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 State English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program - School Closures

1.     What resources could the state share that would support ESOL teachers working with their students during school closures?Several resource lists are posted on the ESOL Language Program website. 
2.     During school closures, would you recommend LEAs email parents of identified EL students the ESOL Parent Notification for Services letter and then send a hard copy home when regular classes are resumed?The Office for Civil Rights/Department of Justice guidance to schools with English learner students and their parent states that “school districts must provide notices…to all parents of EL students regarding the EL student's identification and placement in a language instruction educational program. School districts must, to the extent practicable, translate such notices in a language that the parent can understand." (See Dear Colleague Letter of 2015, p. 10.) Since there is no stipulation regarding the method of providing parents with this notification, the LEA may use the method that best meets the intent of the guidance: That parents understand their child is identified as an English learner and is receiving language assistance services until they are proficient in English. (See question about waiving the 10-day notification window during school closures.) 
3.     Has the state waived the ESOL 3rd & 4th Quarter student monitoring reports?The Office for Civil Rights requires school districts to monitor the academic progress of former EL students for at least two years to ensure that they have not been prematurely exited and they are participating meaningfully in the core instructional program (See Dear Colleague Letter of 2015, p. 34). Since LEAs have flexibility to establish the logistics and timeline for this monitoring process, it is a local decision whether to waive a 4th quarter monitoring review during school closures.

1.     EL Entrance Procedures require a 10-day window to screen a potential English learner when registration occurs during the school year (not at the beginning) - Could the 10-day window be waived during school closures?


Guidance on Provisional EL Entrance and EL Exit Procedures during school closures are now posted on the ESOL Language Program website.



2.     EL Exit Procedures require an EL Reclassification Team to meet and consider EL students for exit who score below the state exit criteria of ACCESS CPL – 5, when LEAs have chosen this flexibility. Could the EL Reclassification meetings occur in August instead of May, if schools are still closed?

Guidance on Provisional EL Entrance and EL Exit Procedures during school closures are now posted on the ESOL Language Program website.



3.     Could LEAs hold IEP meetings virtually to consider EL/SWD for exit if the student meets the state criteria?

Follow SPED guidance for virtual IEP meetings that consider reclassification for EL/SWD.


4.     Could an LEA embed the Home Language Survey in the online registration process?

Yes. See guidance EL Language Programs State Guidance, p. 11.


5.     Are physical signatures or digital signatures permitted on the EL Reclassification Form processed during distance learning? If the LEA requires a parent or guardian signature on the EL Reclassification form following a telephone conference or virtual meeting, the LEA can (1) mail the document and send a postage-paid return envelope, or (2) print the document and drop it off at the home (touchless contact) and retrieve it the same way.  LEAs may want to utilize social workers or ESOL teachers to support this process as well.  LEAs should also consult their local school board attorney to determine if digital signatures are permissible.


6.     Do we need to send parents a Continuation of ESOL Services letter at the end of the year of wait until the beginning of the year?LEAs have flexibility to decide when it is best to notify parents of their child's eligibility to continue receiving ESOL services, as long as they are notified within 30 days of the beginning of the school year. These notification letters may be mailed or dropped off at students' homes (touchless contact). This year, LEAs have the option to use a Combined Parent Notification Letter, indicating both ESOL and supplemental language instruction services (See Title IA Parent Notification website.) LEAs also have flexibility to decide how to provide parents with a copy of their child's WIDA ACCESS Score Reports: by mail, drop-off, in Parent Portal, etc.