When a student with a disability is, or might be identified as an English language learner (ELL), the student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee must work in conjunction with the language proficiency
assessment committee (LPAC) to determine appropriate entry and exit criteria for the state Bilingual English/English as a Second Language (BE/ESL) program (19 TAC §§89.1225(f)(4) and (k)) .
The majority of these
meetings are informal discussions between key members of the ARD committee
and key members of the LPAC. The discussions address:
- The student's cognitive and linguistic abilities, and affective needs;
- Linguistic accommodations that will help the student access the general curriculum; and
- Whether the student will benefit from second language acquisition services.
These informal meetings result in a plan that is presented to the ARD committee. Decisions about entry, appropriate linguistic accommodations, and exit are made by the ARD committee in conjunction with the LPAC committee.
The agency is
developing guidelines regarding entry into BE/ESL programs and will release
them in the near future.
Exiting a Student from LEP services
As students approach
the point where they no longer need second language acquisition support
in English, key members of the ARD committee and the LPAC identify
appropriate oral language, reading, and writing assessments and performance
standards to verify that the students no longer needs second language
acquisition support in English to address the student's learning needs.
The ARD committee then
considers the recommendations, and the committee makes decisions regarding the
student’s exit from LEP services. The LPAC must also document decisions
relating to a student’s exit from bilingual education or English as a second
language (ESL) services.
Due to the requirements
of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), schools must take
care to ensure that staff members protect student confidentiality while
discussing special education and LEP issues. The school district always has the
option of training the parent of the student receiving special education
services as the LPAC parent representative, thereby avoiding the issue of
If the school district
chooses to involve an LPAC parent representative in discussions of special
education and LEP issues for a student who is not the child of the LPAC parent
representative, the school district can ensure compliance with FERPA in one of
First, the school
district can notify parents in its annual FERPA notification that the school
district treats LPAC parent representatives as school officials with legitimate
educational interests in the education records of students for whom they act as
LPAC parent representative. The LPAC parent representative may then receive
information about a student whom the LPAC parent serves without the written
consent of the student’s parent. The Annual
Model Notification of FERPA Rights, published by the U.S.
Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office, contains sample
language concerning the disclosure of education records, without parental
consent, to parents and students serving on an official committee of a school
Second, if the school
district does not identify parents serving on its official committees as school
officials in its annual FERPA notification, the school district can provide an
LPAC parent representative with information about a student after receiving
written consent for the disclosure from the student’s parent.
For more information go to the Bilingual and English as a Second Language Education Programs webpage.