Over the past five years the city of Kirksville has seen an influx of migrant workers coming in from the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many speak French as their first language. As a result, the Kirksville School District has seen a sharp increase in English-Language Learner students. Kirksville Superintendent Bob Webb says this has presented some challenges for the district.

The Kirksville School District currently has 146 E-L-L students, with 90 percent of them being from the Congo. Finding translators for these students is a challenge for a rural district like Kirksville. Webb says they use the resources they can when it comes to translators.

However, one of the challenges for the district has been retaining many of these translators.

As a result, the Kirksville School District currently has an E-L-L position open. Being fluent in french is preferred, but not required. The Kirksville School Board discussed the district’s E-L-L needs during their February meeting.