EDUCATION FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
English learner means a student who does not speak English or whose native language is not English and who is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English, also known as a limited English proficient or LEP child. (Education Code 306)
English language classroom means a classroom in which the language of instruction used by the teaching personnel is overwhelmingly the English language, and in which such teaching personnel possess a good knowledge of the English language. (Education Code 306)
English language mainstream classroom means a classroom in which the students either are native English language speakers or already have acquired reasonable fluency in English. (Education Code 306)
Sheltered English immersion or structured English immersion means an English language acquisition process in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English, but with the curriculum and presentation designed for students who are learning the language. (Education Code 306)
Bilingual education/native language instruction means a language acquisition process for students in which much or all instruction, textbooks, and teaching materials are in the student’s native language. (Education Code 306)
Identification and Assessment
Upon enrollment, each student’s primary language shall be determined through use of a home language survey. (5 CCR 11307)
Within thirty (30) calendar days of their initial enrollment, students who are identified as having a primary language other than English, as determined by the home language survey, and for whom there is no record of results from an English language development test shall be assessed using the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). (5 CCR 11511)
All students shall have sufficient time to complete the CELDT as provided in the directions for test administration. (5 CCR 11516)
Any student with a disability shall take the CELDT with those accommodations for testing that the student has regularly used during instruction and classroom assessment, as delineated in the student’s individualized education plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan, that are appropriate and necessary to address the student’s individual needs. (5 CCR 11516.5)
The District shall notify the parent/guardian of their child’s results on the CELDT within thirty (30) calendar days. (5 CCR 11511.5)
Within ninety (90) days of initial enrollment, students identified as having limited English proficiency shall be further assessed for primary language proficiency in comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. The Superintendent or designee shall develop criteria for determining student needs on the basis of these assessments. (former Education Code 52164.1, 62002)
Before students are enrolled in a program for English language learners, the parent/guardian shall receive information about the program and their opportunities for parental involvement. This information shall include the fact that an individual student’s participation in the program is voluntary on the part of the parent/guardian. (Education Code 52173)
Not later than thirty (30) calendar days after the beginning of the school year, each parent/guardian of a student participating in, or identified for participation in, a language instruction program supported by federal Title III funds shall receive notification of the assessment of his/her child’s English proficiency. The notice shall include all of the following: (Education Code 440; 20 USC 6312)
The reason for the student’s classification as an English language learner.
The level of English proficiency.
A description of the program for English language development instruction, including a description of all of the following:
(a) the manner in which the program will meet the educational strengths and needs of the student;
(b) the manner in which the program will help the student develop his/her English proficiency and meet age-appropriate academic standards;
(c) the specific exit requirements for the program, the expected rate of transition from the program into classrooms not tailored for English language learner students, and the expected rate of graduation from secondary school if Title I funds are used for students in secondary schools; and
(d) where the student has been identified for special education, the manner in which the program meets the requirements of the student’s IEP.
Information regarding a parent/guardian’s option to decline to allow the student to become enrolled in the program or to choose to allow the student to become enrolled in an alternative program.
Information designed to assist a parent/guardian in selecting among available programs, if more than one program is offered.
The parent/guardian also shall be notified of the results of any reassessments. (Education Code 52164.3)
Parental Exception Waivers
At the beginning of each school year, the parent/guardian shall be informed of the placement of their children in a structured English immersion program and shall be notified of an opportunity to apply for a parental exception waiver. (Education Code 310; 5 CCR 11309)
A parent/guardian may request that the District waive the requirements of Education Code 305, pertaining to the placement of a student in a structured English immersion program if the one of the following circumstances exists:
Students who already know English: The student already possesses good English language skills, as measured by standardized tests of English vocabulary comprehension, reading and writing, in which the student scores at or above the state average for his/her grade level or at or above the fifth-grade average, whichever is lower. (Education Code 311[a])
Older students: The student is age ten (10) years or older, and it is the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that an alternate course of study would be better suited to the student’s rapid acquisition of basic English skills. (Education Code 311[b])
Students with special needs: The student already has been placed, for a period of not less than thirty (30) calendar days during that school year, in an English language classroom and it is subsequently the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that the student has special physical, emotional, psychological or educational needs and that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the student’s overall educational development. (Education Code 311[c])
The parent/guardian shall personally visit the school to apply for the waiver. (Education Code 310)
Upon request for a waiver, the Superintendent or designee shall provide to the parent/guardian: (Education Code 310, 311; 5 CCR 11309)
a full written description, and a spoken description upon request, of the intent and content of the structured English immersion program, any alternative courses of study and all educational opportunities offered by the District and available to the student, and the educational materials to be used in the different educational program choices; and
for a request for waiver pursuant to Education Code 311(c) for students with special needs, notification that the student must be placed for a period of not less than thirty (30) calendar days in an English language classroom and that the Superintendent must approve the waiver pursuant to Governing Board guidelines.
Pursuant to Education Code 311(b) and 311(c), the principal and educational staff may recommend a waiver to a parent/guardian for a student ten (10) years or older and a student with special needs. The parent/guardian shall be informed in writing of any recommendation for an alternative program made by the principal and staff and shall be given notice of their right to refuse to accept the recommendation. The notice shall include a full description of the recommended alternative program and the educational materials to be used for the alternative program, as well as a description of all other programs available to the student. If the parent/guardian elects to request the alternative program recommended by the principal and educational staff, the parent/guardian shall comply with District procedures and requirements otherwise applicable to a parental exception waiver, including Education Code 310. (5 CCR 11309)
When evaluating waiver requests pursuant to Education Code 311(a) for students who already know English and other waiver requests for those students for whom standardized assessment data are not available, other equivalent assessment measures may be used. These equivalent measures may include local assessments, local standards and teacher evaluations.
Parental exception waivers pursuant to Education Code 311(b) for students ten (10) years or older shall be granted if it is the informed belief of the principal and educational staff that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the student’s rapid acquisition of basic English language skills. (Education Code 311)
Parental exception waivers pursuant to Education Code 311(c) for students with special needs shall be granted if it is the informed belief of the principal and educational staff that, due to the student’s special physical, emotional, psychological or educational needs, an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the student’s overall educational development. (Education Code 311)
Each waiver shall be considered on its individual merits with great deference given to parental preference for student placement.
The principal or designee shall act upon all parental exception waivers within twenty (20) instructional days of submission to the principal. However, parental waiver requests pursuant to Education Code 311(c) for students with special needs shall not be acted upon during the thirty-day placement in an English language classroom. These waivers shall be acted upon no later than ten (10) calendar days after the expiration of that thirty (30) day English language classroom placement or within twenty (20) instructional days of submission of the waiver to the principal, whichever is later. (5 CCR 11309)
All parental exception waivers shall be granted unless the principal and educational staff have determined that an alternative program offered at the school would not be better suited for the overall educational development of the student. (5 CCR 11309)
Individual schools in which twenty (20) students or more of a given grade level receive a waiver shall be required to offer such a class; otherwise they must allow the students to transfer to a public school in which such a class is offered. (Education Code 310)
Students wishing to transfer shall be subject to the District’s intradistrict and interdistrict attendance policies and administrative regulations. Students wishing to transfer to another district shall also be subject to the receiving district’s interdistrict attendance policies and administrative regulations.
In cases where a parental exception waiver pursuant to Education Code 311(b) or (c) is denied, the parent/guardian shall be informed in writing of the reason(s) for the denial and advised that he/she may appeal the decision to the Board if the Board authorizes such an appeal, or to the court. (5 CCR 11309)
Waiver requests shall be renewed annually by the parent/guardian. (Education Code 310)
The District shall continue to provide additional and appropriate educational services to English language learners for the purposes of overcoming language barriers until the English language learners have: (5 CCR 11302)
demonstrated English language proficiency comparable to that of the District’s average native English language speakers; and
recouped any academic deficits which may have been incurred in other areas of the core curriculum as a result of language barriers.
English language learners shall be redesignated as fluent English proficient when they are able to comprehend, speak, read, and write English well enough to receive instruction in the regular program and make academic progress at a level substantially equivalent to that of students of the same age or grade whose primary language is English and who are in the regular course of study. (Education Code 52164.6)
The following measures shall be used to determine whether an English language learner shall be reclassified as fluent English proficient: (5 CCR 11303)
assessment of English language proficiency utilizing the CELDT as the primary criterion, and objective assessment of the student’s English reading and writing skills (Early Advanced or higher, each skill area at Intermediate or higher);
participation of the student’s classroom teacher and any other certificated staff with direct responsibility for teaching or placement decisions (SOLOM level 4 or 5 or teacher recommendation);
parent/guardian opinion and consultation during a redesignation interview (the parent/guardian shall receive written notice and a description of the redesignation process, including notice of their right to participate in the process; parent/guardian participation in the process shall be encouraged);
comparison of performance in basic skills, including performance on the English-Language Arts section of the California Standards Test (Basic or above in ELA); and
objective data on the student’s academic performance in English (grade level benchmarks).
The Superintendent or designee shall provide subsequent monitoring and support for redesignated students, including, but not limited to, monitoring the performance of redesignated students in the core curriculum in comparison with their native-English speaking peers, monitoring the rate of redesignation, and ensuring correct classification and placement.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop a process to monitor the effectiveness of the District’s program for English language learners. The District’s program shall be modified as needed to help ensure language and academic success for each English language learner.