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English Learner Identification Criteria and Procedures

Initial Identification

For a student to be considered “Limited English Proficient” (LEP), the following process will be used. All students registering in the Centennial School District answer the Minnesota Language Survey (MNLS) provided during the registration process.  

If there is evidence of a language other than English indicated on the MNLS, the student will be referred by the school office staff to the EL teacher for further evaluation.  The four language-related questions found on the MNLS are as follows:

  • Which language(s) did your child learn first?
  • Which language(s) is spoken at home?
  • Which language(s) does your child understand?
  • Which language(s) does your child have consistent interaction with?

Based on the MNLS responses, the EL teacher will determine if the student should be screened to determine eligibility. The EL teacher will also review ACCESS (an English Language Screener)/W-APT (an English Language Proficiency Assessment) scores for students transferring from another Minnesota school district as evidence of past participation in EL programs.

If a student is new to Minnesota, the W-APT will be administered to determine a student’s language proficiency level. If a student meets the entrance requirements for the EL program, the EL staff will send home the Parent Notification Letter. This letter will notify the parents of their child’s eligibility to receive EL support.  Parents are given the option to decline services at this time if desired. When the parents are in agreement with EL services, the district will begin EL services and enter the student into the Infinite Campus (Student Information System) by identifying the student as receiving state-reported LEP service. 

Ongoing Identification

Transitioning students from one year to the next: The EL teachers will evaluate all spring standardized testing data as it becomes available to determine each ELL’s eligibility for ongoing direct language instruction.  When a student meets the exit criteria with an emphasis on WIDA ACCESS scores, they will be reclassified before the first day of the next school year and no longer receive language instruction.

If a student who has not been initially identified but begins to demonstrate language/academic concerns, the EL teacher will do a combination of the following to determine if language is the primary concern:

  • Administer/Re-administer the W-APT/Screener to determine language proficiency
  • Re-evaluate all assessment data and review updated data
  • Make a classroom observation
  • Interview parents
  • If the student meets entrance criteria, EL staff will enroll the student in the EL program when the parents agree to EL  services.

English Language Proficiency Measures

ACCESS for ELL/WIDA Screener and W-APT

The results of the ACCESS for ELL/WIDA Screener and W-APT language assessments are used to:

  • Determine the scope and sequence of the EL program for each child
  • Determine which language domains need additional instruction
  •  Measure adequate language growth over time

All EL teachers have attended Minnesota Department of Education ACCESS for EL training workshops. As required, the EL teachers have completed all online training and quizzes. Each teacher is re-certified each year in the administration of the speaking portion of the ACCESS test, the Kindergarten ACCESS test, and the Alternate ACCESS test if applicable.

Communication of Identification Criteria and Procedures

All EL program identification criteria are located on the district website which can be translated through Google Translator.

  • EL teachers are present at kindergarten orientations, elementary open houses, and information nights to answer any questions from potential EL families. 
  • Parent Notification Letters are sent home at the beginning of each school year or upon the completion of screening for students who arrive mid-year.
  • Intake meeting with parent or guardian of new-to-district students
  • Student Assistance Team Meeting (SAT)
  • Staff Meetings
  • Team Meetings (middle school/elementary schools)
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences: offered fall and spring each year 
    • Phone calls using Language Line interpreter service when needed and is offered to all staff who are educating EL students
    • If necessary, Betmar Interpreting Service is employed for all meeting with parents.

Entrance/Exit Criteria