English Language Learners

For Parents New to OESU Schools

Are you the parent or caregiver of a child who may be considered an English language learner? Please make sure that you fill out the Primary/Home Language Survey when you enroll your child in his/her new school.

For Educators and School Support Staff

State and federal laws require that school personnel ensure the identification of students who are eligible for ELL services.  The first step is to use the Primary/Home Language Survey on all incoming kindergartners and any new K-12 students ​during the enrollment process.

English Language Learners (ELL)

Eligibility for ELL Services

OESU is committed to supporting the academic and social needs of all English Language Learners (ELL) attending our schools and ensuring that ELL students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs.  An ELL student is a student with a home language other than English and who is limited English language proficient based on results from an English language proficiency assessment approved by the state of Vermont. Historically terms have been used to describe the ELL students, including English as a Second Language (ESL), Limited English Proficiency (LEP), English Learner (EL) and English Language Program (ELP). The CCSU ELL Program is inclusive of students who fall into all of these categories.

Students are determined to be eligible for ELL Services through a screening and identification process.

  1. At the time of registration, parents/guardians of each new student will complete the state required VT Primary/ Home Language Survey.  If any other language is indicated on the Survey, the ELL teacher assigned to that school is notified and provided with a copy of the Survey.
  2. The ELL teacher assigned to the student’s school will review the survey, conduct any necessary interview and/or testing, and complete the OESU Screening Form for English Language Learner (ELL) Student Identification which can be found in the full OESU Lau Plan (below).
  3. If it is determined that this student is an ELL student, the ELL teacher will develop an ELL Student Service Plan which outlines the nature and frequency of ELL services provided to the student that year.  The Service Plan will be revisited throughout the year and may be revised to meet the changing needs of the student. Parents/guardians will receive notification of assessment results and ELL status determination, as well as a copy of the ELL Student Service Plan (if applicable). Parents will be given an opportunity to ask questions or share their concerns.

Based on the screening and identification process, ELL students fall into one of three categories:

  • Current ELL: An ELL student who qualified and is receiving services.
  • Monitoring: An ELL student who has passed the ACCESS test must be, per VT regulations, monitored by a qualified ELL teacher for two years prior to fully exiting the program.  Students are listed as Monitoring Year 1 (MY1) or Monitoring Year 2 (MY2).  During this time, ELL teachers will review student academic records, assessment results and consult with teachers to ensure that the student’s academic progress is not being hindered by language proficiency.
  • Exited: Following two years of monitoring an ELL students will exit the ELL program.

Eligibility and exit requirement are outlined in more detail in the Vermont Agency of Education memo dated Dec 7, 2010 entitled “Amendment to Vermont’s Definition of English Language Learner (ELL), Exit Criteria from Title III and Title I Language Support Programs; and Title III Annual Measurement Achievement Objectives (AMAOs)

ELL Standards

Vermont is a member of the WIDA Consortium.  ELL instruction and Assessment Programs in Vermont are aligned with the WIDA Standards.  To learn more about the Standards and the WIDA Consortium visit the WIDA site. The WIDA standards include “Can Do” Indicators for each grade level which outline what a student at each language proficiency level should know and be able to do.

  • ​Translation Services​: Parents and guardians who are unable to access All parents and guardians, including non-native speakers, are entitled to meaningful communication in a language they can understand. OESU will provide translation services for families in order to support access to their child’s educational program, including parent conferences, special education meetings, truancy hearings, open house events, field trip permission forms, report cards/progress reports and other critical school events and documents. Translation services provided by OESU are limited to only to school-related events and materials.
  • State Assessments: Vermont regulations require that an ELL student continue with ELL programming until he or she passes the state ACCESS for ELLs assessment or the school determines that the student is eligible to exit services based on other compelling local assessment data. ELL students are required to take all other state assessments unless he or she qualifies for an exemption as outlined by state or federal regulations.  For example, currently newcomer ELL students are exempt from participation in the state assessment SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for English Language Arts if they have moved into the U.S. within one calendar year of the assessment window.  The student is, however, required to take the state math and science assessment.
  • ELL Staff: Students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) in grades K-12 are provided with a comprehensive ELL Program that is staffed by a highly qualified ELL teacher. The teacher focuses on meeting the needs of all students in the program in two areas: becoming proficient in the English language and adjusting to the school and community culture.


  • District ELL Coordinator:  Alison Kidder
  • ELL Teachers: Robin Rowell

Lau Plan

All school districts are required to maintain a current Lau Plan. The Lau (ELL) Plan is named from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1974 decision in Lau v. Nichols to ensure that all students have equal access and that identical education does not constitute equal education under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The OESU Lau Plan will be updated periodically to ensure compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations.