English learners in Fresno, as in the entire state of California, are expected to advance one English language level each year as currently measured by the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC). During the time they are acquiring language, schools and teachers utilize assessment and data tools to measure and monitor EL student progress toward meeting this goal. At the end of the fifth year from initial identification, English learners are expected to attain redesignation to Fluent English Proficiency status. After redesignation, students are monitored to ensure that they maintain the growth they’ve made and that they experience continued academic success.
As students make gains toward mastering English, it is imperative that leaders and teachers have tools to move them toward the goal of gaining at least one language acquisition level per year. This guarantees that students will meet the redesignation criteria in five years, and allows for timely interventions when students start to present indications of not meeting them.
District and school administrators have various tools at their disposal to monitor the success of the district as a whole, and for individual school sites in order that their EL students grow one level per year:
- School Quality Indicators (SQII)
- English Learner Census and Services Report
- English Learner Redesignation Goal Setting Report
In addition, teachers have various tools available for classroom level monitoring of the language acquisition progress in order to plan appropriate instruction to meet the needs of the various English Learners they serve:
- English Learner Redesignation Goal Setting Report per class
- California ELD Standards Proficiency Level Descriptors
- Classroom formative assessments and grades
- Accountable Community work with colleagues
The Redesignation Process
Fresno Unified School District reclassifies EL students to Redesignated English Fluent Proficient (RFEP) at the point when specialized language and academic support services are deemed no longer needed for ELs to be successful in the mainstream educational program at a level commensurate to non-ELs.
This decision is made using criteria that include assessment of English language proficiency using:
- Teacher evaluation
- Parent consultation
Once ELs are redesignated, they retain RFEP status for the rest of their educational careers. However, the academic progress of RFEP students must be monitored for a minimum of four years, as required by state and federal guidelines, and if their continued linguistic and academic performance declines or stalls, interventions are provided to ensure that these students reach and maintain grade level academic proficiency. A full description of the redesignation process is detailed below.
Criteria For Redesignation
ELs are redesignated to fluent English proficient based on the following multiple criteria that are identified in the California Education Code and recommended by the State Board of Education (SBE). The minimum criteria to be considered for redesignation are:
- Overall English proficiency level of 4 on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).
- Comparison of the performance of the pupil in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based upon the performance of English proficient pupils of the same age, that demonstrates whether the pupil is sufficiently proficient in English to participate effectively in a curriculum designed for pupils of the same age whose native language is English
- Teacher Evaluation – Teachers will review ‘RFEP Ready’ students in the ATLAS EL Redesignation Goal Setting Report. Teachers review and complete the Teacher Recommendation Form for Redesignation.
- Parent/Guardian consultation – A conference will be scheduled to review reclassification criteria and student progress. Translation services will be provided as necessary. During school closure, parent/guardians will be consulted with by phone. Parents/Guardians will also be notified via U.S. Postal Service of student qualification for redesignation.
Site process for the school principal or his/her designee EL Site Representative is responsible for ensuring that ELs who meet the eligibility criteria are redesignated in a timely manner. The principal or EL Site Representative must support teachers in accessing the EL Redesignation Goal-Setting Report from ATLAS which identifies ELs at each site who meet redesignation eligibility. Upon every redesignation opportunity (i.e., release of ELPAC results and/or availability of local assessment results):
- EL Site Representatives review the EL Redesignation Goal-Setting Report in ATLAS.
- Students who meet redesignation eligibility are identified and teacher reviews, signs, and dates the Teacher Observation Matrix for Redesignation if they agree with redesignation. This form is filed in students’ LEP Cumulative folder. Teachers who disagree with redesignation, complete, sign and date the English Learner Intervention Plan and submit it to the Office of English Learner Services to stop the redesignation process.
- Parents are notified in writing about their child’s redesignation eligibility.
- Students’ redesignation status is officially recorded in ATLAS