New Educators - Denver Public Schools - ELA Teacher Qualifications

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Why Do All DPS Teachers Have an ELA Designation?

In today’s interconnected global economy, a truly world class education increasingly means learning to speak, read and write in English as well as other languages. Preparing all students for the demands of college and career now means that students must have the ability to understand diverse perspectives and communicate with people from other cultures.

DPS’ 27,000 English learners bring these diverse perspectives and heritage languages to our classrooms. When they can participate meaningfully and equally, their contributions benefit all students. We strive to be better for these students and acknowledge that our community is stronger when we celebrate and support them.

We value our diverse student body, and are committed to improving instruction and student achievement outcomes for every student by providing a rigorous, enriching educational experience. DPS’ Teacher Qualification Training Program ensures that all of our teachers have the training necessary to help English Learners in their classrooms participate, learn and succeed.

English Language Acquisition Teacher Qualification Training Program

In order to meet the needs of our diverse learners, upon hire, all teachers new to the district will receive an ELA-T designation. This means teachers will need to complete the basic level of training.  Depending upon your classroom and your school’s ELA program, you may be further designated ELA-E or ELA-S by your school principal, which requires additional training beyond the ELA-T qualification.

DPS is committed to helping every teacher gain the knowledge and instructional teachniques to help our English learners succeed. Refer to the ELA Interactive Guide available on the ELA Teacher Qualifications webpage to view a complete semester schedule, course designation worksheets and information on the Spanish Language Praxis exam and ELA waivers.

First Steps in Becoming Qualified:

  1. Locate your ELA designation letter emailed by Human Resources.  Please note that this letter is sent within one month of your start date.  If your principal determines that additional training is required, Human Resources will send you a follow up email with your updated designation and deadline.   
  2. Upon locating your designation letter, click on the link provided to view the ELA Teacher Qualification Interactive Guide. 
  3. In the Interactive Guide, scroll down to your designation checklist (page 5, 6 or 7).  Please note that this page will list all courses required by your designation.
  4. Once you have reviewed your designation checklist, you may register through Schoolnet under the PD Search by typing in the course name, or through the ELA Interactive Guide by locating the desired course and clicking on the appropriate section link.
  5. As per your employment contract, you must complete at least two courses within your first 60 days of your employment.
  6. Please note that you may review your designation and deadline at any point under the ‘Activities’ tab of your Professional Development Profile on Schoolnet.

For further inquiries, please contact HR Connect at 720-423-3900 or the ELA department at

 Thank you for your commitment to DPS and our vision of Every Child Succeeds.

Questions about training requirements or waivers? Visit the ELA Teacher Qualifications webpage or call HR Connect at 720-423-3900.