English Learners

The Milton Town School District is committed to supporting the academic and social needs of all English Learners (EL) attending our schools and ensuring that EL students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs. An EL student is a student with a home language other than English and who has been identified as needing English language support based on results from an English language assessment approved by the state of Vermont. Historically the terms used to describe the EL students have included, English as a Second Language (ESL), Limited English Proficiency (LEP), English Language Learner (ELL), and English Language Program (ELP). The MTSD EL Program includes students who fall into all of these categories.

Students are determined to be eligible for EL Services through a screening and identification process.

  1. At the time of registration, parents/guardians of each new student will complete the state required VT Primary/ Home Language Survey. If any language other than English is indicated on the Survey, the EL teacher assigned to that school is notified and provided with a copy of the Survey.
  2. The EL teacher will review the survey, conduct any necessary interview and/or assessment to determine the EL needs of the student if any.
  3. If it is determined that this student would benefit from EL services, the EL teacher will develop an EL Student Service Plan which outlines the nature and frequency of language services provided to the student that year. The Service Plan will be revisited throughout the year and maybe revised to meet the changing needs of the student. Parents/guardians will receive notification of assessment results and EL status determination, as well as a copy of the EL Student Service Plan (if applicable). Parents will be given an opportunity to ask questions or share their concerns.

Based on the screening and identification process, EL students fall into one of three categories:

  • Active EL Status– A student who qualifies as an English Learner and who receives services from an EL teacher, or has an alternative service plan with a classroom/core teacher. Active EL students also take the annual EL state assessment each spring called the ACCESS. 
  • Monitor Status – An EL student who has received the minimum required score on the ACCESS test and who is no longer required to test each spring. The State of Vermont requires that these students must be monitored for two additional years. During this time, EL teachers will review student academic records, assessment results and consult with teachers to ensure that the student’s academic progress is not being hindered by language proficiency.
  • Exited – Following two years of monitoring, EL students will fully exit the EL program.
Vermont is a member of the WIDA Consortium WIDA Consortium which is a member-based organization made up of U.S. states, territories and federal agencies dedicated to the research, design and implementation of a high-quality, standards-based system for K-12 English language learners. EL instruction and assessment programs in Vermont are aligned with the WIDA Standards which include an outline of what a student at each language proficiency level should know and be able to do. These are known as Can Do indicators.
Vermont regulations require that an EL student continue with EL programming until he or she passes the state ACCESS for ELs assessment or the school determines that the student is eligible to exit services based on other compelling local assessment data. EL students are required to take all other state assessments unless he or she qualifies for an exemption as outlined by state or federal regulations. For example, currently newcomer EL students are exempt from participation in the state assessment SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for English Language Arts if they have moved into the U.S. within one calendar year of the assessment window. The student is, however, required to take the state math and science assessment.
All parents and guardians, including non-native speakers, are entitled to meaningful communication in a language they can understand. MTSD can provide translation services for families in order to support access to their child’s educational program, which could include: parent conferences, special education meetings, truancy hearings, open house events, field trip permission forms, report cards/progress reports and other critical school events and documents. Translation services provided by MTSD are limited to school-related events and materials. For information about Translation Services please contact Lynne Manley lmanley@mystsd-vt.org or Stephanie Teleen steleen@mymtsd-vt.org.
All school districts are required to maintain a current Lau Plan. The Lau (EL) Plan is named from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1974 decision in Lau v. Nichols which ensures that all students have equal access to education which is required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lau v. Nichols stipulates that identical education does not necessarily constitute equal education. The MTSD Lau Plan will be updated periodically to ensure compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations. Click here to view MTSD LAU Plan for English Language Learners.