How Does My Child Qualify for ESL?

  • Identification/Program Entry/Testing

    Title III requires that student identification and parent notification take place no later than 30 days after the beginning of the school year and within 2 weeks of placement thereafter. An LPAC should follow the more stringent Texas requirements and have student identification and placement occur within the first 4 weeks (20 days) of student enrollment.

    1. Upon initial enrollment all students must have a Home Language Survey (HLS) completed in their student record (only one: The original or a copy of original). The HLS shall be administered to each student new to the district and to students previously enrolled who were not surveyed in the past. If the HLS indicates a language other than English, testing must be initiated to determine English proficiency.

    2. For students in grades PreK-1:

    • Administer an oral language proficiency test (OLPT) in English from the List of Approved Tests for Assessment of ELLs. The list of TEA-approved tests is available at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=4098&menu_id=720 
    • Districts/charter schools that are required to offer a bilingual program must test students in English and in their primary language. Testing must be administered by trained personnel. Parental permission does not have to be obtained prior to oral language proficiency testing.
      PreK-1 students scoring below the cut-off for English proficiency on the OLPT are classified as ELL.

    3. For students in grades 2-12:

    • Administer an OLPT, and 
    • The reading and language arts portions of an English norm-referenced standardized achievement test (NRT) from the TEA List of Approved Tests [19 TAC §89.1225(a)].
      Students in grades 2-12 scoring below the cut-off for English proficiency on the OLPT are classified as LEP.

    Students who score below the 40th percentile on the English reading and English language arts sections of the NRT are classified as LEP, even if their OLPT score reflects English proficiency.
    If the student's ability on the English OLPT is so limited that the administration at his/her grade level of the English norm-referenced standardized achievement test is not valid, then the student is classified as LEP [Chapter 89.1225(f)(2)(c)].

    Districts/charter schools that are required to offer a bilingual program must test students in English and in their primary language. Testing must be administered by trained personnel. Parental permission does not have to be obtained prior to oral language proficiency testing.