• Milford Public School District: English Learner (EL) Program

    Initial EL and Former English Learner (FEL) Identification

    When new students register in Milford Public Schools (MPS), through the Family Resource Center (FRC), families are provided with a Home Language Survey (HLS), which is included in the registration packet.  Students are not allowed to enroll into school unless this document is completed.  The HLS is available in all of the languages currently spoken by students represented in MPS.  If a native language is not currently available, the EL program director will obtain the appropriate document for the language requested.

    The HLS is administered in the home language of the newly enrolling student and is returned to the Family Resource Center manager, who will make the determination whether or not a student will be screened for English language proficiency. If any of the following questions below are answered indicating a language other than English, the district is required by law (Title VI; EEOA: 20 U.S.C. 1703(f); M.G.L. c. 76, s. 5; 603 CMR 26.02(2)) to screen the student to determine whether or not they will be offered English language development (ELD) instruction:

    1. What is the primary language used in the home, regardless of the languages spoken by the student?
    2. Which languages are spoken with your child?
    3. What language did your child first understand and speak?
    4. Which language do you use most often with your child; and
    5. Which language(s) does your child use?
    6. Will you require written information from school in your native language?
    7. Will you require an interpreter at parent-teacher conferences?

    Initial Language Proficiency Screening Procedures

    Milford Public Schools screens every newly enrolled student whose HLS indicates that there is a language other than English spoken at home. In other words, MPS administers a language proficiency screening test when the answer to any question on the HLS is a language other than English with the following limited exceptions:

      • students who were previously classified as ELs and were then reclassified as FELs in their former districts;
      • students who transferred from another district within Massachusetts or another WIDA state and who did not qualify as ELs on the English proficiency screening test administered in their former districts; and
      • students who transferred from another district within Massachusetts or another WIDA state with ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 results from the last calendar school year.
        • less than an Overall score of 4.2 and a Literacy score of 3.9 = EL
        • greater than an Overall score of 4.2 and a Literacy score of 3.9 = FEL Year 1

    All students identified as needing to be screened for language proficiency based on the HLS and as described in the EL and FEL Student Identification Process above will be promptly assessed to determine whether they are designated as either an English Learner (EL) or a Fluent English speaker.  The data gathered will pinpoint the student’s levels of English proficiency across all four language domains (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) to inform appropriate designation, programming, and placement.

    The FRC Test Administrator, trained in the administration and interpretation of  the state-approved standard screening instruments: WIDA MODEL, WIDA Screener, and the Pre-IPT Oral language proficiency screenings and assessments, will complete the screening at the Family Resource Center. Milford Public Schools currently uses the following research driven screeners to make the appropriate student placement determination.  

    • Pre-IPT Oral for Pre-K
      • Pre-IPT Oral assesses English skills in the speaking and listening domains.
      • Age 3: Score a Level A or B are classified as EL, Score a Level C-E are classified as Not EL
      • Age 4: Score a Level A, B, or C are classified as EL, Score a Level D or E are classified as Not EL
      • Age 5: Score a Level A, B, C, or D are classified as EL, Score a Level E are classified as Not EL
    • WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten
      • First Semester: Listening and Speaking
        • Oral proficiency level 1-4 in both Listening and Speaking are classified as EL
        • Oral proficiency level 5 in both Listening and Speaking are classified as Not EL
      • Second Semester: Listening, Speaking Reading, and Writing
        • Overall composite proficiency level 1-4 are classified as EL and a composite literacy proficiency level lower than 4 are classified as EL
        • Overall composite proficiency level higher than level 5 and a composite literacy proficiency level higher than 4 are classified as Not EL
    • WIDA MODEL for Grade 1 for first semester
      • Overall composite proficiency level 1-4 are classified as EL and a composite literacy proficiency level lower than 4 are classified as EL
      • Overall composite proficiency level higher than level 5 and a composite literacy proficiency level higher than 4 are classified as Not EL
    • WIDA Screener for grades 1-12
      • Overall composite proficiency level 1-4.4 and a composite literacy proficiency level 1-4.4  are classified as EL
      • Overall composite proficiency level 4.5 or higher and a composite literacy proficiency level 4.5 or higher are classified as Not EL

    The results of these initial screenings will be recorded on the district’s language proficiency test results document, explained to the parent/guardian and/or student by the FRC test administrator, entered in the district’s Student Information System (SIS): Aspen X2, and filed in the student’s green EL cumulative folder. 

    Initial Grade Level Placement Process 

    Upon registration in the FRC, MPS assigns students transferring into the district from outside the United States a grade level placement based on a variety of factors. Factors include, but are not limited to:

    • Student’s age based on birth date (MPS district’s cut-off date is September 1st);
    • The month of the school year a student transfers into the district;
    • Student’s previous academic grade placement, program, and available school records;
    • Amount of prior schooling and differences in the skills and knowledge base at different grade levels in other countries and cultures;
    • High School Specific Considerations: The potential for additional years of schooling based upon prior school experiences and transcripts, Massachusetts’ mandatory high school course requirements, and the oral and written English proficiency students need in order to pass mandatory MCAS graduation requirements.

    The Milford Public Schools makes every effort to assign students appropriately based on the above factors. 

    The Massachusetts Department of Education has established guidelines for the amount of English Language Development an EL student should receive based on his or her proficiency level. 

    Plan for English Language Development and SEI Instruction and Programming

    The decision on classroom placement will be made based on the individual needs of the student.  MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) require all core-content and vocational technical teachers to obtain their Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement, so that ELs are effectively taught in mainstream SEI classrooms.  ELs will receive varying amounts of English Language Development (ELD) skill instruction, following either a pull-out (students are taught in small groups outside of their classroom by a licensed ESL teacher) or push-in model (students are provided English language instruction by a licensed ESL teacher in their general education classroom).  Students at foundational WIDA levels 1-3 of English proficiency will receive two to three 45 minute blocks of English Language Development instruction per day.  Students at a transitional proficiency level 3.5-5 will receive at least one 45 minute period of English Language Development instruction per day.  ELs will be placed in mainstream core-academic SEI classes where the core-content teacher has received sheltered English instruction (SEI) endorsement. 

    Parent Notification of ELD Services

    MPS provides parents of newly enrolled ELs with a notification by mail, or in person, no later than 10 days from enrollment of the student.  Parents will be informed of:

    • the purpose, method, and the content of the available ELE programs in the district;
    • information regarding the parents’ right to choose an ELE program among those offered by the district;
    • information regarding parents’ rights to request a new language acquisition program in accordance with the law;
    • information about available conferences or meetings for parents to learn about the ELE programs offered in the school district;
    • information regarding parents’ rights to visit an ELE program in the school district; and
    • information regarding the parents’ right to withdraw a student from a language acquisition program.

    MPS annually provides parents of ELs identified for participation or participating in an ELE program with a notification within the first 30 days of the school year. This notification includes:

    • the reasons for the identification of their child as an EL and the need for the child’s placement in an ELE program;
    • the child’s level of English proficiency, how such level was assessed, and the status of the child’s academic achievement;
    • the methods of instruction used in the program in which their child is participating and the methods of instruction used in other available programs, including how such programs differ in content, instructional goals, and the use of English and a native language in instruction;
    • how the program in which their child is participating, will meet the educational strengths and needs of their child;
    • how the program will specifically help their child learn English and meet age-appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation;
    • the specific exit requirements for the district’s EL program, including the expected rate of transition from such program into mainstream classrooms;
    • how the district’s EL program meets the objectives of the individualized education program of the child, if applicable; and
    • information pertaining to parental rights that includes written guidance:
      • detailing the right that parents have to have their child immediately removed from their EL program upon their request;
      • detailing the options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another program or method of instruction, if available; and
      • assisting parents in selecting among various programs and methods of instruction, if more than one program or method is offered.

    MPS provides both parent notification letters in a language that the parent can understand, to the extent practicable. Sample notification letters are available in English and other languages at http://www.doe.mass.edu/ell/resources.html

    Using Annual ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Results to Inform Placement

    The ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment is a required annual state exam that assesses English proficiency across the four language domains: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It meets U.S. federal requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for monitoring and reporting ELs’ progress toward English language proficiency. The assessment is administered to Kindergarten through 12th-grade students, who have been identified as English learners (ELs). It is given annually in the months of January and February to monitor students' progress in learning academic English.

    ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 provides data to inform district stakeholders on how to develop and implement curriculum, instruction and classroom assessment. Additionally, the assessment serves to identify ELs who are progressing toward or have achieved English language proficiency and thus reclassification. Language proficiency results inform program planning as they are reviewed by the school grade level language assistance team every year.  The language proficiency scores are also provided to administrators and teachers for their use in designing learning interventions and/or may assist in the decision-making process when evaluating an EL for special education services.

    Revised: 2/27/2019