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English Learners

Lowellville Local Schools 

Policy and Plan for the Identification and Service of Children who are English Language Learners



The Lowellville Local School District serves several English Language Learners through tutoring services, small group instruction and differentiated classroom instruction. Support is provided through collaboration between general education teachers and a Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages to support English language learning. Lowellville Local Schools is a member of the Title III Consortium of the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio.

Board Policy

The Board recognizes the need to provide equal educational opportunities for all students in the District.  Therefore, if the inability to speak and understand the English language excludes a student from effective participation in the educational programs offered by the District, the District shall take appropriate action to rectify the English language deficiency in order to provide the student equal access to its programs.  Students in a language minority or who are English learners are identified, assessed and provided appropriate services.

The Board directs the administration to develop and implement instruction programs that:

  • appropriately identify language minority students;
  • provide the appropriate instruction to English learner students to assist them in gaining English language proficiency, as well as content knowledge, in reading/language arts and mathematics and
  • annually assess the English proficiency of students and monitor their progress in order to determine their readiness for the mainstream classroom environment.

The District requires all English learner students to be tested.  Alternative assessments may be required.  Students must make yearly gains toward closing the achievement gap as defined by the State Board of Education performance targets.

English learner students who have been enrolled in U.S. schools for less than one full year are may be exempt from one administration of the reading/language arts assessment administered to their grade levels.  However, students who choose to take these tests are permitted to do so. (Assessments in math, science and social studies are not exempt.)

The District provides parents with notice of and information regarding the instructional program as required by law.  Parent and family involvement is encouraged and parents are regularly apprised of their child’s progress.

Procedures for Identifying EL Students

1. A Language Usage Survey is completed as a part of the registration packet for each student per the Guidelines for Identifying English Learners from the Ohio Department of Education. 

2. If the Language Usage Survey indicates a language other than English is spoken at home that student is assessed in his/her ability to read, write, speak, listen and comprehend in English, through an assessment called The Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS). 

3. If a student scores proficient in all five areas, he or she is not considered an English Learner. If a student scores below proficient in any one or more of the five areas, he or she is considered an English Learner (EL). 

4. If a student is identified as an EL, the school determines how services will be delivered, through collaboration between the EL tutor and the student's teachers. The programs/services delivered are research-based positive practices. 

5. The school notifies and seeks permission of parents or guardians whose children will participate in EL services.

6. Schools determine if students who are EL are eligible for accommodations on statewide achievement tests, according to state law. 

7. Schools use a statewide test of English Learners, the OELPS to screen for eligibility and the OELPA to test proficiency. 

Students are then designated as English Learners(EL) (if they score less than Proficient in all areas on the Ohio Screener or "Not EL" (if they score totally proficient). A student must score at the Proficient level in all four domains in order to be considered "Not EL". The district EMIS Coordinator reports the student's EL designation (L, S, Y, or M).

Definition of English Learner (EL) 

A child who is identified as an English Learner is enrolled in an elementary or secondary school; has a native/home language other than English, whether born in the U.S. or another country; and has such difficulty speaking, reading, writing or understanding English that the student may be unable to perform well enough in class or on state tests to meet expected state standards for achievement (Source: ODE Proficiency Rules).

English Proficiency Levels of EL Students

There are three overall performance levels: 1 - Emerging, 2 - Progressing and 3 - Proficient. A student’s overall performance level is determined from the scores earned on each of the domain tests that comprise the OELPA (reading, writing, listening and speaking). Each domain test is scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Scores of 4 and 5 correlate with proficiency in that domain. Students with an overall performance level of Proficient may be exited from English learner status.

OELPA Overall performance Levels

  1. Emerging-Any score combination of 1s and 2s across all nonexempt domains. Student continues as an English learner.
  2.  Progressing -Any combination of scores across the nonexempt domains that is not Proficient or Emerging. Student continues as an English learner.
  3.  Proficient-Any score combination of 4s and 5s across all nonexempt domains. Student exits from English learner status. 

Classifying Students/Parent Notification 

If a student is identified and assessed as an EL and determined to be eligible for services, the District will send written notice to the student's parent. Such notice shall be provided within thirty (30) days of the start of the school year or within two weeks of assessment (if the student is not identified prior to the beginning of the school year) and include information regarding language level, program placement, hours of service per week, along with permission to service.

Educational Theory and Practice 

Direct instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) is provided by certified teachers who follow Ohio's English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and sound theory & practice in conjunction with district-approved materials. ESL instruction is implemented as either a pull-out ESL class or small group depending on the needs of the student. 

Two Types of Language 

Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS): This is social language and develops in 1-3 years. This is the day-to-day language needed to interact with other people. Ells use SICS on the playground, in the cafeteria, on the bus. This language is context-based.

Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP): This is academic language and takes 5-77 years to develop. There are general academic words and content-specific words. Academic language is context-reduced, especially in the upper grades.

Criteria for Exiting EL Program

To be exited from EL programs in Ohio, students need to demonstrate the ability to understand, speak, read and write the English language at a level in which they are able to: 

  1. Achieve successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is in English; 
  2. Meaningfully participate in academic assessments in English; and 
  3. Participate fully in society in the United States. A student has attained the required level of English proficiency to be exited from a district's EL program when the student:
  4.  • Obtains a composite score of 3 on the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment.


Lowellville ELL Handbook