Curriculum & Instruction » English Learners (EL) Services

English Learners (EL) Services

Jen Crawley, Instructional Specialist of EL
(513) 858-7140
[email protected]
Maegan Noland, Secretary of EL
(513) 858-7118
[email protected]
Mario Amaya, Spanish Community Liaison
Central, South, West, Creekside, Freshman, High School
(513) 623-5665
[email protected]
Johan Aquino, Spanish Community Liaison
Compass, East, North, Crossroads, Freshman, High School
(513) 274-7598
[email protected]
Family and Interpreter Messaging System
Spanish, Nepali, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Vietnamese
(513) 858-7129

About the English Learner Program in Fairfield
Fairfield City School District has a long history of providing English Learners (EL) services to students whose first language is not English. Our program began in the 1980s when General Electric transferred several families from France to the GE Plant in Cincinnati. Students attended Central Elementary School, and under the leadership of Dr. Gayle Niehaus, our program began.
Today we provide services to over 1,500 students, around 15%, of our student population. Our international student population includes over 40 different languages. The top three non-English languages in our district are Spanish, Nepali, and French. The program staff includes 15 teachers, 40.5 full time tutor positions, 2 Spanish liaisons, and an instructional specialist.
EL is a multi-faceted program offering English language classes and content-area assistance to English learners enrolled in the Fairfield City School District. The goal of our EL program is for students to acquire a level of English language proficiency that enables them to meet grade-level promotion requirements, state-mandated graduation requirements, and ultimately compete successfully in mainstream society.

The pre-identification is made through the Language Usage Survey (LUS). The LUS is part of the online registration forms that all students who enroll in Fairfield City School District must complete. All Ohio school districts are required to have the LUS as part of their enrollment process. This survey becomes a part of every student's permanent record, whether or not the student is identified as having a primary (native) or home language other than English (PHLOTE), and serves as permission to assess a student's English proficiency.
If another language is indicated on the Home Language Usage Survey, testing begins with the OELPS (Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener). This statewide test is interactive and completed on a secure browser for students in kindergarten through grade 12. The OELPS evaluates students’ listening, reading, speaking, and writing proficiency in English, and provides data for identification within 3 hours of testing.

Test Information
Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) State and Federal law require an annual assessment of K-12 Limited English Proficient (LEP) students to measure their English language proficiency. The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) is the assessment used for testing English language proficiency for Ohio LEP students in grades K-12. Testing typically occurs in February-March of each school year. 
Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA) New for the 2022-2023 school year is the Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA). The purpose of this test is to assess the English proficiency of English Learners who also qualify as a student with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Students who qualify for the Alt-OELPA will not be required to take the traditional OELPA.

English Learner Plan
All students identified as an English Learner (EL) are required to have an EL plan on file with the school and distributed to the student's parent(s)/guardian(s). The EL plan includes information about the student's abilities, goals, and the selected program model for the student to receive EL services. Descriptions of available programs in Fairfield City Schools are below.
English Language Arts for ELs
These classes are also known as Replacement or Sheltered English Language Arts (ELA) and are only available in our high schools, grades 9-12. They are taught by a licensed ELA teacher who also has a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) endorsement. The class covers the grade level ELA standards, along with having concentrated instruction in how to listen, read, speak, write, and understand the English language. Our staff uses a variety of materials to meet the needs of their students. Methods may include conversation, games, computer programs, video presentations, and writing activities. This class is held during the regular school day as part of the student's daily schedule. Students are also scheduled into core content area classes where they practice their English skills while learning grade-level content.

These classes are typically found in our secondary schools (6-12), and are taught by a licensed teacher who also has a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) endorsement. The focus in these classes is to provide language acquisition support using the English Language Proficiency standards and build background knowledge so the students can be successful in their grade-level content area classrooms. Purposeful instruction and activities are used with the four language domains: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Methods may include conversation, games, computer programs, video presentations, and writing activities. This class is held during the regular school day as part of the student's daily schedule. Students are also scheduled into core content area classes where they practice their English skills while learning grade-level content.

Pull-out support
This support is typically found in our elementary schools (K-5), and are provided by an EL teacher or EL tutor. The purpose of the pull-out is to provide language acquisition support using the English Language Proficiency Standards and build background knowledge so the students can be successful in their grade-level content area classrooms. Pull-out support usually runs 30-40 minutes and can take place two to five days per week, depending on the level of the students. 

Push-in support/In-class support
This service is provided to EL students at all grade levels. In the secondary level, only EL tutors push-in to content area classes, however, in the elementary push-in support could be implemented by an EL teacher or EL tutor. They provide assistance with understanding vocabulary, concepts, completing assignments, and learning to participate in group discussions in class.

Teacher monitoring
Teacher monitoring is provided to EL students who have almost reached English proficiency and students who have reached English proficiency according to OELPA. Schools are required to monitor students who have exited the EL program for four years to ensure academic success. If a student begins to experience serious academic issues that are related to English proficiency, the student may be re-entered into the EL program.

Program Guidance and Law
English Learner program requirements come from a combination of several federal documents, laws, and court cases, linked below.
"English learners are a growing part of the PreK–12 student population. Over the last ten years, Ohio’s percentage of EL students has doubled to approximately 60,000 students. Spanish is the home language of almost 40% of Ohio’s English learners along with 90 other home languages. These language skills include Somali, Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, Japanese, Nepali, Pennsylvania Dutch (a dialect of German used by the Amish), French and Turkish. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Ohio must identify English learners, annually assess their English language proficiency, provide reasonable accommodations for them on state assessments, and implement accountability systems that include long-term goals and measures of progress (Ohio Department of Education, 2022)."
Dear Colleague Letter: U.S. Departments of Justice and Education This document provides guidance to assist SEAs, school districts, and all public schools in meeting their legal obligations to ensure that EL students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs and services. This guidance provides an outline of the legal obligations of SEAs and school districts to EL students under the civil rights laws. Additionally, the guidance discusses compliance issues that frequently arise in OCR and DOJ investigations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act and offers approaches that SEAs and school districts may use to meet their federal obligations to EL students. The guidance also includes discussion of how SEAs and school districts can implement their Title III grants and subgrants in a manner consistent with these civil rights obligations. Finally, the guidance discusses the federal obligation to ensure that Limited English Proficient parents and guardians have meaningful access to district- and school-related information.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Implications for English Learner or Limited English Proficient Students:
1. Students cannot be discriminated against due to language. EL students cannot be denied services, e.g., AG because the teacher does not speak the language.
2. Students cannot be refused enrollment due to limited English proficiency. Students are entitled to education in a public school until age 21.
3. Students cannot be retained to do limited English proficiency. Additionally, this means that as a practice, F’s, D’s or U’s should not be given if English language ability prevents the student from performing the same as a native speaker of English. However, grading decisions are made at the school level, and such variables as effort, participation and attendance should be considered. Students cannot be expelled or suspended because of their limited English proficiency status.

The Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Memorandum of May 25, 1970 “Where the inability to speak and understand the English language excludes national origin minority group children from effective participation in the educational program offered by a school district, the district must take affirmative steps to rectify the language deficiency in order to open its instructional program to these students.”
 Lau vs. Nichols (1974) This case involved a suit by Chinese parents in San Francisco which led to a ruling that identical education does not constitute equal education under the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. School districts must take the affirmative steps to overcome educational barriers faced by non-English speakers, i.e. to develop a plan.

The Equal Opportunity Act of 1974 This act requires a local school agency to take the appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede students' equal participation in its instructional programs. A policy must be in place (Lau Plan).

Rios vs. Read (1978) States must identify LEP students through valid testing. Program must be monitored. No premature exit without valid testing.

Castañeda vs. Pickard (1981) The program that is used to serve students must be based on sound theory and show reasonable success.

Plyler vs. Doe (1982) Students cannot be refused enrollment due to lack of legal documentation. Enrollment cannot be denied to students here on a Visitor’s Visa, as long as they are here with parents or legal guardian. If they are not here with parent or legal guardian, the system does not have to enroll the student, but DPI recommends erring on the side of enrollment. Students need “satisfactory proof of age.” Birth certificate is not required; requirement can be satisfied by baptismal certificate, medical records, affidavit signed by parents. Students do not need a social security number. School officials are not to inquire into legal status of students. The assumption is that the children to do not come here on their own.

Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 All federal programs are "at risk" (may risk a loss of funds) if there is a failure to comply with statuses regarding education of English learners.
ESSA Title III Guide (2016) This guidance provides state and local educational agencies (SEAs and LEAs) with information to assist them in meeting their obligations under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). This guidance also provides members of the public with information about their rights under this law and other relevant laws and regulations

P.L 103-302 Improving America's School Act (IASA) - 1994 This act authorizes full participation of eligible students with limited English proficiency in Title I programs for economically disadvantaged children. It states, " English proficient children are eligible for services on the same basis as other children selected to receive services." It also states, " English proficient students shall be assessed to the extent practicable, in the language and form most likely to yield accurate and reliable information on whatever students know and can do to determine such student's mastery of skills in subjects other than English."

For more information, please visit the Ohio Department of Education's Office of Integrated Student Supports - English Learners

English Language Proficiency Standards
Ohio's English Language Proficiency Standards and the Ohio Learning Standards-Extended for English Language Proficiency describe expectations for the effective instruction of all students who are English learners, including those with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Ohio English Language Proficiency Standards apply to all English learners attending Ohio's public and nonpublic schools in grades K-12. The Ohio English Language Proficiency Standards are the basis for integrated English language instruction as measured by the current Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS) and Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA).

Family Resources "Colorín Colorado is the premier national website serving educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK-12. Colorín Colorado has been providing free research-based information, activities, and advice to parents, schools, and communities around the country for more than a decade.
Learn more about our mission to serve ELLs as well as the team that makes Colorín Colorado possible below.
Colorín Colorado is an educational service of WETA, the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation's capital, and receives major funding from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association."  "The English Learner Family Toolkit is a free, online resource with answers to questions families may have about public schools and education services in the United States. Each chapter consists of 5 sections: (1) General Information, (2) Family and Student Rights, (3) Questions to Ask School Staff, (4) Tips, and (5) Resources." "Two-minute explanations of topics such as enrollment, roles of adults in school, importance of school attendance, contacting schools, completing health histories, and participating in parent-teacher conferences are available in 14 languages." These videos are not specific to Fairfield City Schools. "These glossaries are to provide permitted testing accommodations of ELL/MLL students. They should also be used for instruction during the school year. These glossaries may be downloaded, printed and disseminated to educators, parents and ELLs/MLLs.""This page features foreign language translations of the Prototype Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals. They are provided by USDA as a template to assist state and local agencies in serving households where English is not spoken as a primary language. Households may also download these resources directly to be filled out and submitted to their local school district."