English Learners

English Learners (ELs) are one of the fastest-growing populations in our schools. They comprise about six percent of the student population in Iowa schools and speak almost 140 languages. At Heartland AEA, we serve approximately 4,000 ELs who speak a variety of diverse home languages.

Program Overview

To meet the needs of our growing and diverse EL population, Heartland AEA strives to:

  • Improve programming for ELs to support both the attainment of language proficiency and access to challenging state academic standards
  • Provide EL-specific professional learning opportunities for educators of ELs
  • Promote EL family and community engagement

Areas of Support

Heartland AEA has two ESL/Diversity Consultants who are responsible for assisting schools to improve Language Instruction Educational Programs (LIEPs) for ELs. These staff:

  • Help districts meet state and federal guidelines
  • Provide consultation and professional learning for educators of ELs
  • Host regular network meetings
  • Help advise on mini-grant opportunities to meet school and district needs

For additional information, visit:

Iowa Department of Education

Important Contacts

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Janet Eichenberger Hiatt

Janet Eichenberger Hiatt

  • ESL/Diversity Consultant

Public Districts: Ames, Ankeny, Ballard, Baxter, Bondurant-Farrar, Boone, Colfax-Mingo, Collins-Maxwell, Colo-Nesco, Gilbert, Johnston, Lynnville-Sully, Madrid, Nevada, Newton, North Polk, Ogden, PCM, Roland-Story, SE Polk, United, Urbandale, West Des Moines

Non-Public Schools: Ames Christian, Ankeny Christian, Des Moines Christian, Dowling, Newton Christian, Sacred Heart (WDM), St. Cecilia, St. Pius X, St. Luke the Evangelist

Cindra Porter

Cindra Porter

  • ESL/Diversity Consultant

Public Districts: Adair-Casey, Adel-DeSoto-Minburn, Audubon, Carlisle, Carroll, Coon Rapids-Bayard, Dallas Center-Grimes, Earlham, Exira-EHK, Glidden-Ralston, Guthrie Center, I-35, Indianola, Knoxville, Martensdale-St. Marys, Melcher-Dallas, Norwalk, Panorama, Pella, Perry, Pleasantville, Saydel, SE Warren, Twin Cedars, Van Meter, Waukee, West Central Valley, Winterset, Woodward-Granger

Non-Public Schools: Grand View Christian, Kuemper Catholic, Pella Christian Grade, Pella Christian High, Peoria Christian, Sacred Heart (Boone), St. Francis of Assisi, St. Patrick’s, Sully Christian, Trinity Lutheran (Boone)

English Learners