The English Language (EL) program in District 191 is an education program for the instruction of students of limited English proficiency in the following skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The program provides appropriate English language instruction to help students succeed in academic subjects and learn to speak and use English.
EL programming aligns with the mission and vision of District 191, outlined in the One91 Strategic Roadmap, the Minnesota Department of Education and the Guiding Principles of Language Development of WIDA (World-class Instruction Design and Assessment).
District 191 serves students in the English Learner Program according to their grade levels, English proficiency levels in all four domains (as determined by the WIDA Screener, W-APT, or ACCESS), prior school records and assessment history, feedback from previous teachers, best practice research and the program model.
- What is an English Learner?
- Commitments for EL Programming
- EL Enrollment & Screening
- Qualifications for EL Services
- Parent Notification & Advocacy
- Placement & Scope of Service
- Assessment & Continuation of EL Services
- EL Program Exit
What is an English Learner?
As defined in Minnesota under 2017 Minnesota Statutes, section 124D. 59, subdivision 2 an English learner is “a pupil in kindergarten through grade 12 or a prekindergarten student enrolled in an approved voluntary prekindergarten program under section 124D.151 or a school readiness plus program who meets the requirements under subdivision 2a or both of the following requirements:
1. The pupil, as declared by a parent or guardian, uses a language other than English.
2. The pupil is determined by a valid assessment measuring the pupil’s English language proficiency and by developmentally appropriate measures, which might include observations, teacher judgment, parent recommendations, or developmentally appropriate assessment instruments, to lack the necessary English skills to participate fully in academic classes taught in English.”
Commitments for EL Programming
We will provide meaningful access to high-quality instruction and resources for English Learners, including differentiated supports for academic content as well as strategies to increase English language acquisition.
We will provide instruction and support that target each student’s needs, including small groups, individual support, and office hours.
EL teachers will have clear strategies that provide structured opportunities for students to produce oral and written language.
Content teachers will provide multiple representations of concepts, sentence frames, differentiated texts, and vocabulary instruction with an explicit focus on academic language and opportunities for student-to-student interaction.
We will prioritize, plan for, and facilitate collaboration and co-planning between content teachers and EL teachers.
We will assist students and families in the use of technology tools used in ISD191, first incorporating technology that students and families know, and slowly introducing new resources as students become comfortable.
We will provide enough support and personal contact to ensure that independent assignments can be completed without need for a family member to teach the content at home.
We will design short, clear assignments that allow for feedback and align to larger learning targets and grade level standards.
We will use formative assessments and progress monitoring tools to identify growth and gaps.
We will differentiate service and support to account for beginning, intermediate, and advanced English Language Proficiency at each grade level.
We will provide contact information for teachers, administrators, support staff, Cultural Liaisons, and interpreters so that families can communicate their questions and concerns in a direct and efficient manner.
EL Enrollment & Screening
In the state of Minnesota, English Learners (ELs) are identified through a two-step process:
1) Identification of primary language using responses from parents or guardians on the Minnesota Language Survey (MNLS) completed upon enrollment; and
2) Screening for English language ability using a state-approved language proficiency assessment.
All students enrolling in Minnesota districts and charter schools must have a parent or guardian complete the Minnesota Language Survey (MNLS). When students enroll in ISD 191 and indicate a language other than English on any of the four questions of the survey, they are screened for English Learner (EL) Service following Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) English Learner Procedures.
Screening for EL Service
The first step in screening is to examine students’ academic records and/or assessment history to determine if they were previously identified as English Learners or had prior ACCESS scores.
When no school records or assessment history are available, or when prior ACCESS scores are more than one year old, screening is conducted using the WIDA Online Screener for students in grades 1-12 or the WIDA Kg W-APT for students in kindergarten (1st semester includes Listening & Speaking domains only; 2nd semester includes Listening, Speaking, Reading, & Writing domains).
Neither the school or the district is required to notify parents prior to screening. When appropriate, or when parents make a request, schools can use the following documents to communicate the process and purpose of the screener with parents: Explanation of Screening for EL Services and Protocol for In-person Screening of K-1.
Qualifications for EL Services
Students meeting any one of the following 4 criteria is eligible for EL Services in ISD191 :
Students who take the WIDA Online Screener are identified as English Learners if either of the statements below are true:
Overall composite is below 4.5.
Any domain score is below 4.0.
Students who take the WIDA Kg W-APT are identified as English Learners if either of the statements below are true:
During the first semester of kindergarten the Listening & Speaking score is 27 or less.
During the second semester of kindergarten the Listening & Speaking score is 27 or less OR the Reading score is 10 or lower OR the Writing score is 11 or lower.
Students whose prior school records indicate they qualified for EL services in that prior district are identified as English Learners in ISD191.
Students for whom previous ACCESS scores (not more than one year old) indicate they have not reached proficiency (Composite score below 4.5 OR two domain scores below 3.5) are identified as English Learners in ISD191.
Parent Notification & Advocacy
Parent Notification Letters
Minnesota Statute requires that parents and guardians are notified within 10 calendar days of enrollment of their student in EL Services. The parent notification letter must be sent home in a language accessible to the parent/guardian. The parent notification informs the parent/guardian of the following:
That the student is eligible for EL services and will be enrolled in the Language Instruction Eductional Program (LIEP) of ISD191.
That, as parents/guardians they have the right to visit the program, request a conference to understand the program, and withdraw the child.
A description of the purpose, method, and content of the LIEP.
Minnesota Department of Education recommends that all letters are sent home in English as well as the preferred language of communication as indicated by the parent/guardian.
A parent or guardian has the right at any time to withdraw the student from the LIEP by providing written notice of this intent to the school principal or to the district superintendent. The parent or guardian may re-enroll the child in the LIEP upon request.
Placement & Scope of Service
ISD 191 serves students in the English Learner Program according to their grade levels, English proficiency levels in all four domains (as determined by the WIDA Screener, W-APT, or ACCESS), prior school records and assessment history, feedback from previous teachers, best practice research, and the program model, which was presented to district administrators & school board in 2015.
Also taken into consideration when determining the amount and scope of instruction are the following factors: amount of previous formal schooling, Special Education identification, Gifted/Talented identification, amount of time in the US, and identification as a migratory child.
The following charts represent the amount and scope of service students receive:
Assessment & Continuation of EL Services
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
Under both federal and state law, all students enrolled in K-12 grades and identified as English Learners must participate in the annual English language proficiency assessment, ACCESS 2.0 for ELLs.
All students who have been identified as English Learners, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in an LIEP, must participate in the ACCESS 2.0 assessment.
This assessment usually takes place in February and March. For additional information on this assessment, please see the statewide testing page on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website.
A student must remain identified as an English learner until the student has met the exit requirement.
Initial ACCESS score results for ELs are typically available to districts in May on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website under secure reports or secure reports Section/site.
The results of the ACCESS 2.0 assessment guide the EL team to determine if a student continues to be EL eligible.
After a student is placed in the Language Instruction Education Program (LIEP), districts must annually identify students who continue to be eligible for English language instruction.
Opting-Out of ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
As with any state-wide testing parents/guardians of English Learners may choose for their students to opt-out of ACCESS for ELLs testing.
If parents/guardians choose for their students to opt-out of ACCESS for ELLs testing, they must complete this opt-out form on a yearly basis.
Important: If a student does not participate in the ACCESS for ELLs, the student cannot be considered to have met the proficiency requirement for exiting the EL identification.
Continuation of EL Services
Once all ACCESS scores are available, ISD191 begins to evaluate every EL’s ACCESS scores to determine continuing program eligibility.
EL Teachers & District staff first examine students’ composite scores on ACCESS.
If a student's overall composite score is not at least 4.5 on ACCESS, the student does not meet the definition of English language proficient and is, therefore, automatically eligible for continuing ELD instruction and must be enrolled in the LIEP in the following school year.
If a student's overall composite score is 4.5 or above on ACCESS, the student may or may not be eligible for continuing ELD instruction. ISD191 looks at the individual domain scores of ACCESS to make one of the three following determinations:
1. If a student has at least two individual domain scores (listening, speaking, reading, or writing) that are below 3.5, the student is automatically eligible for ELD instruction and must be enrolled in ELD instruction in the following school year.
2. If a student has all of the domains equal to or greater than 3.5 and has a composite score of 4.5 or higher, the student is considered to be proficient, is no longer eligible for enrollment in the LIEP, and must not be enrolled in ELD instruction in the following school year.
3. If a student has at least three out of four domain scores equal to or greater than 3.5 and a composite score of 4.5 or higher, EL Teachers or other staff of ISD 191 use additional criteria to determine continuing eligibility for EL services. If the student continues to be eligible for participation in the LIEP, in the following year the student must be enrolled in the LIEP and continue to receive ELD instruction.
Continuing Eligibility Parent Notification
Every year, ISD 191 notifies parents/guardians of students continuing with EL services within 30 calendar days of enrollment in the LIEP. This parent notification letter, written in a language that is accessible to the parent/guardian, is sent via US Mail during the month of September, accompanied by the student's Individual ACCESS report (if available), and a description of the district LIEP. The letter informs the parents/guardians that they have the right to visit the program, request a conference to understand the program, and withdraw the child from EL Services at any time.
EL Program Exit
Like all school districts in Minnesota, ISD 191 must wait until ACCESS test scores are available before beginning the exiting process.
If a student’s ACCESS composite score is at least 4.5 and ALL domain scores are at least 3.5, the student must be exited from EL Services.
If a student has an overall composite score of at least 4.5 and three out of four domain scores (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) of at least 3.5, that student has met the ACCESS proficiency score. That student will exit EL Services in ISD 191, except in cases where the student's EL Teacher has determined with additional criteria that the student should continue to receive EL Services.
If a student does not have a proficient ACCESS score (the composite score is less than 4.5 or 2+ domain scores are less than 3.5, the student may not exit EL Services.
ISD 191 notifies parents/guardians that their students have exited EL Services in a parent notification letter sent out during the month of September. This letter is sent via US Mail in a language that is accessible to the parents/guardians, along with the student's Individual ACCESS Report (if available).