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Emergent Bilinguals 

A student may be eligible to receive specialized support if his or her primary language is not English.  If the student qualifies for these services, the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC), consisting of both district personnel and at least one parent representative, will determine the types of services the student needs, including accommodations or modifications related to classroom instruction, local assessments, and state-mandated assessments. Emergent Bilingual (EL) supports and linguistic accommodations are identified and included in the curriculum for grades K-12  and activities are provided to support student access to content and language. The student’s parent must consent to any services recommended by the LPAC. However, pending the receipt of parental consent or denial of services, an eligible student will receive the services to which the student is entitled and eligible. To determine a student’s level of proficiency in English, the LPAC will use information from a variety of assessments. If the student qualifies for services, and once a level of proficiency has been established, the LPAC will designate instructional accommodations or additional special programs that the student will require to eventually become proficient at grade level work in English. Ongoing assessments will be conducted to determine a student’s continued eligibility for the program. The LPAC will also determine whether certain accommodations are necessary for any state-mandated assessments. The STAAR Spanish may be administered to an English learner up to grade 5. In limited circumstances, a student’s LPAC may exempt the student from an otherwise required state-mandated assessment or may waive certain graduation requirements related to the English I end-of-course (EOC) assessment. The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) will also be administered to Emergent Bilinguals who qualify for services. If a student is considered an English learner and receives special education services because of a qualifying disability, the student’s ARD committee will make instructional and assessment decisions in conjunction with the LPAC. Additional guidance for LPAC operating procedures can be found on the SISD specialized support services website linked here

 

English Second Language (ESL) Action Plan

An ESL waiver is required to be submitted when a district has any ESL students being served by a non-ESL certified teacher.  These teachers are our English/Reading teachers and they are certified to teach reading.  There are two methods TEA uses to approve a district submitted waiver: 

  1. If the districts English Learners (EL) students meet or exceed the state average on STAAR for “all grades/subjects”; or

  2. The district has an approved action plan

The Sweetwater ISD approved action plan includes the following steps: 

  1. Continue reimbursing teachers for the cost of the ESL Supplemental exam and providing substitutes for ESL training that occurs on school days. 

  2. Continue clear, direct communication with teachers new to the district and their principals regarding the expectation of becoming ESL certified.  This expectation may also be shared with universities with which the district already has a relationship. 

  3. Leverage existing relationships with ESC 14 for targeted professional development, including the connection between instructional methods for second language acquisition and Reading Academy content. 

  4. Continue strategic scheduling at the secondary level to ensure that emergent bilingual students are placed with appropriately certified teachers.

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