Orono English Language Learner Program

ELL Program Goal

Students will develop social and academic language to fully participate in grade level curricular tasks.  Students will holistically acquire proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking.


Part 1: Home Language Questionnaire

A Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ) is included in all students’ registration packets K-12.  The HLQ determines if a student:

  1. First learned a language other than English.

  2. Comes from a home where the language usually spoken is something other than English.

  3. Usually speaks a language other than English.

A student who can answer yes to one or more of the questions above is considered to have a primary language other than English. The home language questionnaire should be placed in the cumulative folder of each student.

Mainstream teachers or other staff may also alert teachers to a potential need for English Language Learner  (ELL) services.

Part 2: Determining Proficiency

Students who are determined to have a primary language other than English are not automatically English Language Learners (ELL). They are, however, the students who should be screened to determine whether or not they are ELLs.

Students are assessed by a trained test administrator using the WIDA Access Placement Test (W-APT) or MODEL.  These assessments are administered within 30 days of the beginning of the school year or within two weeks for students admitted during the year.  

Kindergarteners during the first semester will only be assessed on their oral proficiency (listening and speaking).  Second semester kindergarteners through twelfth graders are assessed on oral proficiency and literacy (reading and writing).

Test results indicating the student’s proficiency score should be placed in the student’s cumulative folder.

Part 3: Determining SLIFE classification

Additionally, an ELL student who meets the following criteria, as defined by the Minnesota Department of Education,  will be also considered a SLIFE student. SLIFE stands for Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education. Student records and interviews with the student and parents will be used to determine if the student meets the following criteria.

SLIFE Criteria:

  1. Student comes from a home where the language usually spoken is other than English, or who usually speaks a language other than English.

  2. Student enters school in the United States after grade 6.

  3. Student has at least two years less schooling than the English learner’s peers.

  4. Student functions at least two years below expected grade level in reading and mathematics.

  5. Student may be preliterate in his/her native language.

Program Entrance

Students who have an overall score of 5.0 or below on the W-APT or MODEL qualify for EL services.  Students who score between a 5.1 and 5.5 may be eligible for service if other evidence, such as prior records, teacher recommendations and classroom performance, supports the need for it.

Parental Notification

Parents will be notified of a student’s eligibility for ELL services using the Parent Notification of Eligibility forms.  These forms inform parents of their child’s English language proficiency level and whether or not services will be provided.

Parents have the right to refuse ELL service by writing a letter to the school or filling out the Parent Refusal of Services form.  If a parent chooses to refuse services, the form should be returned to the ELL teacher and placed in the student’s cumulative folder.  The student will stop receiving any English support once this form is received.

Annual Progress Evaluation

All students who are designated ELL will have their English proficiency assessed annually using the The Assessing Comprehension & Communication in English State to State (ACCESS) test.  This includes students who are receiving direct and indirect service, students on monitor status and students whose parents have refused service.  The ACCESS assessment will be administered to students by a trained staff during the state approved testing window each spring.  The results are used to inform class placement, monitor individual progress and evaluate effectiveness of service.

Monitor Status

Monitor Status means that a student is considered an ELL but is not receiving any direct instruction from the ELL teacher.  The ELL teacher will check progress with the classroom teacher using the Monitor forms at the end of each trimester for students in grades K-5 and each semester for students in grades 6-12.

The following will be taken into consideration when making the decision to put a student on Monitor Status:


Incoming kindergarteners who mark a primary language other than English and score proficient on the oral section of the MODEL will be put on monitor status to monitor the development of their literacy skills.

First through Twelfth Grade

Students who have an overall score of 5.0 and above on the ACCESS will be put on monitor status if classroom work, parent and teacher concerns or below grade level achievement on standardized tests warrant such placement.

If a teacher or parent expresses concern about a student’s progress while they are on Monitor Status, the student can be placed back into direct service and once again begin receiving support.  

At the end of the monitor period, if students have been successful without support from ELL staff, they will be reclassified as non-ELL.

When students have successfully completed the monitor period, a Notification of Program Exit will be sent home to parents and a copy will be placed in the student’s cumulative folder.

Program Exit

Students who score between 5.0 and above may be considered for program exit if classroom work, and performance on standardized tests demonstrate their ability to succeed at grade level work without support.

If a student is reclassified as non-ELL but later begins to struggle, he/she may be recommended to have their English proficiency reassessed.  The student would then be reassessed using the MODEL to determine their proficiency level and eligibility for English Language services.