Overview | Policy | Screening, Identification & Placement | Sample Parent Notification Letter | EL Program Models | EL Instruction | EL Data Qlik App | Assessments | Language Access | Family & Community Engagement | Contact
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) provides school leaders and teachers guidance around maintaining a language instruction educational program (LIEP) for English learners (ELs) that is rooted in federal and local regulations. This guidance, including administrative procedures and instruction, is available in the form of publications, professional development, and in-person technical assistance and programmatic support.
- Foundational Principles for EL Policy and Vision for Success
- Quality EL Programs-School Reflection Tool
- LEA English Learner Program Improvement Strategies for the 2021-22 School Year
- Eleven Actionable Strategies for LEAs to Support English Learners’ Success During the 2020-21 School Year
- English Learners in DC (2019-20 and 2020-21 School Years)
- English Learners in DC (2018-19 School Year)
All staff, including principals, instructional leaders, teachers, and other school personnel, are responsible for ensuring that students learning English are supported in school. State and local education agencies (LEAs) have an obligation to ensure ELs both develop English language proficiency and meet the same challenging state academic standards as their native English-speaking peers. Refer to the policies and procedures document below for details:
- Delivering Education Services to English Learners: Policies and Procedures for Administrators, Instructional Leaders, and Teachers in the District of Columbia (May 2021)
- Spanish (Español) | French (Français) | Chinese (中文)
- English Performance Standards
- WIDA English Language Development Standards, 2020 edition
- OSSE State Title III Advisory Committee
- Training Webinar: English Learners and the Law
- U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice Fact Sheet: Confronting Discrimination Based on National Origin and Immigration Status English Spanish
For all students who have enrolled in a DC school for the first time, schools must begin with administering the OSSE Home Language Survey, a questionnaire completed by parents of all students at the time of enrollment. The OSSE Home Language Survey does not need to be administered to a student who is re-enrolling in a DC school.
- OSSE Home Language Survey (updated Sept. 8, 2021) *Available in 8 languages, now including Russian*
- OSSE Home Language Survey Frequently Asked Questions
- Training Webinar: OSSE Home Language Survey
- Training Webinar: English Language Proficiency Screening and EL Program Placement
If the OSSE Home Language Survey indicates that a language other than English is spoken in the home to or by the student, the student must be screened for possible identification as an EL using the appropriate screener within 30 school days of the student’s first official school day (also known as stage 5 enrollment). A student shall not be identified as an EL student only based on OSSE Home Language Survey indicating a language other than English is spoken in the home or routinely used in other settings. The list of appropriate screeners can be found in the links below.
- English Learner Identification in the 2021-22 School Year
- Pre-IPT Oral English for grades pre-K3 - pre-K4
- English Language Proficiency Screener for grades K-12
- WIDA Secure Portal Login (For questions, please contact Michael Craig at [email protected].)
- Training Webinar: English Language Proficiency Screeners
For questions about screening, please contact Michael Craig at [email protected].
Within 30 days of stage five enrollment at the start of the school year, or within two weeks of placement if not identified at the beginning of school, LEAs must notify parents of ELs that their child was identified as needing EL services. This must be done in an understandable and uniform format, and to the extent practicable, it is strongly recommended to translate the parent notification letter into a language that parents can understand. LEAs should develop a procedure for tracking the issuance of parent notification letters and for documenting parental consent for services. The sample templates below are resources to help LEAs provide parent notification letters that meet the necessary requirements.
Under federal law, EL programs must be: (1) based on a sound educational theory; (2) adequately supported so that the program has a realistic chance of success; and (3) periodically evaluated and revised, if necessary. In the District of Columbia, five EL program models are commonly used, each of which is considered effective by experts in the field. These models have been designed to meet the varying needs and grade levels of students across English proficiency levels.
- Dual Language
- Inclusion/Collaborative Teaching
- Content-based ESL
- Sheltered Content
- Training Webinar: EL Program Models
Visit the OSSE pages below for resources on instructional practices and to register for professional learning from OSSE.
- English Learner Instructional Resources
- Dual Language Resources
- Subscribe to the Teaching and Learning PD Bulletin (monthly newsletter)
- View and register for upcoming professional learning opportunities from OSSE
OSSE’s data visualization application in Qlik Sense provides timely and appropriate data to help LEAs plan and prepare to meet the needs of EL students, which include current students for the current school year and students who are pre-enrolled in the LEA for the upcoming school year.
- Early Access to EL Data Application (login)
- Training Video: Introduction to the Early Access to English Learner Data Qlik Application
- Training Video: New Features for the 2020-21 School Year
- Training Video: Early Access to English Learner Data Qlik Application: New Features for the 2021-22 School Year
ACCESS for ELLs is the summative English language proficiency test taken annually by students who are ELs. To exit an LEA’s EL program, EL students in grades K-12 must meet the exit criteria set by the state.
- ACCESS for ELLs
- EL Exit Criteria
- ACCESS for ELLs Results and Resources
- Training Webinar: Preparing for ACCESS Speaking
For information on EL accommodations on state assessments, please visit OSSE's Testing Accommodations webpage.
- OSSE in Your Language
- Language Access Portal
- Language Access Training
- Guide to Developing a Language Access Plan
- Training Webinar: Language Access in Schools
- Sample Community and Family Toolkit (TESOL)
- Tools for Engaging Families (in seven languages)
- Tools and Resources for Ensuring Meaningful Communication with Limited English Proficient Parents (US Department of Education)
- Training Webinar: English Learner Family Engagement Practices
For more information or questions, please contact Anika Harris, Professional Development Specialist, English Language Acquisition Programs K-12 at [email protected].