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Academic Program

English Learner Academic Program

Our six comprehensive sites and one alternative site offer different academic programs based on their student populations. In our District, we offer both English Language Development (ELD) classes and Specially Designed Academic Instruction (SDAI or Sheltered) Content Courses. These sheltered classes cover most of the same content and standards as our regular content classes, but are specially designed to meet the language needs of our EL students. In addition, our language and literacy coaches, and our constructing meaning trainers have been training teachers in the use of Constructing Meaning strategies to help support of long-term English Learners. Constructing meaning provides teachers with the process and tools for imbedding explicit language instruction into content areas. The coaches and trainers have trained four cohorts of teachers across the District from various content disciplines are plan to continue this on an ongoing basis.


The San Mateo Union High School District is proud of the diversity that our English Learners (ELs) add to our school communities. We have students from a vast number of countries that speak a diverse range of languages. Their cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds add an exciting dimension to our schools and we are committed to fully integrating and educating our English Learners and their families in our schools.  We believe it is our collective responsibility to serve the academic, social and emotional needs our English learners.  It is our hope that our EL students will develop linguistic and literacy skills in English, as well as continue to strengthen their native language(s).




The following classes are offered at various sites throughout the district:


  •  ELD 1-2
  • SIFE Math      
  • Sheltered World History
  • ELD 3-4          
  • Sheltered Algebra
  • Sheltered US History
  • ELD Reading 1-2
  • Sheltered Geometry
  • Sheltered Biology
  • ELD Reading 3-4
  • Sheltered Health     
  • Sheltered Physics
  • Transitional English
  • Sheltered Contemporary World Studies



In addition, many of our Spanish speaking EL students at San Mateo High School take a Spanish for Native Speakers course.


English Proficiency Levels & Descriptions (Click here for detailed descriptions)

  • ELD 1: Beginner
  • ELD 2: Early Intermediate
  • ELD 3: Intermediate
  • ELD 4: Early Advanced/Advanced
  • Transitional: Advanced and ready to exit the ELD program