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English Learner Policy

The California Department of Education has set forth goals for all EL students in the state of California. Those goals are to:

  • Ensure that English learners acquire full proficiency in English as rapidly and effectively as possible and attain parity with native speakers of English.
  • Ensure that English learners, within a reasonable period of time, achieve the same rigorous grade-level academic standards that are expected of all students.

In addition, Connecting Waters Charter Schools are accountable to meet goals as set forth by our LEA, LCAP and Title III Plans. Our Mission at Connecting Waters Charter Schools states that we are a collaborative educational community promoting academic excellence in preparing students for college and career while providing individualized public education through challenging, unique, and varied learning. To this extent, the policies set forth for our English Learner students are established to meet our goals and fulfill our mission with integrity, purpose, and excellence. ALL English Learner students enrolled in Connecting Waters Charter Schools will be required to follow a prescriptive instructional path for English Language Development and support prior to reclassification as set forth in our English Learner plan(s).

Legal Requirements

CWCS will meet all applicable legal requirements for EL students as it pertains to annual notification to parents/guardians, student identification, placement, program options, EL and core content instruction, teacher qualifications and training, reclassification to fluent English proficient status, monitoring and evaluating program effectiveness, and standardized testing requirement. CWCS will implement strategies for serving English Learners which are research based and evaluated annually for effectiveness.

CWCS believe that all EL students who are not proficient in the English language need every opportunity to be able to become proficient. We train our Education Specialists to test these students to discover their areas of strengths and weakness, and will select appropriate curriculum to help EL students achieve success in their educational process. State approved English Language Development Curriculum will be used in addition to state approved English Language Arts curriculum, along with educationally sound, research-based, and effective supplemental resources.

This support will be centered around Specially Designed Academic Instruction for English (“SDAIE”) strategies applicable to an independent study context, including the use of graphic organizers, choral reading in a virtual classroom with other EL students, reading logs, vocabulary cards, and small group or one-on-one virtual instruction.

All teachers instructing English Learners will hold a CLAD Certificate or a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) recognized equivalent.

Home Language Survey

CWCS will administer the home language survey upon a student's initial enrollment into CWCS.

CELDT/ELPAC Testing

All students who indicate that their home language is other than English will be assessed using the California English Language Development Test/English Language Proficiency Assessment for California ("CELDT"/ “ELPAC”) within thirty days of initial enrollment and at least annually thereafter between July 1 and October 31 until redesignated as fluent English proficient.

CWCS will notify all parents/guardians of its responsibility for CELDT/ELPAC testing and of CELDT/ELPAC results within thirty days of receiving results from publisher.

Additionally, not later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year or within the first two weeks of a student’s being placed in a language instructional program for students who had not been identified as EL prior to the beginning of the school year but who were identified during the school year, each parent/guardian of an EL student shall receive notification of the assessment of his/her child’s English proficiency. The notice shall include all of the following:

  • The reason for the child’s classification as limited English proficient and need of placement in a language instruction educational program;
  • The level of English proficiency, how such level was assessed, and the status of the child’s academic achievement;
  • A description of the program for the English language development instruction, including a description of all the following:
    • The methods of instruction used in the program in which the child is or will be participating and the methods of instruction used in other available programs, including how such programs differ in content, instructional goals, and the use of English and a native language in instruction;
    • The manner in which the program will meet the educational strengths of the child;
    • The manner in which the program will help the child develop his/her English proficiency and meet age-appropriate academic standards;
    • The specific exit requirements for the program, the expected rate of transition from the program into classrooms that are not tailored for limited English proficient children, and the expected rate of graduation from secondary school for the program if the Title I funds are used for children in secondary schools;
    • Where the student has been identified for special education, the manner in which the program meets the requirements and objectives of the student’s Individualized Education Program (“IEP”);
    • Information regarding a parent/guardian’s rights that includes written guidance: (i) detailing the right that parents have to have their child immediately removed from such program upon their request; (ii) detailing the options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another program or method of instruction, if available; and (iii) assisting a parent/guardian in selecting among various programs and methods of instruction, if more than one program is offered.

Before a student is enrolled in an EL program, the parent/guardian shall receive information about the program and the opportunities for parent involvement, including the right to be involved in their child’s education and be active participants in assisting their child to obtain English proficiency, achieve at high levels within a well-rounded

education, and meet the challenging State academic standards expected of all students. This information shall include the fact that the student’s participation in the program is voluntary on the part of the parent/guardian, parents can request another option if the current program is not a good fit and that CWCS shall hold regular meetings with parents/guardians. In addition, the parent/guardian will receive consultation to ensure proper placement of the student.

The notice and information provided to parents/guardians under this subsection shall be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language that the parents can understand.

Reclassification Procedures

Connecting Waters Charter Schools comply with Assembly Bill (AB) 484 to address concerns regarding the academic criterion for reclassification of English Learners (ELs) for effective and efficient conduct of the language reclassification process in accordance with Title 5, Section 11303 of the California Code of Regulations (5 CCR).

Connecting Waters Charter Schools use the minimum criteria for reclassification:

  1. Assessment of English language proficiency (ELP), using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the state test of English language development; and
  2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the student’s curriculum mastery; and
  3. Parent opinion and consultation; and
  4. Comparison of student performance in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based on the performance of English proficient students of the same age.

Additionally, CWCS, CWEB, and CWCV will use other state and local data for determining reclassification.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Program Effectiveness

If there are more than 21 EL students, CWCS, CWEB, and CWCV will have an English Language Advisory Committee (“ELAC”). The English Learner Coordinator, Assessment Coordinator, and Executive Director or designee will evaluate the program effectiveness for English Learners in CWCS, CWEB, and CWCV with the following guidelines:

 

  • Adopting academic benchmarks by language proficiency level and years in program to determine adequate yearly progress.
  • Monitoring of teacher qualifications and the use of appropriate instructional strategies based on program design.
  • Monitoring of student identification and placement.
  • Monitoring of availability of adequate resources.
  • Ongoing evaluation
  • Assurance of effectiveness by having ongoing ELAC meetings.

Additionally, the Executive Director or designee shall report to the Board of Directors, at least annually, the progress of EL students toward proficiency in English, the number and percentage of EL students reclassified as fluent English proficient, the number and percentage of EL students who are or are at risk of being classified as long term EL students, the achievement of EL students on standards-based tests in core curricular areas, and a comparison of current data with data from at least the previous year. The Executive Director or designee shall also provide the Board with regular reports from the ELAC, if applicable.