The English Language Learner (ELL) KnowledgeBase for Administrators is an online resource supporting the administration of programs for ELL students. It offers resources related to Office for Civil Rights requirements and the No Child Left Behind Act.
Purpose: School districts are required to take affirmative steps to address the language development of national origin-minority students (English language learners - ELLs) where the inability to speak and understand the English language prevents the students from effective participation in the district's programs. Element 1 addresses the legal requirements related to ELL students. Besides school leaders and teaching staff, these requirements must be understood by the entire school community.
Purpose: School districts have broad discretion in selecting appropriate language programs, but should consider three general areas when making a decision.
The program chosen should be considered sound by experts in the field. If a district is using a different approach, it must show that it is considered a legitimate experimental strategy.
Purpose: Under Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) requirements, school districts have obligations to communicate with and involve parents in their child’s education. Under Title III, schools "receiving such funds are to assure timely and effective notification to parents English language learner students and extend a means for them to be involved with their child's education." Similarly, the OCR requirements specify school districts communicate in a way that assures meaningful access for English language learner (ELL)students and their parents.
To fulfill these responsibilities, school districts should develop procedures for providing parents of ELL students with the same information provided to the parents of their English language peers in a language appropriate manner. As a result of these obligations, school districts must develop effective ways for involving parents of their ELL students in their child's education.
Purpose: School districts are to deliver English language instruction programs to English language learning children to help them develop their English proficiency and meet the same state academic content and student achievement standards all students are expected to meet. In doing so, districts have broad discretion in selecting appropriate language programs, but should consider the following when developing their program.
Purpose: The school district should establish criteria to determine when ELL students qualify for exiting the English language learner program. The school district should be able to demonstrate that its exit criteria is based on objective standards that ensure ELL students will be able to participate meaningfully and successfully in the district's regular education program.
Purpose: In fulfilling the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Office for Civil Rights, staff development must occur to ensure ELL students progress academically and be afforded equal educational opportunity. This includes professional learning in the following areas: