Eligibility Procedures

In order to be eligible for English Learner (EL) services, the State of Minnesota requires that a student (1) has a home language other than English and (2) be determined by developmentally appropriate measures to lack the necessary English skills to participate fully in classes taught in English.

The following procedures are used by South Washington County Schools to determine student eligibility for the English Learner program:

  1. A student is identified as a potential EL by the Home Language Questionnaire and/or teacher referral.

  2. The EL teacher meets with the student and attempts to contact the student's family.

  3. The student's English language proficiency is assessed using the WIDA Model and other appropriate measures.

  4. The EL teacher determines if the student is eligible for EL services.

  5. The student's parents are notified of the results.

  6. The EL student is serviced by EL staff.

  7. The student is exited from EL services based on his/her performance on standardized tests, course work, teacher evaluations, and feedback from the parent(s) and child.

Language Performance Descriptors

District 833 recognizes the language performance descriptors provided by the WIDA Consortium as adopted by the Minnesota Department of Education. Click here to see the current language performance definitions.

Assessment and Testing

EL teachers carefully track the academic performance and language proficiency of EL students. The main indicators used are the WIDA Model, the ACCESS, and ongoing assessment by the EL teacher and classroom/content area teachers.

  • WIDA Model: The initial assessment is the WIDA Model. This placement test is given to a student only once. It measures the English language development of a student and helps determine whether or not a student qualifies for EL instructional services.

  • ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State): The annual state assessment for ELs is the newly-adopted ACCESS. The ACCESS provides a detailed picture of a student's English language development in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The test results help teachers to prepare appropriate instruction for the ELs.

  • Ongoing Assessments: EL teachers continually monitor the progress of their students through daily interaction and class time. EL teachers regularly consult with EL students' classroom teachers to target any problem areas where a student may need additional instruction or support. EL teachers also track student performance on standardized district and state tests.