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Friday, January 09, 2015

Guidance Released: Equal Access for English Learner Students

Guidance Released: Equal Access for English Learner Students



Guidance Released: Equal Access for English Learner Students



Dear Stakeholders,

Today
the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released guidance
reminding states, school districts and schools of their obligations
under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal
access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their
full academic potential.

The guidance explains schools' obligations to:

  • identify English learner students in a timely, valid and reliable manner;

  • offer all English learner students an educationally sound language assistance program;

  • provide qualified staff and sufficient resources for instructing English learner students;

  • ensure English learner students have equitable access to school programs and activities;

  • avoid unnecessary segregation of English learner students from other students;

  • monitor students' progress in learning English and doing grade-level classwork;

  • remedy any academic deficits English learner students incurred while in a language assistance program;

  • move
    students out of language assistance programs when they are proficient
    in English and monitor those students to ensure they were not
    prematurely removed;

  • evaluate the effectiveness of English learner programs; and

  • provide
    limited English proficient parents with information about school
    programs, services, and activities in a language they understand.
In
addition to the guidance, the Departments also released additional
tools and resources to help schools in serving English learner students
and parents with limited English proficiency:

  • A fact sheet in English, Spanish, and in other languages
    about schools' obligations under federal law to ensure that English
    learner students can participate meaningfully and equally in school.

  • A fact sheet in English, Spanish, and in other languages
    about schools' obligations under federal law to communicate information
    to limited English proficient parents in a language they can
    understand.

  • A toolkit
    to help school districts identify English learner students, prepared by
    the Education Department's Office of English Language Acquisition. This
    is the first chapter in a series of chapters to help state education
    agencies and school districts meet their obligations to English learner
    students.
The press release can be found below and online here.


Sincerely,

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

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