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Newcomers English Language Learners (NELL) Program FAQs


Answers to frequently asked questions about the Newcomers English Language Learners Program

Did You Know We Offer a Full-Day English Program?

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is excited to offer the Newcomers English Language Learner (NELL) program. Learn more below or contact our office to inquire.

What is the NELL Program?

The NELL Program is a full-day English program offered to high school students (ages 18-21 years old) who are new to the country and do not meet the on-time graduation guidelines.

What do NELL students learn?

The Program is based in cohorts with an 18 student maximum. It meets Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The curriculum includes English/Civics, Explicit Instruction, Computer Skills, Applied Mathematics, and Life Skills Training.

Does the program include any additional benefits?

Yes, the program includes the following benefits for students:

  • Full-day of Instruction
  • Free meal (provided by ACPS Nutrition Services)
  • Free monthly DASH bus pass
  • Wrap around services (Weekly access to Social Worker)
  • Students may re-enter the program up their 21st birthday

What is the entry criteria?

Students must meet the following criteria to be considered for the program:

  • Between the ages of 18-21 years old
  • Newly arrived in the United States (<2 years)
  • Little to no English - have Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
  • School credit and disrupted education in native country (students with a diploma from their country are not eligible)
  • Must be interested in a full-day program
  • Undergo transcript evaluation
  • Must meet ACPS registration requirements on Wida Access Placement Test and Logramos (as determined by ELL & ALC Offices)

How do I register?

There are three steps to enroll in the NELL Program.

Step 1: Intake & Registration via the English Learners Department Central Office (1st floor)

Step 2: Interview, Documents & Transcript Review, & Testing

Step 3: Adult Education Office Registration & Testing

All new students begin enrollment on the 1st floor of ACPS Central Office (1340 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314). 

All current students should report directly to the ALC (7th floor) to determine eligibility.