On Thursday, April 21, 2016, approximately 530 English Learner (EL) students were reclassified as English proficient students. Nearly every school site had a student recognized at the event.
In order for a student to be reclassified from EL to English proficient, students must meet certain requirements. Students must score proficient in the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) and meet grade point average requirements. Students need a passing test score in Language Arts on their MAP or Lexile test, a four of better on their Teacher Evaluation Form, and their parent must agree their child is ready to advance from the English Language Development program.
The number of students reclassified to English proficient more than doubled, compared to last year. Due to the extensive programs offered to English Learners, more students were able to advance from the English Language Development program. Each school site has an EL Leader to monitor the EL programs at that site. For EL students in middle school, there is an English 3D program, which targets EL students who need additional support in reaching English proficiency. Imagine Learning is a computer-based program that individualizes instruction, which is available to elementary and middle school students.
Students are monitored for two years after their reclassification to English proficient. If a student is struggling with the curriculum, plans are put in place to ensure their continued success of the student. In fact, data shows reclassified students have outperformed English only peers on state tests.
The keynote speakers were Tahquitz High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian for the 2015-16 school year. Valedictorian Kyle Pagdayunan and Salutatorian Dayang Lee were EL students when they first enrolled in the Hemet Unified School District. Lisa Winberg, Literacy Coordinator, said, “Both students have been highly involved in the fabric of their school and in the community, despite having to overcome a language barrier in a relatively short amount of time. This should give hope and a sense of promise to our current students who are learning English.”
Congratulations to the students who were reclassified as English proficient. One of Hemet Unified’s main goals in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is for EL students to acquire English proficiency in no more than five years. Due to programs that have been implemented through the LCAP, we are confident we will continue to prepare our EL students to become English proficient.