It is the policy of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony Union School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School District to ensure equal educational opportunities for every student with equitable access to school programs.
Therefore, the Board supports the provision of a Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Program for students requiring assistance with the acquisition of Basic English language skills. No student shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any program or activity having been identified as a national origin minority student with limited English proficiency (replacing English as a Second Language, Limited English Proficient, or English Language Learners).
The superintendent or his or her designee shall be responsible for developing and implementing procedures to comply with federal and state laws which define standards for serving Limited English Proficiency students.
Under NCLB, all schools in the SVSU will include Limited English Proficiency students in state assessments, assess students annually in reading, writing, speaking, and listening and test limited English proficiency students for reading and language arts in English after attending school in the U.S. for three consecutive years.
42 U.S.C.§§2000 d et seq. (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964); 20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq. (English Language Acquisition, Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act)
20 U.S.C. § 7801(25) (Definition of Limited English Proficiency)
34 C.F.R. Part 100
9 V.S.A. §4502 (Discrimination, public accommodations)
Vermont State Board of Education Manual of Rules and Procedures §1250
Administrative Regulations Policy # 5260
- Identify and assess all students whose primary language is not English, and who, therefore, have or may have difficulty performing ordinary class work in English and who cannot learn as well or achieve on parity with pupils whose primary language is English.
- Design or adopt limited English proficiency instructional programs recognized as sound by experts in the field, be developed with scientifically based research, and/or considered legitimate experimental strategies. Instructional programs should be aimed at helping limited English proficiency students develop English language skills or comprehension, speaking, reading and writing necessary for learning and achieving in English-only instruction at a level substantially equivalent to pupils whose primary language is English. There should be a priority of these students being placed on assistance that encourages the rapid integration of students into the school and community environment.
- Federal law requires the identification of students’ primary languages. Each district school registrar must have parents complete the Home Language Survey form upon a new student’s arrival for registration. That form should trigger the LEP referral with a copy being sent to the SVSU Central Office, the LEP Teacher and to the Vermont Department of Education. Qualified school district personnel will appropriately identify and evaluate students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
- Maintain adequate records of the educational level and progress of each child identified as in need of limited English proficiency programs, and make those records available to appropriate staff members and parents or legal guardians. There must be annual achievement objectives developed for each student based upon their needs.
- Objectively assess the progress of limited English proficiency students in order to determine when reclassification is appropriate. Standards for exit from limited English proficiency programs should be objectively based and should be designed to determine whether limited English proficiency students are able to read, write and comprehend English well enough to participate meaningfully in the School District’s programs.
- Monitor reclassified students’ academic achievement to determine whether reclassified students are able to succeed in all-English programs based on their English language proficiency. Monitoring of newly reclassified students should take place periodically to insure that the ongoing needs of non-English background students are addressed.
- Assure that LEP personnel have the appropriate training to implement Limited English Proficiency programs with proper certification.
- Under the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) parents must be notified by the local education agency that their child is eligible for Limited English Proficiency services and why their child needs a specialized language instructional program. This must be written in easily understood language.