English Learner (EL) Identification Criteria and Procedure
Hmong College Prep Academy is required by law to identify English Language Learners (ELs) in need of language support services. In Minnesota, EL students are identified through a two-step process. Determination of the home language, using the Minnesota Language Survey (MNLS), is the first step in identification of an English Learner. Students who understand one or more languages other than English (as reported on the MNLS) will then complete an approved English Language Proficiency (ELP) screener. The ELP screener is the second step and it measures the student’s current proficiency level in English in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Trained district staff score the screener to determine if the student is already proficient in English or conversely, if the student may benefit from EL instruction. Only students who are not yet proficient in English are identified as English learners. Following initial placement in the district’s EL program, there is a 45-day grace period in which any errors made in determining a student’s home language or ELP may be corrected.
Minnesota Language Survey
The Minnesota Language Survey is written in English. There are audio and video directions explaining the purpose of the MNLS and how to complete the MNLS in its entirety on the district website. Languages available for instructions include Hmong, Karen, Spanish, Vietnamese, Lao, Khmer, and English. All families new to the district will complete the MNLS. Enrollment staff must not make assumptions about a student's language background based upon the student’s appearance, last or first name, ethnic background, religious background and/or parent’s language ability or proficiency. To stay in compliance with state and federal law, all students must have a completed language survey on file. The MNLS does not collect information about immigrant status nor does it determine what services students should receive. All information provided by the parent or guardian is confidential and will be used only to provide legally-required data for state records. It is not shared with any staff except those with an educational need for the information.
English Learner Exit Criteria and Procedure
HCPA believes it is crucial that all teachers, staff, and EL families have a clear understanding of the EL exit criteria and reclassification procedures. According to Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), students who have exited the EL program are to be monitored for two academic years (20 U.S.C. § 6841[a]).
As a member of the WIDA Consortium, the Minnesota Department of Education uses ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State) for ELs assessment. The ACCESS for ELLs assessment measures EL students’ progress toward English language proficiency and determines whether an EL student is ready to exit from the EL program. For students to be considered proficient on the ACCESS test and to exit the EL program, a student must have at least a 4.5 overall composite score or higher AND three of the four domains (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) greater than or equal to 3.5. ELs take the ACCESS test in the spring of each school year.