English Language Proficiency

The Board of Education recognizes that there may be students whose primary language is not English residing within the District. With that in mind, the Board shall provide appropriate identification and transition services for District students who possess limited command of the English language. The purpose of these services is to develop English language skills that will enable the students to function successfully in an all English classroom and complete the District's required curriculum.

These services shall include the identification of students who are English language learners (ELL), the implementation of curricular and instructional modifications, the assessment of the ELL student's academic progress, identification of ELL students that achieve English Language Proficiency (ELP), and continued monitoring of ELP students. The degree of modification, the duration and the type of services shall be determined individually and shall be based on the needs of each student.

If a sufficient number of the students identified with limited English proficiency are of the same language group to meet statutory requirements; the Board shall establish and implement a bilingual-bicultural education program as required by the law.

The parent(s) of ELL students shall be notified of student testing arrangements and of educational programs and services available to help their children improve their English language skills and academic achievement. The notifications shall be consistent with legal requirements and presented in such manner as to ensure that the student's parent(s) understands them.

The District shall assess the English proficiency and academic progress of ELL students in accordance with legal requirements. Decisions regarding the administration of State-required tests to ELL students shall be made on a case-by-case basis. Testing accommodations may be made based on student needs, provided the validity of the test is maintained. The District shall administer State-required tests to an ELL student unless a determination has been made that the results of the test, with allowable accommodations made for the student as needed, will not be a valid and reliable indicator of the student's academic knowledge and skills. Any ELL student exempted from taking a State-required test shall be administered an alternative assessment approved by the Department of Public Instruction. The results of both State-required tests and alternate assessments shall be consistent with District policies in making instructional, promotion, and graduation decisions. Test results may not be used as the sole criterion in re-classifying an ELL student from a bilingual-bicultural education program or in determining grade promotion, eligibility for courses or programs, eligibility for graduation or eligibility for postsecondary education opportunities.

ELL students will no longer be considered limited-English proficient when they have the language skills necessary to compete with mainstream English speakers. The District Administrator shall establish administrative guidelines that provide the:

A. standards for reclassification/exit decisions; B. process for monitoring and maintaining documentation on the exiting student for two (2) years; C. access for students to re-enter a bilingual or ESL program if there is evidence that the reclassification decision was premature; D. opportunity for the parent(s) to participate in each entry, exit and re-entry decision; E. opportunity for the parent(s) to appeal the exit or re-entry decision.

The District will include in its annual report to the public information required by statute regarding the performance of ELL students.