English Language Learners

Many Voices with a Common Goal: Educating All Students

There are more than 100 languages spoken in the households that make up Des Moines Public Schools. The district serves more than 6,100 English Language Learner students with 156 committed and dedicated teachers and staff, including bilingual outreach workers at 50 different sites throughout the community.

The goals of the ELL program are:

  • To educate English Language Learners to the same rigorous curriculum standards as all students in the district while achieving English language objectives in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • To promote pride in students’ cultural and linguistic identities, maintain cultural heritage, and prepare students to actively participate within American society.
  • To ensure that the educational process is a cooperative effort between home and school; it creates opportunities to involve families, communities, and DMPS staff.

There is a rising tide of bilingual students in Des Moines, one of the benchmarks of world class schools. The ELL program strives to provide the best ELL services and programs to meet the needs of our ELL students and families.

For additional information on ELL programs in Des Moines, please visit the links in the menu to the right or visit ell.dmschools.org.


Director of English Language Learners Program

Pablo Ortega

Address: 2100 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321
P: 515-242-7826 | E: pablo.ortega@dmschools.org

ELL Community Outreach Supervisor

Vinh Nguyen

Address: 2100 Fleur Drive, Des Moines 50321
P: 515-242-7853 | F: 515-242-7726 | E: vinh.nguyen@dmschools.org