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English Learner Identification Criteria & Procedures
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English Learner Identification Criteria & Procedures
English Learner Identification Criteria & Procedures


English Learner Identification Criteria and Procedures (See also "Moving Through and Exiting ESL")

A.  Initial Identification:  A student considered “Limited English proficient” (LEP) would include any student who meets the following requirements.

1.  Home Language Questionnaire:  All students registering in Minneapolis Public Schools answer the Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ) located on the registration form.  If there is evidence of another language, they would be referred by the school office staff to the EL teacher for further evaluation.  The three questions found on the HLQ are as follows:

  a.  Which language did your child learn first?
  b.  Which language is most often spoken at home?
  c.  Which language does your child usually speak?

If the answer to any of these questions is a language other than English, the student must be assessed for English Language Proficiency.  This is generally done at the New Family Center at the time of registration, but if not, the evaluation will be administered at the school as soon as possible.

2.  EL Program Entrance requirements (See Entrance/Exit Criteria)

     a.  EL teacher will evaluate any/or all of the following data in the cumulative folder:

i.      ACCESS/W-APT scores for students who are transferring within the state of Minnesota
ii.      Evidence of past participation in EL programs
iii.      MCA/MAP assessment data
iv.      Classroom performance

      b.  If a student is new to Minnesota or the above data is not available at the time of registration:

              i.      W-APT(or K-WAPT) will be administered to determine language proficiency level

3.  If a student meets the entrance requirements for the EL program, parents have the option of either accepting or refusing (waiving) ESL services. If parents accept ESL services, school staff will be tasked with scheduling appropriate school-based ESL supports for the student and they will be placed into appropriate programming.

Waiving Services: Parents who wish to waive ESL services for students who meet the entrance criteria must meet with the EL team at their school and complete a School-Based Waiver form which will be provided to them by the EL team. EL staff will communicate with families that ESL Support for Academic Language Development is essential to a student’s success in school. EL staff will recommend that services should be waived only in cases where academic achievement levels (test scores) clearly suggest that the student can succeed without ESL classes.

B.  Ongoing Identification:

1.  Transitioning students from one year to the next:  The EL teachers will evaluate all spring standardized testing data as it becomes available to determine each EL’s eligibility for ongoing ESL support.  When a student meets a majority of the exit criteria (See Entrance/Exit Criteria) with an emphasis on standardized scores, they will be reclassified in late Spring for the next school year and will no longer receive ESL supports.

2.  If a student who has not been initially identified but begins to demonstrate language/academic concerns, the EL teacher will do a combination of the following to determine if language is the primary concern:

a.  Administer the W-APT to determine language proficiency (if it hasn’t been done prior)
b.  Re-evaluate all assessment data and review updated data
c.  Make a classroom observation and interview the student’s classroom and content teacher(s).
d.  Consult with parents
e.  If the student meets a majority on the entrance criteria with an emphasis on standardized test scores, the EL staff will enroll the student in the EL program assuming the parents agree to EL services.

C.  Overall identification measures

1.  Kindergarten and Grade 1

a.  WIDA W-APT /ACCESS language proficiency data
b.  F&P or STEP Reading Benchmarking data:  including letter naming and letter sounds, as well as MPS Focused Instruction Common Benchmark Assessments.
c.  Classroom  performance and observation
d.  Classroom teacher feedback

2.  Grade 2

a.  W-APT/ACCESS language proficiency test
b.  Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Reading and Math
c. F&P or STEP Benchmarking data and MPS Focused Instruction Common Benchmark Assessments.
d.  Classroom performance and observation
e.  Classroom teacher feedback

3.  Grade 3-5

a.  W-APT /ACCESS language proficiency test
b.  Measures of Academic Progress (MAP): Reading and Math
c.  Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA): Reading and Math
d.  F&P/STEP Benchmarking data and MPS Focused Instruction Common Benchmark Assessments
e.  Classroom performance and observation
f.  Classroom teacher feedback

4.  Grades 6-8

a.  W-APT/ACCESS language proficiency test
b.  Measures of Academic  Progress (MAP): Reading and Math
c.  Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)
d.  MPS Focused Instruction Common Benchmark Assessments.

5.  Grades 9-12

a.  W-APT/ACCESS language proficiency test
b.  Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments  (MCA)
c.  Classroom performance
d.  MPS Focused Instruction Common Benchmark Assessments.

D.  English Language Proficiency Measures

1.  ACCESS for ELL (See Proficiency Level Descriptions)

2.  The results of the ACCESS for ELL language assessment are used to:

a.  Determine the scope and sequence of the EL program for each child
b.  Determine which language domains need additional instruction
c.  Measure adequate language growth over time
d.  Determine exit from the EL program

3.  All EL teachers complete the required WIDA Training to administer the ACCESS English Proficiency Test, including yearly reviews of key areas.  EL and other teachers have completed all online training and quizzes.  Each teacher is recertified each year in the administration of the speaking portion of the ACCESS test.

E.  Identification Criteria

When a potential EL student meets the majority of the entrance criteria and it is determined that additional EL support would provide educational benefit to the student, they will be admitted into the EL program.

F.  Communication of Identification Criteria and Procedures

1.  All EL program identification criteria is located on the district website and can be translated through Google Translator.
2.  EL teachers are present at Kindergarten orientations, elementary open houses, and information nights to field any questions from potential EL families. In addition, a number of explanations of Frequently Asked Questions
3.  EL/Bilingual Education Program description and Notification of Services: sent home at the beginning of each school year which includes the scores of multiple assessments
4.  Intake meeting with parent or guardian: for new-to-district students
5.  Student Assistance Team meeting (SAT)
6.  Staff Meetings
7.  Team meetings (middle school/elementary schools)
8.  Parent/Teacher Conferences: offered 2 times/year

a.  Phone calls using Language Line interpreter service when needed and is offered to all staff who are educating EL students
b.  If necessary, District in-house and contracted interpreters are employed for meeting with parents.