English Learner Program
English Learner Program Goals
Through high-quality instruction, English learners in Kerman Unified will:
- engage in daily comprehensive English Language Development and advance toward full proficiency in all domains of English (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) as rapidly as possible and equal to that of their native English speaking peers.
- have equal access to a challenging core curriculum through effective implementation of English learner “evidence-based” strategies and primary language support.
- experience meaningful instruction and enrichment opportunities that lead to positive self-esteem and appreciation of their culture and language.
English Learner Services
KUSD is committed to providing the best educational experience to all students within the district and ensuring that all students reach their fullest potential. We understand and appreciate that some of our students who enroll require additional language support to fully access the core curriculum, master the California State Standards and ultimately graduate from high school with choices about post-secondary education. We strive to provide a program that reflects the needs of the English learners we serve. We aim to continually improve all instructional settings and experiences that will promote English learner success. Data collection and review play an integral part in designing programs that best meet the needs of our community. The California Department of Education offers information on DataQuest to assist districts and their committees with data analysis and decision making: http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/.
Parents are an important part of the English learner program; they make a positive difference in the lives of their children. KUSD greatly values parent feedback and involvement. For further information about the English learner program, parents are encouraged to call the child’s school site or the KUSD Educational Services Department.
KUSD English Learner Master Plan
KUSD maintains an EL Master Plan for the English Learner Program which was approved by the Governing Board of Education. The EL Master plan is revised annually with a team of stakeholders who specialize in working with English Learners across the district. Additionally, the EL Master Plan is annually presented and reviewed with the District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC) for any input or suggestions relative to serving our English learners. All school administrators and staff members are provided access and encouraged to utilize the English Learner Master Plan as a resource. It includes procedures for identification, assessment, instruction, reclassification, and monitoring academic progress for all English learners. The English Learner Master Plan also includes additional information related to the services and resources that are available, program staffing requirements, and the rights of parents and students.
Identification of English Learners
All parents are required by California law to complete and sign a Home Language Survey. This form is part of the registration packet that is filled out when enrolling their students at school sites. If a language other than English is indicated on one of the first three questions of the Home Language Survey, the child must be assessed with the Initial English Language Proficiency Assessment of California. The assessment assists the site in determining the student’s program placement and program development. The Home Language Survey has been translated into other languages to assist parents/guardians with the process and if needed, oral translations are also available. This allows for the most accurate information that can efficiently assist students in an appropriate program placement and instructional setting. All English learners are placed into an appropriate program that supports their individual needs. Parents should contact the school for additional and specific information regarding their child’s needs and the services offered at the school site.
The Initial English Language Proficiency Assessment of California is to be administered for initial identification purposes within 30 calendar days of first enrollment to a pupil whose primary language is other than English, as determined by the Home Language Survey, and who has not previously been assessed for English language proficiency in a California public school in kindergarten – grade 12.
The test evaluates listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English. The Initial ELPAC has three performance level descriptors: Novice EL, Intermediate EL, and Initial Fluent English Proficient (IFEP). The IFEP performance level corresponds to the upper range of the “Bridging” proficiency level as described in the 2012 CA English Language Development Standards. The Intermediate test performance level corresponds to the entire “Expanding” proficiency level and to the lower range of the “Bridging” proficiency level. The Novice test performance level corresponds to the “Emerging” proficiency level. Students in K-12 meet the ELPAC criterion for English proficiency when the Overall score is in the IFEP range. No further English Language Proficiency testing is required for IFEP students; a regular instructional program is implemented. An appropriate English Language Development program is implemented for students identified as English learners. The results and program placement are immediately made available to parents.
Monitoring English Language Development (ELD) of English learners
Student Progress in English Language Development and the mastery of English Language Development Standards is monitored by:
- ELD and Curriculum Assessments
- Formative Assessment Practices
- Summative ELPAC
- District Benchmarks
- Four-Year Monitoring of Reclassified students
Students with Special Needs
One purpose of the ELPAC is to measure English language proficiency of students to ensure appropriate instructional placement. For some students with special needs, a test variation may be necessary, similar to what is offered to students when taking the SBAC. A variation is a change in the manner in which a test is presented or administered or in how a test taker is allowed to respond. This may include accommodations and/or modifications. Test variations enable students to participate in assessments in a way that allows abilities rather than disabilities to be assessed. They help level the playing field so that the assessment can more accurately measure the students’ knowledge and skills. In California, students with disabilities who participate in the state assessment system are permitted to use accommodations/modifications during testing as determined by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plans. Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities will be assessed with the alternate assessment when IEP team members determine the alternate assessment is appropriate and necessary following guidelines provided by CDE.
All English Learners in the district are given intense instruction in English, including designated and integrated English Language Development (ELD) instruction and Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE). Teachers of English Learners must hold the appropriate EL Authorization and are trained in methods and strategies that promote rapid acquisition of English as well as academic knowledge in core subjects. Teachers use a variety of assessments to monitor the progress of English learners. The 2012 ELD standards are used by the classroom teacher as the focus of all lessons and as a resource to assess individual students’ proficiency in English.
The district will conduct the Summative ELPAC administration annually to identify the English Language Proficiency (ELP) level of English learner students and assess their progress in acquiring listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English. English learners are given the Summative Assessment every spring between February and May until they are reclassified to Fluent English Proficient. Parents are notified of the testing window and encouraged to access online ELPAC parent-student resources and contact the school site or district office with any questions.
English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC)
Whenever there are 21 or more English Learners at a school site, there needs to be a functioning English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC). The committee advises the principal on the development of the school plan for English Learners. The committee assists the school with conducting the needs assessment and administration of the language census. The parents of English Learners are elected and one of the members serves as the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) representative. Please contact your child’s school for more information on the ELAC and meeting dates.
District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC)
The District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) advises the governing board on the EL Master Plan for English Learner education, district-wide needs assessment, and setting district goals for English Learner education. The DELAC assists the district with areas such as the language census report, written parent notification of initial and annual assessments, district’s reclassification process, and program options. The majority of the DELAC are parents of EL students. The DELAC members are trained by the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services and other English learner staff.
Request a Language Acquisition Program
Language acquisition programs are educational programs designed to ensure English acquisition occurs as rapidly and effectively as possible. English learners receive instruction based on the state-adopted academic content standards and English language development (ELD) standards.
Kerman Unified School District provides an intensive English language and literacy program known as the Structured English Immersion Program (SEI) in which nearly all classroom instruction is provided in English, but with curriculum and a presentation designed for pupils who are learning English. At minimum, students are offered Designated and Integrated English Language Development and access to grade level academic subject matter content. Parents/Guardians may choose an alternative language acquisition program that best suits their child. Dual Language and Transitional Programs are examples of alternative language acquisition programs. Schools in which the parents or legal guardians of 30 pupils or more per school or the parents or legal guardians of 20 pupils or more in any grade request a language acquisition program that is designed to provide language instruction shall be required to offer such a program to the extent possible. Additional information may be obtained in the KUSD EL Master Plan and by contacting the school principal or Educational Services Department.
Parents' Rights of English Learner Program and Services
Parents of English learners have a right to decline or opt their children out of the school district’s language acquisition program or opt out of particular English learner service(s) within a language acquisition program. Regardless of the request, the district remains obligated to provide the student meaningful instruction until the student is reclassified, assess the student annually with the Summative ELPAC, inform the parent when progress is not made, and offer the parent programs and services to consider at that time.
English Language Development Performance Expectations
The Initial ELPAC is the state assessment that is used to identify possible ELs. The Summative ELPAC is used to monitor the progress of English proficiency and serve as a tool for reclassification. The goal is to ensure students demonstrate progress on the Summative ELPAC each year. The summative data coupled with routine progress monitoring of ELD is critical in the design of programs, purchasing of materials, targeting instruction, and professional development opportunities. English Language Proficiency is monitored using both the Summative ELPAC and other classroom assessments as determined by the school site. KUSD also utilizes benchmark assessments in ELA and mathematics which allow teachers to monitor student growth in these areas. Both forms of assessments are used to monitor the progress of ELs. State and local benchmark data are housed within the Illuminate data system to provide administrators and teachers access to reports at the district, site, classroom, and individual student level. Formative assessment is emphasized to determine and plan for the individual needs of students on a daily basis.
Reclassification of English Learners
KUSD has developed specific criteria for reclassifying English Learners to Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) status. The first criterion is an assessment of English language proficiency, which in California is the Summative ELPAC assessment. Other criteria include: a review and analysis of student performance in basic skills, teacher evaluation of a student’s academic performance, and parent opinion and consultation, which involves parents or guardians in discussing their student’s English language proficiency and meeting the guidelines for reclassification. After a student is reclassified, his/her academic progress is monitored for four years. Specific reclassification requirements are identified in the KUSD English Learner Master Plan.