Lake Hamilton ESL Program Procedures


Who Are English Language Learners or Limited English Proficient Students?


English Language Learners (ELLS) or Limited English proficient (LEP) students do not speak English as their first language and do not understand English well enough to succeed in classrooms where English is the primary means of instruction without modifications.



What is "English to Speakers of Other Languages" or"English as a Second Language" Instruction?


This is a program of instruction in which English is used as the language of instruction. The program offers English language learners an opportunity to acquire the basic interpersonal communication skills and the cognitive/academic language proficiency they need to succeed in school. Speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills are developed using ESL teaching strategies. Instruction in content areas also utilizes ESL methodology.


Lake Hamilton School District ESOL Instructional Program


The goal of the Lake Hamilton School District ESOL instructional program is to emphasize the acquisition of English language skills while helping students improve their performance in the academic areas and increase their self-confidence. Students will be enrolled in the content-area instruction with modifications made for language proficiency. The instructional program provided will be based on the language proficiency levels, age levels, and prior schooling of the ELL or LEP students.



Evaluation on the ESOL Program


The ESL program will be periodically evaluated in order to ensure that it is meeting its goal of helping ELL,LEP students develop English language skills and acquire content area competencies. At the core of the program's success is student success. Student progress and academic achievement will be monitored throughout the school year. Students' English proficiency levels will be tested at the end of the school year and compared to previous scores to determine progress and continued areas of weakness. The district will implement modifications of the ESOL program when evaluations indicate that changes will help to achieve the district's stated goals.




1. Home Language Survey

Responsible: Enrollment Personnel

(Notify ESOL Coordinator at the time of enrollment if at least one

response is a language other than English.)


2. Copy of Enrollment Form and HLS sent to ESOL Coordinator

Responsible: Enrollment Personnel


3. Parents complete Parent/Student Interview

Responsible: ESOL Building Facilitator or Aide


4. Assessment: 20 day Time Limit


Responsible: ESOL Building Facilitator or Aide

SOLOM or Teacher Observations (when appropriate/necessary)

Responsible: Classroom Teacher


5. Language Placement Assessment Committee (LPAC)

Determine the appropriate ESOL program, schedule, and instruction.

Responsible: ESOL Coordinator, ESOL Building Facilitator, and Counselor or Classroom Teacher.



Language Placement Assessment Committee Members

Principal,Counselor and/or Regular Education Teacher, ESOL Building Facilitator, ESOL Coordinator, and Parent or Parent Interview Information.



Grade Level Placement in the Regular Classroom

Placement should be based on the actual age of the student so that he/she is

placed with his/her age-level peers regardless of prior schooling. A student who is 15 years of age or older should be placed at least in grade 9. At the high school, grade level is determined by number of credits earned. International transcripts should be evaluated by a qualified bilingual counselor. Placement decisions should be reviewed at frequent and regular intervals so that the changing needs of the LEP student will be met.




1. The first step in complying with the federal laws that protect the civil rights of language minority students is to identify all language minority students in the school district.

2. All students attending the school in the district must be surveyed.

3. This is accomplished by conducting a Home Language Survey during the registration process for new students. The Home Language Survey is included with the enrollment form.

4. This may be accomplished by requiring all previously enrolled students to complete a Home Language Survey at the beginning of the school year.


The four questions asked on the Home Language Survey are:

a. What language is spoken in you home most of the time?

b. What language does the student speak most of the time?

c. What language do the parents speak to the student most of the time?

d. What was the first language spoken by the student?


5. Maintain one copy of the completed Home Language Survey in each student's cumulative folder. Forward to the ESL Coordinator a copy of the HLS of each student who has indicated a home language other than English. (This means that they answered anything other than "English" to any one of the questions on the HLS.)

6. Once a student has been identified as being a language minority student, the ESL facilitator or aide will conduct a Student/Parent Interview. In the event that this interview is not completed at enrollment, a home visit may be necessary. This interview should be conducted prior to the Language Placement Assessment Committee meeting.

7. A copy of the Student/Parent Interview and enrollment form should be sent to the ESL Coordinator's office. The ESL facilitator responsible for that building will be notified of a new student.

8. The ESL facilitator or aide will administer the appropriate LAS (Language Assessment Scales) to the identified language minority student as indicated on the home language survey no later than 10 school days following identification.

9. Informal assessment should be conducted to provide an overall picture of the student's performance in a nonbiased manner.

10. Teacher observation is also recommended. The student's cumulative

folder may include teacher descriptions of the following.

a) How the student attempts to communicate his/her needs to the teacher

b) Student's academic performance in all subject matters

c) Student's level of developmental maturity


11. In order to place a student in an alternate language program, there must be a language placement assessment committee meeting. This committee should be comprised of at least one of each of the following:

A. ESOL Coordinator

B. Counselor and/or Regular Education Teacher

C. ESOL Building Facilitator

D. Parent and/or Student when appropriate


12. The ESOL building facilitator is responsible for calling the meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to gather professionals involved in the education of the ELL/LEP student in order to review and discuss assessment results and make a determination for student placement in instructional programs.

13. The members of the committee will make decisions regarding placement in the ESOL program.

14. Parents will be notified of the committee decision. The OCR requires that notification to parents be in their native language or in a manner they can understand.

15. Parents of ELL/LEP students may refuse placement in an alternative language program for their children. This decision should be documented in writing by the parents, legal guardian or person designated by the parents. For such students the ESL facilitator and regular classroom teacher will monitor classroom progress and performance. The ESOL facilitator will make modification recommendations to ensure that the student is receiving comprehensible input. The parents may then be notified of any difficulties that the student is experiencing due to language. Parents of these students may request at any time that their students be placed in or placed out of an alternative language program.

16. Students must be reassessed annually. The LPC will meet to make decisions regarding scheduling and placement of ESOL students.



Elementary Program

ESOL Elementary Programs (K-5) are offered to students in Primary, Elementary and Intermediate schools. While enrolled in ESOL programs, students needing special assistance receive daily instruction in English language development in the ESOL classroom from a state endorsed ESL teacher or aide. Students receive instruction in the regular classroom in the content areas, physical education, music, and art. They attend recess and lunch with their English-speaking peers. These students spend the majority of the day in their regular classrooms taught by teachers who have been trained to use ESOL methodology.


Secondary Program

ESOL Secondary Programs (6-12) are offered to Lake Hamilton Middle School, Lake Hamilton Junior High, and Lake Hamilton High School students. While enrolled in the ESOL program, students receive instruction in English designed to enable them to be successful in the English-speaking classroom. ESOL students take classes appropriate for their grade levels with their English-speaking peers. Students are placed in these classes with teachers who have been trained to use ESL methodology. An ESOL teacher or aide trained to work with ELL/LEP students is available for tutoring when such help is needed. After school tutoring is also available for ESOL students who need more instruction.




The ESOL student who cannot fully comprehend the English language should not be assigned failing grades in the content area subjects. Efforts must be made to assess the student's achievement in content areas not his/her English language ability. Grades for ESL students in modified mainstream classes may be designated as ESOL adjusted grades.


Portfolio assessment provides a mechanism for identifying the ESOL student's best work. This information gives the main stream teacher a good idea of the student's content area knowledge and English proficiency level,

which in turn greatly facilitates deciding which modifications would be more appropriate for the individual student.


Homework should be given to ELL/LEP students only when they understand the skills/concept of what is expected of them. The ELL/LEP student must have demonstrated to the teacher that he/she can complete the expected assignment independently.


It is the responsibility of the regular classroom teacher to incorporate ESOL strategies into the regular classroom instruction. At the time of initial placement, the mainstream teacher and other appropriate personnel should determine which modifications would be most appropriate for the student.


The student's grade should be determined according to the following criteria:

1. The student's participation in modified class activities.

2. The student's completion of modified class and framework assignments.

3. The student's academic progress.


All grades for ELL/LEP students in modified mainstream classes should be designated as "ESL Modified Curriculum" on student transcripts.



Achievement Testing; Final Limited English Proficiency Regulations for State Assessment

The new Title I Regulations define a recently arrived LEP student as an LEP student who has attended schools in the US for less than 12 months. Permit a state to exempt recently arrived LEP students from one administration of the State's reading/language arts assessment. Require a state to include recently arrived LEP students in the state math assessments, and beginning in 2007-2008, state science asseseements. Recenty arrived LEP students must take the state's math assessment, with accommodations as necessary, but states are not required to include the results in AYP determiniations. Permit a state to not count AYP determinations the scores of recently arrived LEP students on state math and/or reading/language arts (if taken) assessments. Require state that exempt recently arrived LEP students from the reading/language arts assessment to publicly report the number of students exempted for this reason. Make clear that Local Educational Agencies (LEA) are still responsible for providing appropriate instruction to recently arrived LEP students.Permit a state to include "former LEP" student with in the LEP category in making AYP determinations forup to two years after they no longer meet the state's definition for limited English proficient. Clarify reporting requirements concerning former LEP students on report cards. The Department of Education is also preparing a series of reports, by leading educations researcher David Francis, focused on supporting the academic achievement of English Language Learners(ELLs). The three reports will provide guidance to practitioners for successful teaching methods and appropriate accommodations for assessment inclusion for ELL students.

For more information, please visit or



Entry Criteria for Placement in the ESOL Program


Students who have been classified as limited English proficient (LEP) are eligible for ESL services.


To be classified as a limited English proficient student, the following criteria must be met.


1. A first or home language other than English.

2. A score of 3 or below on the LAS-O or Pre-LAS or 2 or below on the LAS R/W.




Any student who scores 4 on the LAS-O or Pre-LAS or 3 on the LAS R/W

may be classified as an LEP student if informal assessment, teacher

observations and achievement tests (scores below 40%) reflect that the

student is LEP.




Any student who does not score proficient on the state-mandated ELPA test administered each spring.


3. Informal assessment and teacher observations reflecting that a student is LEP.


Informal assessments include, but are not limited to, the following observations:

a. The student has difficulties communicating needs to teacher and peers.

b. The student's academic performance is below average due to language.

c. The student presents difficulties understanding normal classroom discussions.

d. The student's vocabulary is very limited.

e. Most of the student's sentences are grammatically incorrect.

f. The student presents attention deficits that appear to be language based.



Exit Criteria and Exiting Procedure

Approved by the Arkansas Board of Education, August 14, 2006
1. Student Information
-School and District
-First Name
-Last Name
Identification Number
2. Spring English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Scores and Proficiency Levels
-Speaking Raw Score and Level
-Listening Raw Score and Level
-Reading Raw Score and Level
-Writing Raw Score and Level
-Comprehension (Listening and Reading) Raw Score and Level
*Student must score proficient or above in all five sections of the spring
English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA).
3. Previous Year’s Grades for:
-English Language Arts
-Social Studies
*Student must earn a grade of “C” or above in all core subject areas.
4. Standardized Achievement Scores
-CRT Literacy and Mathematics or NRT
*Student must score Proficient or Advanced on the CRT (Arkansas Benchmark or End of Course Exams) or score at or above the 40th percentile on the NRT.
5. Recommendations for exit or reclassification from current teachers
*At least two current teachers recommend exit or reclassification based on the criteria above.
6. The decision to exit or reclassify the LEP student from the ESL program must be made on an annual basis by the Language Placement Assessment Committee (LPAC) following a review of spring ELPA results.
NOTE: Documentation is required on all LEP students during enrollment in the ESL program and for two years after exiting the ESL program. Each student’s progress should be reviewed and documented on a yearly basis by the school’s LPAC.
Districts are required to monitor and to provide assistance to English language learners for two years after exiting the ESL program, according the Federal Law under Title III of NCLB.
Exited students’ ELPA test scores may be banked and included in a school’s spring ELPA test score report for a maximum of two years.




Teachers in the Lake Hamilton School District receive training in ESL methodology. The staff development sessions are led by certified and endorsed ESL staff. During this training particular emphasis is placed on the modifications which the content teachers must make to ensure that ESL students receive comprehensible input. ESL students are assigned only to classes where the teacher has received ESL training.


Teachers in the formal alternative language program should be certified and endorsed by the Arkansas Department of Education to teach ESL students. In the absence of qualified personnel, ESL teachers must be receiving training towards their certification or endorsement. Aides in the alternative language program will receive training in ESL methods, assessment, and cultural diversity, and will provide instruction only under a teacher's guidance.


Administrators participate in ESL training to ensure that only people knowledgeable in English learning methodologies conduct evaluations of teachers involved in the delivery of alternative language services.


Communicating with Parents


Effective implementation of the ESL program includes communication with parents of language minority and LEP students in a manner they can understand. Any notification to the parents should be in their native language or a manner they can understand and in writing. Bilingual translators are available to help the school staff communicate with LEP parents. Translation software and prepared bilingual forms are also available to school staff. When the staff in a school building is unable to obtain translation services, the ESL coordinator should be notified and she will be responsible for helping to secure these resources.



Special Opportunity Programs


A comprehensive identification plan for the Lake Hamilton School District is based on the research and recommendations of experts in the field, and guidelines established by the Arkansas Department of Education. A case study approach to identifying is used in order to make a better match between student need and program options. Screening is a continuous process.


Multiple criteria is used in identifying the gifted and talented. The criteria used may include information furnished by teachers, parents, peers, individual students, administrators, support personnel, community persons and a systematic search through student cumulative records. This criteria may consist of behavior rating scales, biographical inventories, past academic performance, creativity tests, achievement test scores in specific subject areas, and observations and products along with the Naglieri, a nonverbal intelligence test. The district has a screening committee comprised of at least five members, made up of professional educators and chaired by a trained specialist in gifted education.



Assessment Instruments which may be used include the following:

Ability Tests

Cognitive Ability Test

Developing Cognitive Abilities Test


Otis Lennon School Ability Test

Raven Progressive Matrices

Test of Cognitive Skills

Test of Nonverbal Intelligence

Gilliland Learning Potential Examination

Achievement Tests

Stanford Achievement Test


Creativity Tests

Torrance Test of Creative Thinking-verbal

Torrance Test of Creative Thinking-figural

Behavioral Checklists

Renzulli Hartman Rating Scales

Kingore Observation Inventory


Special Education


It is the intent of the Lake Hamilton School District to comply with the guidelines of Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Office of Civil Rights Memorandum of 1991, Title VII of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994, Lau v. Nichols (1974), Castaneda v Pichard (1981), Plyler v Doe (1982), and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974. The Lake Hamilton School District policy is to follow the federal guidelines. These guidelines ensure that LEP students are appropriately placed and served. The Lake Hamilton School District follows the same due process procedures established by Public Law 105-17 (IDEA amendment of 1997) for all students.


An interpreter is used to assist with evaluating ESL students when one is needed. Language neutral tests are administered to increase the validity of the evaluation and to ensure that the test does not essentially measure and evaluate English language skills. If they are needed, interpreters are also used when communicating testing results and placement procedures to parents. When available, paperwork and notices in the native language of the parents are used.


To ensure the effects of language and culture on evaluations are considered and understood, the committee making diagnostic or placement decisions concerning ESL students includes the ESL building facilitator and/or the ESL coordinator.


When LEP students need both special education or related aids and services and alternative language services, the students receive both services concurrently.




Legal Requirements


Following is a summary of Federal mandates for the Provision of Equal Educational Opportunity to National Origin Minority Students:


1. No discrimination or exclusion from benefits on the ground of race, color, or national origin.

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964 (1064) 20 U.S.C. sec. 2800d.

2. No denial of access to participation in school programs because of language. No segregation by tracking, ability grouping or assignment to special education. No exclusion of parents from school information. Established entry and exit criteria for language minority and LEP students.

Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Memorandum (1991)

3. Establish, implement, and sustain programs of instruction for children and youth of limited English proficiency and educate LEP students to meet rigorous standards for academic performance.

Title VII of the Improving America's Schools Act (Pub. L. 103-382, 108 Stat. 3716 (1994)

4. Take affirmative steps to provide LEP students special instruction designed to overcome their English language deficiency. There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.

Lau v. Nichols (1974) 41114 U.S. 563.

5. No unlawful denial of equal educational opportunity to NOM individuals. Districts must take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation.

Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (1974) 20 U.S.C. sec. 1703f.

6. An appropriate program is based on a sound theory, allocates sufficient resources to the program to implement theory, and can demonstrate effectiveness in teaching English and other subject areas, leading to parity of participation in the standard instructional program.

Castaneda v. Pichard (1981) 648 F. 2d 989 (5th Cir.)

7. No denial of a free public education to undocumented immigrant children regardless of their immigrant status.

Plyler v. Doe (1982) (457 U.S. 202)


Guidelines for Alternate Language Programs


OCR specifies that alternative language programs must have the following:


1. Soundness of educational approach. Programs must use educational theories that are recognized as sound by experts in the field, or at least, that are recognized as legitimate educational strategies.


2. Proper implementation. The law requires that the alternative language

programs use the following:


a. Qualified personnel. In the absence of qualified teachers who have met the certification requirement by the state, ESL teachers must be currently receiving training towards their certification or endorsement. All personnel teaching ESL students must receive training in ESL strategies and methodology. Federal law specifies that aides should not have primary responsibility for instruction but may provide instruction under a teacher's guidance.


b. Adequate resources. This includes equipment and instructional materials. OCR specifies that limited financial resources do not justify failure to remedy a Title VII violation.




The Office for Civil Rights requires that every program for LEP students must have established exit criteria that are based on objective standards.

An LEP student should only remain in an alternative language program as long as his/her English language proficiency requires special assistance.

Every alternative language program should have explicit exit criteria for mainstreaming LEP students.


According to the Office for Civil Rights "Exit criteria that simply tests the student's oral language skills are inadequate…alternative programs cannot be 'dead end' tracks to segregate national origin minority students."


Maintaining students in an alternative language program longer than necessary to achieve the program's goals could violate the anti-segregation provisions of Title VI regulations.



1. Identify National Origin Minority Students by including a home language survey with the district's registration form. This form must be completed by all students enrolling in the district, regardless of the language they speak.

2. Assess Language Minority students to identify LEP students by use of normed instruments such as LAS (Language Assessment Scales.)

3. Diagnose instructional needs and provide an alternative program which meets LEP students' needs for English language instruction.

4. Establish criteria for entry into and exit from the alternative program for LEP students.

5. Provide understandable instruction in content areas using ESL methodology.

6. Provide LEP students opportunities for the development of positive self-concept and identification with their cultural heritages.

7. Provide appropriate and comparable instructional materials and staff training opportunities.

8. Provide certified ESL teachers.

9. Provide equal assess to all other district programs and services.

10. Provide for parental involvement and communicate with parents of LEP students in their native language. (The Office for Civil Rights requires that any communication or notification to parents be in their native language or a manner they can understand and in writing.)

11. Monitor the progress of students at regular intervals throughout the school year, even after program exit, and provide support services as needed.

12. Monitor and maintain student records.




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Glossary of Terms




ALP-Alternative Language Program


ELL &endash; English Language Learner


ESL-English Second Language


ESOL-English Speakers of Other Languages


L1-Language one (first language)

L2-Language two (second language)

LAS-Language Assessment Scales


LEP-Limited English Proficient-students who have limited skills in English


LM-Language Minority-Students whose primary or home language is a

language other than English

LPC-Language Placement Committee


NEP-Non English Proficient-Students who have no skills in understanding

or speaking English

NOM-National Origin Minority

PHLOTE-Primary Home Language Other Than English

SOLOM-Student Oral Language Observation Matrix

TESOL &endash; Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages


TL-Target Language