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IHBEA

IHBEA:  ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

 

 

IDENTIFICATION AND INSTRUCTION

 

The District shall identify students whos dominant language may not be English through home language surveys that identify a primary home language is other than English (PHLOTE), observations, intake assessments, and recommendations of parents, teachers and other persons.  Identified students shall be assessed annually to determine their level of proficiency in the English language.

 

The District shall certify to the Massachusetts Department of Education each year those students whose dominant language is not English, including specification of the number of non-English languages identified as dominant languages and the number and percent of students who speak each non-English language as their dominant language.

 

The District shall provide suitable research-based language instructional programs for all identified English language learners in grades Kindergarten through 12 in accordance with the requirements of state and federal statutes and Massachusetts Department of Education regulations and guidance.

 

The District shall provide additional information as required by the Massachusetts Department of Education to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act.

 

LITERACY AND FLUENCY

 

General Laws c. 71A, as emended by Chapter 386 of the Acts of 2002, is the Massachusetts law governing the education of limited English proficient students.  Section 2 of Question 2 requires teachers in English langugage classrooms to be “fluent and literate in English.”  Under Question 2, English language classrooms encompass both sheltered English immersion classrooms and English language mainstream classrooms.  Teachers in classrooms other than English language classrooms (e.g., bilingual education and foreign language classrooms) do not need to meet the English literacy and fluency requirements of Section 2 of Question 2.

 

To fulfill this law’s requirements, the district superintendent signs an assurance that all teachers in English language classrooms are literate and fluent in English.

 

  1. Literacy in English.  Teachers who possess a Massachusetts teaching license or vocational approval fulfill Question 2’s requirement for literacy in English.  Any teacher who does not hol a Massachusetts teaching license but who has received a Bachelor’s degree from a college or university where the language of instruction was English fulfills Question 2’s requirement for literacy in English. 
  2. Teachers who have taken and passed the Massachusetts Communication and Literacy Test fulfill Question 2’s requirements for literacy in English.
  3. Fluency in English.  Fluency is defined as having oral proficiency in English that consists of comprehension and production.  Production is defined as accurate and efficient oral communication using appropriate pronunciation, intonation, grammar, and vocabulary in an interactive professional context.  The following section discusses how district officials should make the fluency determination.

 

Methods for Determining Fluency

Determining teaching staff’s fluency in English is made through one or more of the following methods:

 

  • Classroom observation and assessment by the teacher’s supervisor, principal, and/or superintendent; and/or
  • An interview and assessment by the teacher’s supervisor, principal, and/or superintendent.

 

ELL PROGRAM OPT-OUT

 

General Laws Chapter 71A requires that publicly-funded students in Massachusetts whoare Liminted English Proficient be instructed through the use of sheltered English immersion, unless the student wishes to “opt out” and be placed in a general classroom not tailored for English learners.

 

Parents may notify the district of their wish to have their child “opt-out” of the ELL program.  This means that a parent or guardian chooses to deny their child’s entry into the Sheltered English Immersion program in the Georgetown Public Schools.  The district requires that a parent or guardian schedule a meeting with the ELL program Administrator and ELL staff in order to exercise this option.  A form (Opt-out Form) must be signed in order to make this official.

 

Our district encourages parents to allow their children to participate in our ELL program for a limited time before they make a final determination to “opt-out” of the program.  The Georgetown Public Schools will continue to keep parents apprised of their child’s progress.  Federal law establishes a district’s obligation to provide LEP students with meaningful access to the education program.  Because of this, when a parent declines their child’s participation in a formal language instruction program, the district will continue to monitor the progress of the student to ensure that the student has an equal opportunity to have his or her English language and academic needs met.

 

LEP RE-DESIGNATION

 

Annual assessment of the English language proficiency of all LEP students is mandated by G.L. c. 71A and Title III of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. G.L. 71A requires school districts to provide LEP students, with limited exceptions, sheltered English immersion (SEI) instruction until the students are proficient in English.  Section 4 of the law states:  Once English learners acquire a good working knowledge of English and are able to do regular school work in English, they shall no longer be classified as English learners and shall be transferred to English language mainstream classrooms.

 

To aid in this process, the Georgetown Public Schools has created an ELL Continuation and Re-designation process with a defined set of criteria to determine whether a LEP student who has been receiving language instruction during the school year is still limited English proficient at the end of the school year.  (See 603 CMR 14.02(4)).  In determining LEP status, the district determines and considers English language proficiency in four areas:  speaking, listening, reading and writing in both social and academic settings.  A school-based team, including members familiar with the student’s English language proficiency in a classroom setting, makes decisions about the nature of instructional programming for the student and his or her classification as LEP, using the district’s criteria and guidance provided in the process.

 

If a student is determined to be LEP after applying these criteria, an instructional program is designed for the student that meets the requirements of G.L. c. 71A, and the student should be designated as LEP in the district’s report to the Department’s Student Information Management System (SIMS).

 

If a student is determined not to be LEP, the district will no longer classify the student as LEIP in SIMS.

 

 

 

SOURCE:                      MASC 2006

 

LEGAL REFS.:              20 U.S.C. 3001 et seq. (language instruction for limited English proficient and immigrant students contained in No Child Left Behind Act of 2001)

                                      42 U.S.C. 2000d (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

                                      603 CMR 14.00

 

                                      General Laws c. 71A, as amended by Chapter 386 of the Acts of 2002

                                      Title III of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act

                                      See 603 MCR 14.02(4)

 

 

Adopted on:     April 24, 2008

Revised on:       May 13, 2010

 
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