- Cama-i, quyana tailuci!
- (Central Yup’ik)
- "Greetings, thank you for coming!"
The U.S. Department of Education provides formula grants to states based on the number of English learners reported within the state. The purpose of these funds is:
- to help ensure that English learners, including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic achievement in English;
- to assist all English learners, including immigrant children and youth, to achieve at high levels in academic subjects so that all English learners can meet the same challenging State academic standards that all children are expected to meet;
- to assist teachers (including preschool teachers), principals and other school leaders, State educational agencies, local educational agencies, and schools in establishing, implementing, and sustaining effective language instruction educational programs designed to assist in teaching English learners, including immigrant children and youth;
- to assist teachers (including preschool teachers), principals and other school leaders, State educational agencies, and local educational agencies to develop and enhance their capacity to provide effective instructional programs designed to prepare English learners, including immigrant children and youth, to enter all-English instructional settings; and
- to promote parental, family, and community participation in language instruction educational programs for the parents, families, and communities of English learners.
In turn, the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development provides grants to school districts with high populations of English learners to assist them in:
- developing and implementing new language instruction educational programs and academic content instructional programs for English learners and immigrant children and youth, including early childhood education programs, elementary school programs, and secondary school programs.
- carrying out highly focused, innovative, locally designed activities to expand or enhance existing language instruction educational programs and academic content instructional programs for English learners and immigrant children and youth.
- implementing, within an individual school, schoolwide programs for restructuring, reforming, and upgrading all relevant programs, activities, and operations relating to language instruction educational programs and academic content instruction for English learners and immigrant children and youth.
- implementing, within the entire jurisdiction of a local educational agency, agency-wide programs for restructuring, reforming, and upgrading all relevant programs, activities, and operations relating to language instruction educational programs and academic content instruction for English learners and immigrant children and youth.
Alaska’s English learner students are identified by districts and schools by following the statewide entrance procedures, as set in Alaska’s state plan.
ENGLISH LEARNER.—The term ‘‘English learner’’, when used with respect to an individual, means an individual—
(A) who is aged 3 through 21;
(B) who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
(C)(i) who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;
(ii)(I) who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and
(II) who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English language proficiency; or
(iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and
(D) whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual—
(i) the ability to meet the challenging State academic standards;
(ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
(iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.
ESEA, Section 8101(20)
NATIVE LANGUAGE.—The term ‘‘native language’’, when used with reference to an individual of limited English proficiency, means—
(A) the language normally used by such individual; or
(B) in the case of a child or youth, the language normally used by the parents of the child or youth.
ESEA, Section 3201(10)
IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AND YOUTH.—The term ‘‘immigrant children and youth’’ means individuals who—
(A) are aged 3 through 21;
(B) were not born in any State; and
(C) have not been attending one or more schools in any one or more States for more than 3 full academic years.
ESEA, Section 3201(5)
State Guiding Documents
EL Student Identification, Assessment & Data Reporting Guide
The EL Student Identification, Assessment & Data Reporting guide is a useful tool for all districts, not just those that receive Title III funding. The guide describes in detail the statewide entrance and exit procedures for English learners, as well as assessment information, frequently asked questions, and additional forms districts might need.
All districts, not just those that receive Title III funds, have a responsibility to identify English learner students in need of language assistance services. Even districts that currently do not have any English learners enrolled must have procedures in place for identifying, and providing support to ELs. Our statewide procedures for identification require the use of a home language survey or parent language questionnaire as the first step to identifying those students.
Plan of Service
Any district with at least eight English learners enrolled in any one site must have an approved EL Plan of Service on file with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. Plans of Service can be valid for up to five years.
Title I-A requires that districts notify parents annually of their child’s participation in English learner programs. This notification must include:
- the reasons for the identification of their child as an English learner and in need of placement in a language instruction educational program;
- the child’s level of English proficiency, how such level was assessed, and the status of the child’s academic achievement;
- the methods of instruction used in the program in which their child is, or will be, participating and the methods of instruction used in other available programs, including how such programs differ in content, instructional goals, and the use of English and a native language in instruction;
- how the program in which their child is, or will be, participating will meet the educational strengths and needs of their child;
- how such program will specifically help their child learn English and meet age-appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation;
- the specific exit requirements for the program, including the expected rate of transition from such program into classrooms that are not tailored for English learners, and the expected rate of graduation from high school (including four-year adjusted cohort graduation rates and extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rates for such program) if funds under this part are used for children in high schools;
- in the case of a child with a disability, how such program meets the objectives of the individualized education program of the child, as described in section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1414(d)); and
- information pertaining to parental rights that includes written guidance—
- detailing the right that parents have to have their child immediately removed from such program upon their request;
- detailing the options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another program or method of instruction, if available; and
- assisting parents in selecting among various programs and methods of instruction, if more than 1 program or method is offered by the district or school.
Parent notification templates for both initial placement and continuing placement are available for you to customize to your district, school, and students.
Title III-A Fiscal and Programmatic Handbook
The Title III-A Fiscal and Programmatic Handbook details requirements to receive Title III funds, considerations and requirements for spending such funds, as well as examples of allowable and unallowable costs.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
English Language Proficiency Standards
On June 10, 2021, the Alaska State Board of Education adopted the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework, 2020 Edition: Kindergarten – Grade 12 as the English Language Proficiency standards for Alaska. Districts, schools, and educators should be using the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition as of the 2021-2022 school year.