Multilingual Learner Redesignation
Redesignation is a term that describes a process that districts and schools develop to determine when Multilingual Learners (MLs) are Fluent English Proficient (FEP) and can transition successfully to classrooms, with minimal English Language Development (ELD) support. It represents a student’s English language proficiency level has changed from Limited English Proficient (LEP) to Fluent English Proficient (FEP) Monitor 1 based on an evaluation using the annual ELP assessment scores and a collection of evidence which supports this change.
2023-2024 Redesignation Guidance
Per USED guidance, if the ML student did not participate in the 2023 ELP assessment window or does not have an Overall or Literacy score, that student may not be considered for redesignation. Only students whose disabilities preclude their participation in one or more language domains may be considered for Redesignation without an overall and literacy score(s) on ACCESS for ELLs or Alternate ACCESS. In these cases, the school/district must collect evidence to demonstrate proficiency in the non-tested language domain(s) on ACCESS for ELLs or Alternate ACCESS.
State and Federal Requirements
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA), the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and Colorado’s English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA) all outline school districts’ responsibilities in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs for multilingual learners. As part of these requirements, districts must provide English language development instruction until the student attains Fluent English Proficiency (FEP) and can transition successfully to grade-level content classrooms, with minimal English Language Development (ELD) support. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized in 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), highlights these civil rights by requiring states to establish and implement standardized entrance and exit procedures for MLs, including MLs with disabilities. As part of this requirement, the state’s English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment must be used in the state’s procedures in making redesignation and exit decisions for MLs. The proficiency score(s) on the (ELP) assessment must be set at a level that enables students to effectively participate in grade-level content instruction. Additional objective criteria may also be used as supplemental information in determining whether to redesignate a student, but these additional sources may not take the place of a proficient score on an ELP assessment (U.S. Department of Education, 2016).
Monitoring English Learners
When districts, schools, and public charter schools determine ML students are Fluent English Proficient (FEP) and formally redesignate them successfully to grade-level content classrooms, with minimal and appropriate ELD instruction. In data reporting, students who are redesignated are classified as Fluent English Proficient Monitor Year 1 (FEP M1) and Fluent English Proficient Monitor Year 2 (FEP M2) and will not take the annual state assessment for English language proficiency, ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS. However, districts, schools, and public charters have an obligation under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, EEOA, ESSA, and ELPA to monitor FEP M1 and FEP M2 students’ linguistic and academic progress for during these two years. Monitoring must ensure the FEP students are able to actively participate and access the grade-level content similar to Former English Language Learners (FELLs) and students never identified for LIEP instruction their English proficient peers. Monitoring must occur even for FEP students whose parents formally opted them out of the Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP).
The student’s body of evidence collected during the monitoring process should be well-documented and kept in the student’s records. If ongoing monitoring demonstrates that the student is struggling in academic performance and/or English language proficiency skills, appropriate academic and ELD support and instruction must be provided. Establishing rigorous monitoring systems that include periodic benchmarks allows districts, schools, and/or public charters to effectively monitor student’s progress over time. For more information about monitoring tools and resources, visit the OELA English Learner Toolkit, Chapter 8.
If, after appropriate ELD support and instruction is provided, the FEP student is not progressing academically or linguistically as expected, districts, schools, and public charter schools should re-evaluate the student’s English language proficiency level, following the Standardized ML Identification Process, and determine if the student would benefit from additional ELD instruction and provide a targeted, appropriate LIEP. If the student is re-entered into the LIEP program, the school/district must document the reasons why and provide written notification to the guardian(s) of their student’s reenrollment into the LIEP program. More information about statutorily required elements related to written parent notification letter can be found in the OELA English Learner Toolkit, Chapter 7.
If the ML student continues to make academic progress in year 1 of FEP monitoring, as determined by the school/district, the following school year the student is placed in year 2 of FEP monitoring. Upon completion of two full school years of FEP monitoring, the FEP student will be moved to FEP Exit status. Student must complete two full year of FEP Exit before moving to FELL in the Colorado Data Pipeline.
Dually Identified Students: When schools/districts make a determination that a student is ML and is placed on an IEP, they must monitor the IEP goals for continued academic progress, as well as the student’s linguistic and academic progress. IEP goals should delineate the mode of communication used by the student in acquiring functional and academic skills. Should monitoring of IEP goals identify persistent or developing language needs, schools/districts should consider re-evaluating the student’s English language proficiency level to determine whether additional ELD program services are necessary and provide documentation in the IEP regarding who will be providing the supports and how the English language supports will be provided.