Assessment and Placement Process

If your child is about to enroll into Fresno Unified and their primary language is a language other than English, you’re probably curious to know the details of the English Learner Services (ELS) evaluation and placement process. For your convenience, we’ve broken the process down into five steps.

Step 1: Enrollment & Home Language Survey

Per state guidelines, when you go to the school to enroll your child, you’ll be asked to complete a Home Language Survey (HLS) to identify language use in the home. This brief questionnaire asks four simple questions:

  • Which language did your son or daughter learn when he or she first began to speak?
  • Which language does your son or daughter most frequently use at home?
  • Which language do you use most frequently to speak to your son or daughter?
  • Name the language most often spoken by adults at home.

If the answer to all of these questions is English, your child will be identified as an English Only student and be enrolled in mainstream classes.

However, if the answer to any of the first three questions (1, 2, or 3) is a language other than English, your child must be assessed in English to determine English Language proficiency. Stating a language other than English on question 4 of the HLS does not require an assessment.

Step 2: English Language Proficiency Assessment

Your child will be referred to the Language Assessment Center (LAC) located at 890 S. 10th Street Fresno, CA 93702 where he or she will take the Initial English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). This standardized test measures your child’s proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in English.

Based on these results, your child will be identified in one of these levels: Novice English Learner, Intermediate English Learner, or Initial Fluent English Proficient (IFEP).

If your child’s ELPAC level is identified as an Novice English Learner or Intermediate English Learner, you will proceed to:

Step 3: Primary Language Assessment

If your child’s ELPAC level is identified as an English Learner, he or she will need to take a Primary Language Assessment. This test measures your child’s proficiency in his or her primary language.

This test, combined with the ELPAC, will allow us to better understand your child’s language needs and make appropriate program recommendations. Once all test results are in, we will proceed to:

Step 4: Parent Notification of Assessment Results

Initial ELPAC results are mailed to parents within 30 calendar days after an assessment is taken. LAC staff will inform you of the instructional programs that are available to your child.

Step 5: Program Placement

Your child will be placed in one of three programs based on our recommendations and your input: District’s General Core Curriculum, Structured English Immersion, or Dual Language Immersion.


Introduction to Initial ELPAC for Parents
Introducción Para Padres Sobre la ELPAC Inicial

ELPAC Parent Guide

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