342.61-Rule Procedures for Testing ELL Students





A.        Assessing English Proficiency


1.      On or before March 1 each year, District staff shall conduct a count of all English language learners enrolled in District schools, assess the language proficiency of such students and classify such students by language group, grade level, age and English language proficiency.  The District shall file a report of ELL students to the state department of public instruction as required by law.


2.      Every family who registers to attend the School District of Baraboo will be asked to identify the primary language spoken in their home, by the parents, and by the child.  Other types of identification may be the following: staff knowledge, preschoolers eligible for Title I services, Head Start, and any other applicable programs offered by the district; the student’s cumulative folder; or teacher observation and request for further evaluation.


3.      ELL students shall be assessed to determine their English language proficiency using the Department of Public Instruction-approved English proficiency assessment instrument.  The assessment shall be administered by a Baraboo District school psychologist, classroom teacher, English as a second language teacher, building principal.  The District may also use information such as the following when assessing a student’s English proficiency: prior academic records from within or outside the United States, information on everyday classroom performance, and course grades which, in relation to the student’s grade level, indicate that lack of progress is due to limited English language skills.


4.      ELL students assessed shall be classified according to their English proficiency level as outlined in state rules and described below.


                Level 1- Beginning/Preproduction:

            The student does not understand or speak English with the exception of a few   

            isolated words or expressions.


            Level 2- Beginning/Production:        

            The student understands and speaks conversational and academic English with  

            hesitancy and difficulty.


            The student understands parts of lessons and simple directions.


The student is at a pre-emergent or emergent level of reading and writing in  English, significantly below grade level.


            Level 3- Intermediate:

            The student understands and speaks conversational and academic English with  

            decreasing hesitancy and difficulty.


The student is post-emergent, developing reading comprehension and writing skills in English.


The student's English literacy skills allow the student to demonstrate academic knowledge in content areas with assistance.


            Level 4- Advanced Intermediate:

The student understands and speaks conversational English without apparent difficulty, but understands and speaks academic English with some hesitancy.


The student continues to acquire reading and writing skills in content areas needed to achieve grade level expectations with assistance.


            Level 5- Advanced:

      The student understands and speaks conversational and academic English well.


The student is near proficient in reading, writing, and content area skills needed to meet grade level expectations.


            The student requires occasional support.


            Level 6 - Formerly ELL/Now Fully English Proficient:

The student was formerly limited-English proficient and is now fully English proficient.


The student reads, writes, speaks and comprehends English within academic classroom settings.


            Level 7 - Fully English Proficient/Never Limited-English Proficient:

            The student was never classified as limited-English proficient and does not fit the           

            definition of a limited-English proficient student outlined in either state or federal             law.


5.      If the ELL student is determined to be in need of services, the parent(s)/guardian of the student shall be notified in their native language (to the best of the District’s ability) and shall be asked for written permission to serve their child.  ELL students shall be provided appropriate services to help them acquire English language skills and meet District academic standards based on individual needs.


6.      Student English proficiency assessment records shall be maintained by the District in accordance with state and federal laws and District student records policies and procedures.  Reports regarding ELL students shall be made to the DPI as legally required.



B.  Assessing Academic Achievement


1.      Decisions regarding academic performance assessment shall be made and documented on an individual basis for each ELL student.  Assessment decisions shall be made by classroom teachers, building principal, and ELL Coordinator and communicated to the student’s parent(s)/guardian.  All communications to parents/guardians of ELL students shall be given in such manner as to provide understanding of the information.  They should be provided in English, the parent/guardian’s native language or any other means to convey the required information.


2.      An ELL student may not be exempted from academic assessments based on their ELL status.  The District shall administer a state-required test to an ELL student unless a determination has been made that the results of the test, with allowable accommodations made for the student as needed, will not be a valid and reliable indicator of the student’s academic knowledge and skills.  If an ELL student is exempted from taking a state-required test, he/shall be administered a DPI-approved alternative assessment.


a.       Except as specified below, students at English proficiency levels 1 or 2 as outlined above shall participate in an alternative assessment even if they participate in a state-required test.

(1)    Students at English proficiency levels 1 or 2 who have attended school in the first grade or any higher grade in the United States, not including Puerto Rico, for three or more full consecutive school years shall participate in academic assessment of reading or English language arts using tests written in English.

(2)    The District may continue, for no more than two additional consecutive school years, to assess a student described in (1) above with an alternate assessment, rather than the state-required tests, if the District determines that the student has not reached a level of English language proficiency sufficient for the tests written in English to yield valid and reliable information about what the student knows and can do.  This determination shall be made on a case-by-case basis.


b.      Students at English proficiency levels 3 through 5 as outlined above shall participate in a state-required test but may also participate in an alternative assessment.


c.       If an ELL student participates in a state-required test, the District shall provide testing accommodations for the student if they are needed.  Any accommodations made shall maintain the validity of the test.  Testing accommodations may include, but are not limited to the following: providing the assistance of a qualified translator to translate instructions or read items from tests that do not assess English language competency; providing small group or individual testing opportunities; providing more practice tests or examples before the actual test is administered; allowing ELL students to use dictionaries or other educational aids while taking the test unless this use would invalidate the test; and allowing ELL students as much time as necessary to complete the test.


3.      Student test/alternative assessment results shall be communicated to the student’s parent/guardian and to the DPI as required by law.


4.      ELL student test results shall be used consistent with District policies when making instructional, promotion and graduation decisions.  Test results shall not be used as the sole criterion in exiting ELL students from a bilingual-bicultural education program or in determining grade promotion, eligibility for courses or programs, eligibility for graduation or eligibility for postsecondary education opportunities.  Exemption of an ELL student from taking a state-required test may also not be used as the sole criterion for making such determinations.



Last Updated: 7/10/09
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