How do schools identify ELL students once they are enrolled in the charter school?
Under federal mandate, schools must administer a home language survey at the time of entrance. If a student is identified as potentially ELL after the home language survey and informal interview, the school must administer a valid and reliable English language proficiency assessment to determine if the student is an ELL.
What valid and reliable English language proficiency assessment is available for schools to administer to potential ELL students?
New York State has created the New York State Identification Test for English Language Leaners (NYSITELL) as its valid and reliable English language proficiency assessment.
What is the timeline for administering the home language survey/language proficiency assessment for a new student?
Under federal law, charter schools are required to provide notice to parents of ELL students regarding the ELL student’s identification and services 30 days from the beginning of the school year. Therefore, schools need to complete the identification process within 30 days of the beginning of the school year. New York State, under CR 154, has shortened that timeline for district schools and requires ELL students be identified within 10 school days of initial enrollment to the state system (i.e. incoming Kindergarteners, transfer students from private schools, and students brand new to the country or state). This is a strict deadline for district schools. While this timeline does not apply to charters, charters will need to identity their ELL students in the ATS attendance system. Because of the 10 school day deadline for NYC DOE, the ATS system does not allow any school, including charters, to change a designation for an ELL student 10 school days (not 30) after the beginning of the DOE’s school year. Charter schools that find themselves locked out of ATS after 10 school days must make requests for overrides through the DOE’s Office of School Design and Charter Partnerships. Also note that students who were eligible for the NYSITELL, but were not administered the NYSITELL, receive ELL classification by default and will be expected to take the NYSESLAT in the spring.
An incoming student has an IEP. Does the school still administer the NYSITELL?
Potentially. Students with disabilities in charter schools are subject to CR 154-3, which requires that each charter school form a Language Proficiency Team (LPT) that meets to determine if a student with an IEP who is eligible for the NYSITELL should:
- Take the NYSITELL
- Take the NYSITELL with accommodations
- Not take the NYSITELL
The LPT process must be complete within 20 school days of initial enrollment.