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Hot List Q & A
Credit for High School ESL

April 2015

Question:
In the past, my district did not count ESL classes for credits. They simply would count the grade in their gpa, but did not offer them any credits This sounds pretty wrong to me. Does anyone know what the state says about this? Do ESL classes counts towards graduation credits?
Thanks.

4. Implementation of High School Graduation Requirements for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students

The following options may be considered with regard to satisfying the 5-credit high school graduation requirement for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students: World Language Other than English - LEP students may elect to study any world language in addition to English offered in the district's world language program.

Students' Native Language - LEP students may use their native language to satisfy the requirement when entering the ninth grade or at subsequent grade levels as newly arrived students from their native country. Students that have been speaking their native language since a very young age and throughout their prior educational experience will satisfy the world languages requirement. Districts may do proficiency testing, if desired. Study of English - LEP students who take an additional English or English as a Second Language (ESL) class may use that second English class to fulfill the world languages requirement.

Further Study of the Native/Heritage Language - LEP students may continue to further develop and enhance heritage language speaking and literacy skills in an out-of-school program in a world language not taught in the public school district. Further related to this option is the passage of legislation in August 2001, that required the Department of Education to establish a World Languages Instruction Committee to develop a plan which would provide students in public schools the opportunity to receive instruction in and graduation credit for a world language not taught in the public school district (N.J.S.A.18A:35-4.18). The procedures developed by the World Languages Instruction Committee are very similar to those outlined in N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5.1(a)1ii, known as Option Two of the code regarding implementation of graduation requirements.

The following documents are available to assist districts in implementing this option: Procedures to be Used by New Jersey Districts for Approval of Instructional Programs Offering World Languages Not Taught in Public Schools, and an Application Template for Non-Public School World Language Programs. They may be accessed online at: www.state.nj.us/education/aps/cccs/wl by clicking on Applicable Statutes and Regulations. Also available on this web site are Guidelines for Organizations Seeking Approval of Instructional Programs Offering World Languages Not Taught in Public School.

http://www.state.nj.us/education/aps/cccs/wl/guide.htm#II4

Also, if they have second period of ESL each day, it can count as English class credit for graduation.

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