• Frequently asked questions about EL students and ELAC
    Dear parents:
    This document has been written so you can understand what it
    means to be an English learner (EL) and which are the groups of people that can guide
    you to obtain help for your child’s education.
    1. Who is an EL student?
    An English learner [also referred to as a student with limited mastery of the English
    language or Limited English Proficient Student (LEP)] is a student that does not speak
    English or speaks a native language that is not English and currently cannot perform the
    normal class work in an English class (based on the Code of Education, Section
    306[a]).
    2. Who needs to take the CELDT?
    The Education Code requires that each student (from pre-school to 12th grade) whose
    first language is not English, based on the Home Language Survey, takes the CELDT
    exam during the first 30 days after being enrolled for the first time in a California public
    school in order to determine if he/she is an EL. Parents or guardians complete the
    Home Language Survey as part of the enrollment process when they enroll their
    children in school for the first time. The CELDT exam must be administered each year
    to students identified as EL students based on the process of evaluation from the
    School District until they are Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) students.
    3. What is the California English Language Development Test (CELDT)?
    Federal and state law require the development of a statewide test that school districts
    should implement for students that speak a language other than English. In California,
    this test is called the California English Language Development Test (CELDT).
    4. When do EL students stop taking the CELDT?
    EL students continue to take the CELDT each year until they are reclassified based on
    the criteria established by the Board of the school district.
    5. What is reclassification?
    Reclassification is a local decision based on established criteria by the local Board of
    Education in agreement with the state law. The school districts have to use individual
    CELDT results as one of four criteria considered for EL students’ reclassification.
    Additional measures that must be considered are the comparison of the English
    learners’ progress in basic skills versus the level of progress of students who are nativespeakers
    of English within the same age group, teacher evaluations, and opinions and
    consultations with parents or guardians.
    6. What is the English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC)?
    The English Learner Advisory Committee is an advisory committee developed to advise
    the school about programs for English learners students. A school that has more than
    21 EL students is required to have an ELAC.
    7. What are ELAC’s obligations?
    a. ELAC advises the School Site Council (SSC) in the development of a Single Plan
    for Student Achievement (SPSA).
    b. ELAC makes recommendations to the principal and staff about programs for EL
    students.
    c. ELAC assists in data analysis and review of the school’s language census to
    decide which are the best programs for the EL students, and it will make an effort
    to raise awareness among parents of the importance of regular school
    attendance.
    d. ELAC has the responsibility to elect officers, including at least one DELAC
    representative.
    8. Who forms ELAC?
    The membership of ELAC is comprised of the school principal, the officers elected by
    the parents of EL students: president, vice-president, secretary and/or a DELAC
    representative, and other parents and community members. The number of EL parents
    in ELAC must reflect at least the same percentage as the number of EL students in the
    school.
    9. What is DELAC?
    The District’s English Language Advisory Committee consists of a group formed by
    ELAC representatives of each school within the district. The purpose of this committee
    is to advice the district in regards to the programs destined for EL students and to certify
    that the district complies with the federal and state norms.
    10. How does ELAC work in conjunction with other school organizations?
    In some schools, ELAC is linked to SSC (School Site Council), but there are certain
    legal requirements that need to be met if this alliance is wanted. ELAC is an advisory
    committee and the SSC is a school governing organization. Other organizations such
    as the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) are
    independent. It is very important that parents of EL students participate in these other
    parent organizations.