English Learner Program

Etiwanda School District English Learner Parent Guide 

The Etiwanda School District’s motto, “Excellence in Education,” expresses our commitment to providing students with an education and skills that support college and career readiness. The “Etiwanda School District English Learner Parent Guide” provides parents with information to support their child along the pathway from identification as an English Learner to being reclassified as English proficient. The Etiwanda School District’s goal is for all English Learners to develop English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing as quickly as possible, while mastering State standards.

California’s Plan for English Learners

The California State Board of education adopted Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) as well as English Language Development (ELD) Standards. These standards were developed to work in tandem to support English Learners during English Language Arts instruction as well as during instruction in other areas including science and social studies.

Key ideas from the California English development Standards include:

  1. Language is learned holistically, as part of a natural process

  2. Language is a dynamic and complex social process

  3. Language development is focused on collaboration, comprehension and communication, with an emphasis on expression of thought

  4. The use of complex texts

  5. Grammar and knowledge of the structure of English language is taught during content instruction as well as during designated ELA/ELD instruction

  6. English is a meaning making resource, and students learn to make language choices based on audience and purpose

  7. English and content instruction builds upon the bilingual strengths of English learners

District Curriculum for English Learners

The Etiwanda School District adopted a state approved ELA/ELD curriculum that is aligned to California’s ELA/ELD standards and framework. This adoption provides English Learners with access to rigorous, intellectually challenging text and lessons that develop academic proficiency. These materials also support English Language Development so English Learners can participate in ELA instruction and make progress towards English proficiency.

The district adopted McGraw Hill’s Wonders as the elementary school ELA/ELD program and Study Sync for middle school. These programs provide rich, complex fiction and non-fiction texts. ELD materials and lessons provide for differentiated instruction so teachers can find a “just right fit” to ensure English Learner development.

Supplemental Instructional Materials and Services for English Learners

In addition to the core curriculum, the district provides supplemental materials and services to English Learners.

Supplemental Programs and Services Include:

  • Translation tablet for newcomer ELs

  • Imagine Learning (grades 1-5)

  • Newcomer and English Learner resources for teachers of ELs

  • I-Lit (grades 6-8)

  • EL support aide at each site

As English Learners progress in their English and academic proficiency they require fewer supplemental resources and services.

The English Learner Pathway Consists Of

  • Identifying English Learners

  • Initial English Learner Assessment

  • Initial Parent Notification

  • English Learner Services

  • Annual English Learner Assessment

  • Annual Parent Notifications

  • Reclassification

  • Four Year Progress Monitoring

  • Family Involvement Resources

Identifying English Learners Using the Home Language Survey

The Home Language Survey (HLS) is a required legal document that parents or guardians are asked to complete at the time of initial enrollment in a California school. The HLS is used to identify students who may be English Learners. A series of questions help determine the student’s primary home language. It becomes part of the student’s cumulative record, and it may not be corrected once a student takes the summative ELPAC. The following questions are asked on the HLS:

  1. Does your child speak a language other than English?

  2. Has the child ever spoken a language other than English?

  3. Is a language other than English spoken in your household?

  4. What language is most often spoken by adults in the home?

If a YES response is given to any of the first three questions, the district must use an English language proficiency assessment to determine if the child is proficient in English or not proficient. In most cases, a NO response indicates the student may not be a candidate for taking an English proficiency assessment. In cases where parents or guardians answer NO to all questions on the HLS, but educators notice the child uses another language during instruction, state and federal guidance require the district to assess English proficiency. Students who are found to be English Learners receive instructional services to develop English and academic proficiency.

English Language Assessment – The English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC)

Federal and state laws require school districts to assess students whose primary language is not English, and to provide appropriate services and supports for academic success and English development. The initial English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) is given to students whose primary language is not English. This assessment must be given within the first 30 days of enrollment in a California school. Students who receive English Learner services are assessed annually using the ELPAC summative assessment. Results from the ELPAC determine if a student requires English development service and provide information about how well developed their English proficiency is. The ELPAC is one measure used to determine when English Learners are ready to be reclassified as Fluent English Proficient (RFEP). Students who have disabilities that prevent them from taking all or part of the ELPAC may be provided assistance or take alternative tests provided the alternative tests, assistance and modifications are noted in their Individualized Educational Program or Section 504 Plan.

Parent Notifications

As a parent of an English Learner you will receive parent notifications that will help you understand your child’s English Learner instructional program, their language and academic proficiency levels, and if they are progressing towards reclassification. Administrators and teachers at your child’s school are available to explain your child’s ELPAC and academic assessment results.

Initial Parent Notification:

The initial parent notification letter is sent home within the first 30 days upon enrollment in a California school. This letter includes ELPAC assessment results, program placement, and the criteria used to determine when a student is ready to exit, or be reclassified, from the English Learner program.

Annual Parent Notification:

The annual parent notification letter is sent home after annual ELPAC results are received by the school district. The annual letter contains ELPAC assessment results, academic assessment results and reclassification criteria.

English Learner Programs and Services

English Learners are provided with a Sheltered English Immersion program that includes designated English Language Development (ELD) instruction designed to meet each student’s English proficiency level. In addition, students receive integrated ELD throughout the school day. Students are supported in their development of reading, writing, speaking and listening in English. English Learners with exceptional needs receive English instruction through their Individual Education Program (IEP).


English Learners are reclassified when they show proficiency in English and academics. Etiwanda School District’s reclassification criteria ensures students who exit the EL program can achieve academically at a level that is commensurate with English-Only peers.

Reclassification Criteria

  • ELPAC – Overall score of 4 (on a 1 to 4 scale)

  • California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress – Meets or Exceeds Proficiency

  • Parent Consultation

  • Teacher Consultation

And one of the two following criteria:

  • I-Ready Reading – Within one year of proficiency

  • Reading/Writing or ELA Grade – C- or better

The reclassification process for Students with Disabilities is completed through an IEP. The district used State guidance to develop a protocol to support IEP teams with the reclassification of Students with Disabilities.

Monitoring Reclassified Students

Reclassified English Learners are monitored for four years to ensure their success. While most reclassified students succeed at high levels, they are eligible to receive English and/or academic support when needed.

Students At-Risk of Becoming a Long-Term EL (LTEL)

An LTEL is a student who has been in a US school for 6 or more years who cannot meet reclassification criteria due to language and/or academics. A student who is At-Risk of Becoming LTEL is a student who has not made growth in English development as measured by the ELPAC and/or academic growth as measured by CAASPP. Students who are LTEL or At Risk of Becoming LTELs are provided with additional intervention and support.

Parent Involvement

Research shows that students benefit from parent involvement. There are many ways to become involved in your child’s education at school, at home, and through district events. Look for event information through the school and district websites.

  • LCAP Community Forums: Community members provide input regarding instruction, programs and services.

  • District English Learner Advisory Committee: Provides input regarding English Learner programs and services.

  • English Learner Advisory Committee: Provides input regarding English Learner Services at the school site.

  • School Site Council: Participates in the development and monitoring of the School Plan for Student Achievement.

  • Parent Teacher Association or Organization (PTA/PTO): Provides support to schools and students.

  • Support your child’s education by reading with them, providing quiet homework space, checking their grades through the AERIES on-line parent portal, and by making sure they complete assignments with good effort.

Parent and Family Resources

Online Library Resources: The district provides on-line library resources to students. Many of these on-line resources, including the Gale e-books, translate into other languages and include read-aloud features. Students can use these books to build primary language literacy. Parents can strategically use these books to have students review information about a topic in their primary language after instruction in English.

Etiwanda E-Books

Footsteps to Brilliance:

Footsteps to Brilliance (F2B) is an early literacy program that is provided free of charge to all families living within San Bernardino County. It is designed for preschool through grade 3 children; however, it can be used with older children who are developing English skills. The program builds foundational literacy skills through games, songs and interactive lessons. Directions to access F2B are located at: Footsteps 2 Brilliance

Practice ELPAC Assessments: Practice ELPAC assessments can be found at www.ELPAC.org . Parents can view practice tests to better understand what is assessed as well as how students are assessed. Students may take the practice tests to prepare for the ELPAC.

Your Child’s Teacher: Please do not hesitate to ask your child’s teacher for suggestions on other ways you can support your child at home.