The following procedures are instituted for purposes of implementing a Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program.
A Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program, as defined by state law, means a system of instruction which uses two languages, one of which is English, to build upon and expand language skills to enable the student to achieve competency in English. In those cases where the use of two languages is not practicable, appropriate instruction for English learners may be provided primarily in English.
The district will provide English learners appropriate core academic instruction in addition to language instruction. The district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program is intended to supplement core academic instruction.
Program Application and Description
Annually, and prior to August 1 of each year, the district will submit an application to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction requesting funding to support its Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program. In its application, the district will provide a description of its research-based program models including staffing and implementation strategies.
At the time of registration, the parents/guardians of each student will be asked to complete a home language survey which identifies the child’s primary language. Students identified as speaking a primary language other than English will be assessed within ten school days of enrollment and attendance using the state-approved language proficiency test to determine eligibility for the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program. Any student who scores at an “emerging” or “progressing” level will be eligible for the program. Students who score at a “proficient” level are not eligible for the program. Staff will determine the appropriate instructional program for each eligible student.
If a transfer student has previously been identified as an English learner in Washington and has not yet scored at a “proficient” level, the student will be served in the receiving district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program based on the last score the student received in the sending district.
Parents/guardians will be notified in writing of their child’s initial eligibility and notified annually of their child’s continuing eligibility for the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program. At a minimum the parent/guardian notification will contain:
- How the child’s eligibility was determined and the child’s current level of English proficiency;
- A description of the district’s program and how it will meet the child’s educational needs;
- The method of instruction used in the program in which their child is, or will be, participating and the methods of instruction used in other available programs, including how such programs differ in content, instruction goals, and use of English and a native language instruction;
- How the program in which their child is, or will be, participating will meet the educational strengths and needs of their child;
- How the program will specifically help their child learn English and meet age appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation;
- The specific exit requirements for the program, the expected rate of transition from such program into classrooms that are not tailored for English learners, and the expected rate of graduation from secondary school for such program if funds under this title are used for children in secondary schools; and
- Information on the parents’/guardians’ right to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another program or method of instruction, if available; and assisting parents in selecting among various programs and methods of instruction, if more than one program or method is offered by the eligible entity.
Communication with parents/guardians should be provided, when feasible, in the parents’/guardians’ primary language.
Continued Eligibility/Annual Assessment
Each eligible English language learner, including English learners under a parent waiver, must be assessed annually using the state-approved language proficiency test to determine continued eligibility. Students remain eligible until they score at a “proficient” level on the annual state-approved language proficiency test. After students have exited an EL program, school districts must monitor the academic progress of former English learners for at least two years to ensure that: the students have not been prematurely exited; any academic deficits they incurred as a result of participation in the ELL program have been remedied; and that the students are meaningfully participating in the standard instructional program comparable to their never-EL peers.
Expected Graduation Year
For students, including eligible English learners, who require extended time to meet high school graduation requirements, the district may set an expected graduation year beyond the typical four years of high school or through the school year in which a student turns 21. An EL program should be reasonably calculated to ensure that EL students attain equal participation in the standard instructional program within a reasonable length of time. For example, if an EL student enters the ninth grade with beginner-level English proficiency, the school district should offer EL services that would enable them to earn a regular high-school diploma in four years.
Record Keeping and Documentation
The district will maintain records of eligible students and comply with state reporting requirements. Original documents will be kept in the student’s cumulative folder and copies will be kept in the program folder, if applicable. These documents include the home language survey, parent notification letters, parental waiver (if applicable) and language proficiency test assessment data.
The district will develop and provide to parents/guardians, district staff and interested stakeholders a user-friendly description of the district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program offered in the stakeholder’s home/primary language. The description will include the process for identifying and serving English learners and provide contact information for the district’s transitional bilingual instruction program manager.
Provide in-service training for teachers, counselors and other staff who are involved in the district’s transitional bilingual program. Such training shall include appropriate instructional strategies for children of culturally different backgrounds, use of curriculum materials and program models.
Report to the Board
Annually, and prior to the board of directors’ program approval, the superintendent or designee will report on the status of the district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program.