Our district Bilingual/ESL guidelines explain how we carry out state guidelines and federal laws for bilingual and ESL students in our schools.
We currently serve over 19,000 English learners that make up 30% of our student population. Over 62 languages are found in our English learner population, with the most common being Spanish, Vietnamese, Amharic, Arabic and Malayalam.
The law instructs public schools to provide bilingual/ESL education so that English can be taught to students who have limited knowledge of English. These programs will assist them in functioning in an all-English school environment. Every student who is identified as limited English proficient will be provided an opportunity to participate in a special language program to ensure equal education opportunities.
Identifying and placing students
We conduct a home language survey and proficiency testing to make sure student needs are met.
1. Home language survey
The purpose of the Home Language Survey is to identify those students who use a language other than English in the home.
The form should be completed by the student's guardian when they register (or by the student in grades 9-12). A student may only have one finished Home Language Survey on file. If the Home Language Survey shows that a language other than English is used at home, then the student must be tested for English proficiency.
2. Language proficiency testing
An oral language proficiency test will be used to determine English proficiency.
At Pre-kindergarten through first grade, only the oral language test will be administered (preLAS). At grades two through twelve, students will. be tested in listening, speaking, reading and writing (LAS Links).
If the language other than English is “Spanish”, a Spanish oral test will be given in grades PreK-6 along with the English oral test.
3. Eligibility and placement
The Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) will review all information on limited English proficient students and decide on the initial instructional placement of the student in the appropriate program. Parental approval will then be requested. The student will be placed in the appropriate program pending parental approval. (See Bilingual/ESL Placement criteria Charts).