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Hot List Q & A
Portfolio Appeals and High School Graduation for ELLs

March 2016

-----Original Question-----

Are foreign exchange students eligible to receive ESL services?

Marcella Garavaglia, ESL Secondary SIG Representative, NJTESOL/NJBE

To my understanding exchange students may receive ESL/Bilingual Services if they are identified as a limited English proficient (LEP) student.

http://www.nj.gov/education/code/current/title6a/chap15.pdf

6A:15-1.3 Identification of eligible limited English proficient (LEP) students

(a) The district board of education shall determine at the time of enrollment the native language of each LEP student. Each district board of education shall:

  1. Maintain a census indicating all identified students whose native language is other than English; and
  2. Develop a screening process, initiated by a home-language survey, to determine which students in kindergarten to 12th grade, of those whose native language is other than English, must be tested to determine English language proficiency. The screening shall be conducted by a bilingual/ESL or other certified teacher, and shall be designed to distinguish students who are proficient English speakers and need no further testing.

(b) The district board of education shall determine the English language proficiency of all kindergarten to 12th-grade students who are not screened out and whose native language is other than English by administering a Department-approved English language proficiency test, assessing the level of reading in English, reviewing the previous academic performance of students including their performance on standardized tests in English, and reviewing the input of teaching staff members responsible for the educational program for LEP students. Students who do not meet the Department standard on a Department-approved language proficiency test and who have at least one other indicator shall be considered LEP students. The district board of education shall also use age-appropriate methodologies to identify LEP preschool students to determine their individual language development needs.

Of course, host parents may waive services. Either way, if a student is identified as a LEP student they must take the ACCESS 2.0 for ELLs until they meet the exit criteria score.

http://www.state.nj.us/education/bilingual/policy/consent.htm

2. Do parents have the right to decline their child's enrollment in bilingual education programs and choose ESL-only program services for their child?

Yes. Parents may decline enrollment of their child in a bilingual education program and choose ESL-only program services.

3. Can parents decline enrollment of their child in an ESL-only program? ?

Yes. Parents have the right to decline enrollment of their child in a bilingual/ESL program, ESL-only program or English language services program.

We've added the testing information to our district's ESL services refusal form:

http://www.state.nj.us/education/bilingual/ells/20/handout.htm

ACCESS for ELLs Parent Handout

Why does my child have to take the test?

"Your child is identified as an English language learner. Your child will take the test every year until his/her scores meet the criteria to exit the language support program."

http://www.state.nj.us/education/bilingual/ells/20/

"Exit criteria on ACCESS for ELLs For students in grades K through 12, an ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 proficiency level of 4.5 or higher is recommended for exiting a program if multiple criteria support the decision."

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