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A. Policy Statement
MSAD #11 is committed to providing appropriate placement, along with curricular, instructional and other related services, to ensure that language minority students with limited English proficiency (LEP) are able to participate effectively in the schools’ educational programs. To accomplish this, MSAD #11 will implement this Lau Plan, which details the procedural requirements and services to be provided to language minority students with limited English proficiency.
B. Responsibility for Lau Plan Implementation
The Superintendent shall appoint a Lau Plan Coordinator. The Lau Plan Coordinator has overall responsibility for implementation of the Lau Plan for MSAD #11, including providing support to Language Assessment Teams (LATs) [more information on LATs in Section C.1.d]; establishing reasonable timelines for the provision of student services; filing all necessary state and federal reports concerning LEP students; and performing periodic program reviews. The Lau Plan Coordinator shall report directly to the Superintendent.
C. Identification Process
Limited English proficiency (LEP) is not a disability covered by IDEA or Maine special education regulations. LEP students should not be placed in any special education program unless exceptionality is well-documented (including assessment of the student’s native language
skills) and appropriate procedures for special education services have been followed, independent of the LEP identification.
a. Home Language Surveys: Incoming Students
At kindergarten screening and whenever a student seeks to enroll in MSAD #11, the student’s parent shall be asked to complete a Home Language Survey.
b. Other Screening Methods
In addition to the Home Language Survey, the following methods may be used to identify students who may be in need of LEP services and support:
• Classroom teacher observations and referral;
• Parent referral;
• Student self-referral; and/or
• Review of previous education records.
c. Responsibility for Reviewing Surveys and Referrals
The Lau Plan Coordinator is responsible for reviewing Home Language Surveys and any referrals or requests for LEP programs and support. If the determination is made that a student should receive further assessment of the need for services, a Language Assessment Team shall be formed.
d. Language Assessment Team
When a student is determined to need further assessment, the Lau Plan Coordinator shall assemble a Language Assessment Team (LAT) for the student, to be comprised of building administrator; guidance counselor; English As A Second Language consultant; classroom teacher, etc. and the child’s parent(s).
If the student is identified as needing LEP services and support, the LAT has ongoing responsibility for determining appropriate services, monitoring and assessing the student’s progress, and complying with parent notification and involvement requirements.
The Lau Plan Coordinator shall designate the building administrator to be the Case Manager. The Case Manager is responsible for coordinating all LAT activities and ensuring that Lau Plan procedures are followed. The Case Manager may delegate specific responsibilities (such as taking minutes of LAT meetings and recordkeeping) to other members of the LAT, but he/she retains overall responsibility for the process. The Case Manager shall consult with the Lau Plan Coordinator as necessary.
2. Assessment of LEP Status
The LAT uses multi-criteria assessments to identify students in need of LEP services and support. Objective, standardized measures of English proficiency and achievement testing are used, as well as information from less formal assessments, as follows:
• IDEA Oral Language Proficiency Test;
• MEA, WIDA ACCESS
• Home Language Survey;
• Parent and/or student interviews;
• Teacher-developed devices (such as reading inventories, writing samples, etc.);
• Teacher observations and recommendations;
• Review of academic performance, student work and education records; and/or
• Other criteria appropriate to the particular child.
3. LEP Identification
The LAT will review the multi-criteria assessments to determine the student’s level of English language proficiency. Test cut score levels are used in conjunction with the other data collected to determine the students level of English language proficiency.
The following classifications are used:
NOTE: The following tiers correspond to the terminology used by WIDA to determine the tier in which a particular student is tested under ACCESS for ELLs.
• Tier A: Lowest level of English language proficiency
Criteria: Arrived in the U.S. or entered school in U.S. within this academic year without previous instruction in English; currently receives literacy instruction only in native language; tests at the lowest level of proficiency on school unit’s measure of English language proficiency.
• Tier B: Mid-levels of English language proficiency
Criteria: Has social language proficiency and some, but not extensive academic language proficiency in English; has acquired some literacy in English, though have not yet reached grade level literacy.
• Tier C: Highest level of English language proficiency
Criteria: Is approaching grade level in literacy and academic language proficiency in the core content areas; will likely meet the exit criteria for support services by the end of the academic year.
D. Placement and Programming
Once the student’s English proficiency is determined, the LAT will consider the following factors in determining appropriate placement and programming to support the student in
acquiring English language proficiency as well as to provide content area support to achieve Learning Results knowledge and skills:
• Chronological age and grade of the student;
• English language proficiency level;
• Previous educational experiences;
• Family history
Placement and programming decisions are made on a case-by-case basis for each student, and might include one or more of the following:
• ESL instruction provided within a mainstream classroom by an certified tutor or educational technician; under the supervision of an ESL teacher/consultant
• Scheduled instruction within an ESL teacher’s classroom in either a small
group or one-on-one instruction by an ESL teacher or educational technician;
• Classroom modifications appropriate for the student, directed by the LAT and provided by the mainstream classroom teacher.
E. Evaluation of Student Progress
The LAT will evaluate each LEP student’s progress and programming at least annually, in the spring (and more often if there are teacher, student and/or parent concerns that warrant a review). Each LEP student will participate in the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs test scheduled by the Maine
Department of Education. The student’s language acquisition will be reviewed in conjunction with teacher observations, student work and other relevant factors such as parent observations. The student’s teacher for next year will be included in the spring meeting of the LAT.
F. Reclassification and Exit from LEP Programs
A reclassification of an LEP student to another proficiency level or out of LEP programming may result from the annual spring evaluation, or at any other time when a member of the LAT requests that the student’s classification be reviewed. The decision to reclassify or exit a student from the program is made by the LAT on the basis of the multi-criteria assessments used to identify and place the student (see Sections C.2 and C.3).
G. Monitoring of Students Exiting LEP Programs
A student who has been fully mainstreamed will be monitored by building administrator for three years. If a student experiences language and/or academic difficulties, the student may be re-assessed in accordance with Lau Plan procedures to ascertain whether he/she is in need of more structured language support.
H. Program Evaluation
The Lau Plan Coordinator is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the Lau Plan. An effective plan is one in which students are achieving proficiency in English and are able to participate meaningfully in MSAD #11’s programs. The Lau Plan Coordinator will annually perform the following functions:
• Review staff compliance with Lau Plan procedures and requirements;
• Review student data to assess student progress in achieving English
proficiency and participation in school programs;
• Obtain feedback and suggestions from staff, parents and students (if
appropriate) concerning Lau Plan procedures and services provided to students;
• Provide a report to the Superintendent regarding the findings of the program evaluation and any recommendations for improvements to Lau Plan procedures or educational programs and services provided to LEP students.
I. Parent Notification and Involvement
To the extent practicable, parent notices and information will be provided in a language the parents can understand. In addition, if practicable, an interpreter will be provided to assist parents in communicating with school staff and at meetings of the LAT to discuss the student’s programming and progress in attaining English proficiency.
Parents shall be notified before their child’s English proficiency is assessed and
shall be provided with the results of such assessments. If the student is identified as in need of LEP services, the parents shall be notified no later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year or within two weeks of the child’s placement in the program as required by the No Child Left Behind Act. Parents shall be invited to attend and participate in all LAT meetings pertaining to their child and shall be notified of school activities which are called to the attention of other parents.
Parents have the right to refuse LEP services and support for their child. If a parent does not want his/her child to have LEP services or support, he/she is required to sign a letter of refusal that shall be placed in the student’s education record.
All records pertaining to a student’s LEP status, including screening, assessments, LAT meeting minutes, programming, evaluations, and parent notices and forms shall be included in his/her cumulative folder. Appropriate recordkeeping is the responsibility of the student’s Case Manager or guidance counselor (after a student has exited LEP programs and services).
Adopted: February 1, 2007
Revised: May 3, 2007