English Learner (EL) Program
Equal Access To Academic Services and Programs
EL Programs and Related Services
English Learners (ELs) receive equal access to all district special opportunity programs. Such programs include, but are not limited to, Title I at risk programming, literacy coaches, speech and other forms of special education, math and reading intervention, MCAS 2.0 preparation and tutoring, vocational and technical courses, advanced placement and/or gifted instruction, and all extracurricular and nonacademic activities available to other students.
No student will be denied the right to participate in any extra-curricular activities in the school on the basis of age, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, color, sex, or English language proficiency. Every student has the knowledge of sports, band, choral music, drama and club activities that are being offered in each building.
Special Education and English Learners
Milford Public Schools does not place any student in a special education program based on his or her English language proficiency. The guidelines for special education are the same for both ELs and non-ELs in accordance with the Individuals With Disabilities Act.
All students all have the right to special education services, whether or not they are English learners. Students who are referred to their school’s Student/Teacher Assistance Resource Teams (START) and are EL, as determined by our EL program entrance criteria and annual ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 score reports, will be provided with intervention techniques to be used by both SEI and ESL teachers. If the interventions implemented prove not to be successful, further testing will be conducted in the student's dominant language, as determined by the Bilingual Verbal Ability Test (BVAT). Bilingual psychologists will be provided by the Special Education Department in order to evaluate a student. After testing is completed, the team convenes to determine whether or not the student has a disability, whether or not the student needs to be on an Individual Education Plan, and, if yes, which program model (Inclusion, etc.) would be best suited for the particular EL's needs. In any case, an ESL teacher and/or EL Coordinator and SEI teacher(s) will attend the START meetings to offer input and their teaching expertise and experience, as well as stay informed and involved. The required time frame within which this process must be completed is the same as for a student who is not an English learner. If it is determined that an EL needs special education services, he or she will still be offered the requisite number of hours of English Language Development instruction. The EL director will attend SPED department meetings, as necessary, and will be in close touch with both the disitrict SPED director, Assistant to the SPED Director, and Team Chairs in each individual school to assure consistent involvement.
Academic Counseling and English Learners
ELs will be provided with guidance counseling, as needed, in the student’s home language. Translators will work with counselors to convey information to students.
Advanced Placement and English Learners
ELs at Milford High School will have access to all academically advanced classes, if they have mastered the skills which are prerequisite to taking the course. Teachers cannot deny entrance to ELs capable of participating in AP classes based on the EL's English proficiency level. SEI training and SEI Endorsement courses have been provided to teachers who instruct AP classes.
Translations, upon request, of Milford High School’s program of studies contain all information about the AP process.
Retention of English Learners
ELs will not be retained because of their English proficiency levels. Close evaluation of potential “retainees’” academic performance and communication with teachers will be conducted before a student can be retained, to determine that the reasons for retention go beyond language proficiency. Students who have missed a substantial amount of school due to absences, have neglected their classwork and/or homework on a regular basis, or have consistently failed tests after having been given the necessary tiered supports and language development instruction, might be in danger of being retained. Parents will be notified of their child’s performance in school through notes home, telephone calls, face-to-face meetings, and progress reports – in their home language, if requested.