Service Plan for English Learners
Brookings School District
Purpose and Regulatory Basis for LAU Plan- The district plan is designed to meet the instructional needs of English Language Learners (ELs) and is referred to as the Lau Plan (Lau v. Nichols, 1974). The laws and regulations pertaining to the provision of services to students identified as needing assistance as English Learners are listed below:
1964 - Civil Rights Act, Title VI -"No person in the U.S. shall, on the ground of race, color, national origin be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
Bilingual Education Act (Amended in 1974 and 1978) - "The Congress declared it to be the policy of the United States, in order to establish equal educational opportunity for all children, (a) to encourage the establishment and operation, where appropriate, of educational programs using bilingual educational practices, techniques, and methods; and (b) for that purpose, to provide financial assistance to local education agencies, and to State education agencies for certain purposes, in order to enable such local educational agencies to develop and carry out such programs in elementary and secondary schools, including activities at the pre-school level, which are designed to meet the educational needs of such children; and to demonstrate effective ways of providing, for children of limited English speaking ability, instruction designed to enable them, while using their native language, to achieve competence in the English language."
May 25, 1970, Memorandum, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare - This memorandum interpreted the Civil Rights Act. It delineates the responsibility of school districts in providing equal education opportunity to national origin minority group students whose English language proficiency is limited. The following quotes discuss some major areas of concern with respect to compliance with Title VI and have the force of Law:
"Where inability to speak and understand the English language exclude national origin minority group children from effective participation in the educational program offered by a school district, the district must take affirmative steps to rectify the language deficiency in order to open its instructional program to these students."
"School districts have the responsibility to adequately notify national origin minority group parents of school activities which are called to the attention of other parents. Such notice, in order to be adequate, may have to be provided in a language other than English."
"School districts must not assign national origin minority group students to classes for the mentally retarded on the basis of criteria which essentially measure or evaluate English language skills; nor may school districts deny national origin minority group children access to college preparation courses on a basis directly related to the failure of the school system to inculcate English language skills."
1974 - Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) - "No state shall deny equal educational opportunity to an individual on account of his or her race, color, sex or nation origin, by ... the failure of an educational agency to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional programs."
Lau Plan Goals - Goals for students are aligned to state adopted standards and benchmarks. Students will meet or exceed the identified goals on an annual basis.
- English language development
- Academic achievement
- Cross-cultural goals
- Identification and Placement of students in the EL program
- Home Language Survey – New families complete registration with the district registrar and are given a home language survey. Online enrollment also includes a home language survey.
- Definition of Limited English Proficient student – The term ‘limited English proficient’, when used with respect to an individual, means an individual - -
- Who is aged 3 through 21;
- Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
- Who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;
- Who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and
- Who is migratory, whose native language is language other than English, and who comes from an environment where language other than English is dominant; and
- Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual—
- The ability to meet the State’s proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 111(b)(3);
- The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
- The opportunity to participate fully in society.
- State criteria for EL services - South Dakota criteria for classifying a student as ELL are as follows-
Grades 1-12: Students with a composite score lower than 5.0 qualify for ELL services.
Kindergarten- Preschool through 1st semester of grade 1: The Kindergarten Listening and Speaking Test is an oral proficiency test intended for students in this age range. (It cannot be given earlier than May prior to entering kindergarten.) Identification Criteria: If combined Listening and Speaking raw score is less than 29, the student will be deemed eligible for language assistance services and must be administered the annual ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® assessment. OR A score less than 5.0 on WIDA Measure of Developing English Language (MODEL) is also considered a placement score for ELLs.
Kindergarten-2nd semester kindergarten through 1st semester of grade 1: The Kindergarten Reading and Writing Tests are diagnostic tests intended for students in this range. Identification Criteria: If combined Listening and Speaking raw score is less than 19, the student will be deemed eligible for language assistance services and must be administered the annual ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® assessment. If combined Listening and Speaking raw score ranges from 19-28, the Reading and Writing portions need to be administered. If Reading score is lower than an 11 and the Writing score is lower than a 12, the student is classified as ELL and must be administered the annual ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment OR a score less than 5.0 on WIDA Measure of Developing English Language (MODEL) is also considered a placement score for ELLs.
The W-APT test results/scores need to be placed in the student’s cumulative file. Parents can refuse ELL services if a student is identified as ELL. However, they cannot refuse the administration of language identifier test at entrance.
- Student identification – from the first day of attendance, the district has 30 days to assess and identify eligible EL students. Upon identification, parent notification of eligibility for services is provided to the parent/guardian(s) and services begin.
- Services – The student’s proficiency level provides the basis for determination of the amount of services to be provided. The EL district staff for each building will make the determinations of services for each student and communicate this to parents and classroom teachers through the Language Service Plan (LSP).
- Parental right to decline services – Parents may decline the opportunity to participate in EL services being offered by the district. Assessment may not be declined as a component of the district’s EL program. If a family declines direct services, the student’s teacher and EL staff collaborate to meet the student’s need for English mastery and academic growth without EL supports. Parents who have previously declined services may request to receive services at any time provided their child remains eligible.
- Service Delivery Model
- Core model –
- All instruction is in English
- El students may be served by other programs such as Title I and/or special education
- Core model –
- EL student involvement in other programs does not replace EL services
- K-5 –
- Students are served through a pull-out delivery model, based upon their identified language level needs
- Supplemental materials are used as the basis for language development and academic achievement.
- Middle and High School –
- Students are served in separate settings for English language development. The amount of time is based upon their identified language level needs.
- Staff utilizes sheltered instructional strategies to promote academic achievement.
- Students may receive credit for EL coursework at the HS level.
- Annual Parent notification – At the conclusion of each school year, parents will receive a copy of the proficiency assessment and the status of their child for continuation of services.
- Highly Qualified Staff – the district will employ staff who have the appropriate endorsements for EL instruction. If a staff member does not currently have the endorsement, they will complete a plan of intent for achieving appropriate certification.
- Designated Administrative Oversight –The district identifies a coordinator for the oversight of the EL programs.
- Access to state standards and WIDA standards – The district EL program instruction is based upon the state-adopted standards and WIDA English Language Proficiency standards.
- Curriculum and Supplemental Resources – The district utilizes current research based materials to deliver instructional in the K-12 EL program.
- Evaluation for Special Education – EL students may be evaluated for eligibility for special education, with consideration and selection of appropriate assessments and interpreters provides to ensure valid assessment occurs. No student may be referred, evaluated or identified for special education as a result of speaking a first language other than English.
- Meaningful Access to All Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Programs – Staff will identify and assist families in understanding opportunities to participate in the various programs offered in the district. Interpretation services may be obtained to support families in learning about what is available for their student. If a student is referred for possible services in special education, gifted education and/or Title services, the district will ensure students are assessed in a manner which is likely to result produced valid results of their abilities. This may include using an interpreter, a native language assessment, or non-verbal assessments.
- Professional Development
- The district is a member of the Statewide Title III Consortium, which provides access to professional development for EL staff and general education as well.
- District coordinator will identify training needs based upon the input of EL staff and promote the opportunity for staff to attend trainings.
- Annual English Language Proficiency Assessment (ACCESS) –
- All EL staff who are test administrators will participate in required training to administer this assessment.
- Scores from the ACCESS test will be disseminated to parents on an annual basis following receipt of test results.
- Staff will attend training as available from the Consortium, or state Department of Education which provides support for interpreting results and utilization of results to guide planning, instruction and programs.
- Exit Criteria and Procedures –
- Exit criteria – A student must meet the following criteria to exit from EL services:
- Achieve a composite score of at least 4.7 on ACCESS
- Achieve a reading score of at least 4.5 on ACCESS
- Exit criteria – A student must meet the following criteria to exit from EL services:
- Achieve a Writing score of at least 4.1 on ACCESS
- Meet all criteria in the same school year
- Procedures for a student who is exiting:
- Parents will receive copies of the ACCESS results in both English and their native language
- EL staff will note student code in Infinite Campus as “exited”
- Monitoring of the student will be in place for the next two years
- Monitoring Exited Students
- Sustained academic progress will be measured by EL staff, on a quarterly basis.
- EL staff will meet with classroom teachers to get their input, review grades, check completion of work, and other issues to discuss student progress.
- If a student is not maintaining academic growth in the classroom, they may be referred for a return to EL services.
- If a student is selected to return to EL services, the process of parental notification will occur by sending a letter to the parents. Services will resume unless parents decline to have their child attend.
- Evaluation of the EL program
- The goals of the district’s EL program are to show progress towards meeting Lau plan goals for English proficiency and academic achievement.
- Each year, the district will analyze the progress results from ACCESS testing and identify if goals are met.
- Letter to Districts from the U.S. Department of Justice: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-el-201501.pdf
- Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights Joint Guidance:
- English Language Proficiency Levels (K-12):
Level 1: (Entering): Learner does not speak English and has little or no literacy skills in English. Success in the mainstream classroom curriculum would be impossible.
Level 2: (Beginning): Learner has some basic social language skills in English. He/she may have literacy and academic skills in a language other than English, but has limited academic skills in reading, writing, speaking and comprehension English. Succeeding in the mainstream classroom curriculum would be extremely difficult to impossible.
Level 3: (Developing): Learner has intermediate to basic social English language skills in English and is developing cognitive academic English, but is significantly below grade level in reading and writing English. Succeeding in the mainstream classroom curriculum would be extremely difficult.
Level 4: (Expanding): Learner has nearly mastered basic social English language skills. He/she can interact fairly well in a variety of social situations. The learner is expanding cognitive academic language skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening and may exhibit success in some areas and frustration in others. He/she is able to manage some areas of the mainstream curriculum without support, but not all.
Level 5: (Bridging): Learner has mastered basic social English language skills and is nearly proficient in cognitive, academic language skills in all areas including listening, speaking, reading and writing. Learner can function in most areas of the mainstream curriculum and needs support on limited occasions, when the language demands are complex, extensive use of idioms or other areas that would demand accommodations or support.
Level 6: (Attained): Learner can function successfully in the mainstream curriculum without accommodations for limited English or English Language Learner Program Support. He/she has age-appropriate mastery of social English language proficiency and cognitive, academic language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing English and also functions at age-appropriate level of cognitive, academic language proficiency in those areas.
Lau Leadership Team Members: Michelle Powers (EL Coordinator) Michelle VandeWeerd (Director of Instruction) Stephanie Jungers, Holly Sebern, Lisa Plummer, Kaye Myers (EL teaching staff)