Eligibility for ESL and Bilingual Education Services

Wisconsin state statute 115.96 (Count of Limited English Proficient Pupils) requires that "each school board shall identify potential Limited English Proficient pupils within the school district as part of the enrollment process using a home language survey and department-approved English proficiency assessment". The home language survey criteria for selecting students for assessment are defined as:

  • Pupils who communicate in a language other than English
  • Pupils whose families use a language other than English
  • Pupils who use a language other than English in daily non-school surroundings

Identified students are assessed for English language proficiency using a state-approved assessment called ACCESS for ELLs that addresses speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in English. 

Annual testing of all identified LEP students is required by law to enable the district to provide yearly progress reports as well as to report language proficiency and academic status reports to parents.

Exit Criteria

Students will no longer be considered eligible for ESL / Bilingual Education services when they can demonstrate academic English language proficiency necessary to succeed academically similar to native English speaking students in age/grade appropriate learning environments.

A student who has achieved a Wisconsin DPI Level 6 ("now Fully English Proficient") then must successfully complete Monitor Status without ESL services for two academic years to be reclassified. In essence, the student is allowed a trial period to determine the likelihood of academic success without ESL/Bilingual Ed. support. At the end of the two-year period, if the student has shown academic success, the student will be exited from the program. Parents will be notified of this change of status.

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