy Success Project, including a summer Native Student Literacy Academy.


Do all Native American/Alaska Native students take the ELPA21?
No. Only students who are screened for initial testing or already qualified are assessed (see question above about how students qualify for the program).

Are students in the Native American Title 3 Program considered to be ELL students?
No. English is not the primary language for ELL students, and therefore their learning needs in language are unique and differ significantly from those of ELL students. If an American Indian/Alaska Native student does not speak English as a primary language, she may qualify for ELL, but would not qualify for the Title 3 Native American Program. 

How are parents informed about their children's identification for, and participation in, the Title 3 Native American Program?
Students' parents/guardians are notified before and after testing, and then notified every year thereafter about the results of the annual ELPA21. Additional communication regarding specific programming and services administered by the Native Education Program may also occur.

Do students who qualify for the Native American Title 3 Program have to participate?
No. Once identified, screened, and qualified, students are not obligated to participate in any particular programming offered.

Can parents of students in the Native American Title 3 program decline to have their students take the ELPA21?
Yes. Like other state exams, parents may opt out of the exam for their children. Contact the Accountability Department for more details. Please note that while parents may opt out of testing, the school will need to offer them testing on the ELPA21 annually.

Where can I learn more information about how the Native American Title 3 Program works in Washington State?
Visit the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website for additional information.

What can I do if I, or parents/guardians/family members, have more questions?
Please contact the Language Learning Department at 206-631-3035.