EL Identification, Entrance and Exit Criteria and Procedures
English Learner (EL) Identification Criteria and Procedure
Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is required by law to identify English Learners (ELs) in need of language assistance services. The Minnesota Language Survey (MNLS) is completed at the time of enrollment to gather information about a student’s language background. The MNLS is the first step in the EL identification process. The information provided on the MNLS determines student eligibility for the English language proficiency assessment: the WIDA Screener. The WIDA screener assessment determines whether a student should be classified as an EL student who is entitled to EL services.
English Learner Exit Criteria and Procedure
As a member of the WIDA Consortium, the Minnesota Department of Education uses ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State) for ELLs assessment. The ACCESS for ELLs assessment measures EL students’ progress toward English language proficiency and determines whether an EL student is ready to exit from the EL program. For students to be considered proficient on the ACCESS test and to exit the EL program, a student must have at least a 4.5 overall composite score or higher AND three of the four domains (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) greater than or equal to 3.5.
(See EL Identification and Exit Criteria Flowchart)
English Learner Assessment
All eligible EL students in grades K-12 are given the ACCESS for ELLs test annually. The test measures EL students’ progress toward English language proficiency and readiness to exit the EL program.
Refusal of Services
Participation in EL programs is voluntary. A parent may choose to waive/refuse EL services for their child. Parents contact the student’s EL teacher and complete a refusal of EL service form. EL staff will inform parents of the benefits of English language development services. EL services can be refused when evidence is provided that the student’s English language proficiency is not a barrier to his/her academic success. Parents can request that their child return to EL services if they demonstrate the need for additional English Language development in accordance with MDE guidelines.
(See English Learner Program and Services –Talking Points for Parents and Families)