Eligibility Requirements

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO IDENTIFY STUDENTS AS ENGLISH LEARNERS
The procedures established for the identification and assessment of English Learners (ELs) follow the regulations of the State of Connecticut Bilingual Education statutes and regulations.  
 
 
I. PROCESS FOR THE PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF DOMINANT LANGUAGE 

  • We are required by the U.S. Department of Education to ask for this information because it will help us know how we can best support the child.  The language information also helps us know how we can best communicate with the parent. 

    • Parents must fill out a Home Language Survey (HLS) upon registration at the Family Intake Center or the district school for High School students.  Three questions are included in the HLS as follow:

      1. What is the primary language used in the home?

      2. What is the language most spoken by the student?

      3. What is the language the student first acquired?

    • The student’s home dominant language is the language, which satisfies one out of the three questions in the HLS. In addition, parents must identify country of origin.  

    • It is through this procedure that the Bilingual/ESOL education office is informed of the entrance of students who might be eligible for services and who are in need of further assessment.

 
II. PROCESS FOR ASSESSING STUDENTS FOR ENGLISH PROFICIENCY  

  • Once the parent has stated that 1 out of 3 language proficiency related questions in the HLS is a language other than English, the student is assessed for English proficiency. The grade-appropriate Language Assessment Scales (LAS) measuring oral language skills, reading, and writing in English, is administered. 

    • If the student scores a English Language Proficiency Level below 4 or 5 on the LAS Assessment Scale the parent will be offered the Bilingual or English as a Second Language Options available to them in our district. It is the parent’s option to request or refuse services.

      1. For students enrolled in Pre-K or other preschool programs, the Pre-LAS test is administered in English in the spring of each year in preparation for entry into Kindergarten. 

      2. For students enrolled in Kindergarten who were not in preschool programs and other students entering to all other grades for the upcoming academic year, bilingual language assessors are available to assess them.  The standardized tool used to determine language proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, is the LAS or LAS-Links depending on the time of the year that the student enters the District.   
         

III. PROCESS & CRITERIA FOR FINAL IDENTIFICATION OF A STUDENT AS ELL 

  • The student is considered to be an English Learner (EL) and eligible for the Bilingual (for Spanish or Albanians only) or ESL program when:

    • As indicated by LAS outcome data, the student is non-English or limited English proficient and, thus, unable to communicate well enough to participate fully in the all-English program;

      • The student falls in language proficiency categories 1 through 3 (non-speaker or limited speaker) on the LAS Oral, and levels 1 or 2 on LAS Reading and Writing.