Revised August, 2019





          Section                                                                          Page

Illinois State Code and Definitions        2-4

Program Mission, Purpose and Goal        5

Indicators of English Language Development        6

Proficiency Levels of English Language Development        7

Program Administration        8

Program Staffing        8

Service Delivery Models        9

Rationale / Priority Given to EL Programming        10

Identification of a Student as an English Learner        11-15

Annual English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment        16

Monitoring the Progress of Exited Students        18

EL and Classroom/Content Teacher Roles        18-20

Individual Education Plans (IEP) for EL Students        21-22

EL Files        23


East Moline District 37 offers both a Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI, more commonly known as English as a Second Language or ESL) and a Transitional Bilingual Education Program (TBE) to service its EL population.

Illinois School Code 23 Illinois Administrative Code 228 (hereafter labeled IAC 228) defines English Learners to mean:  

“English Learners" means any student in preschool, kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12, whose home language background is a language other than English and whose proficiency in speaking, reading, writing or understanding English is not yet sufficient to provide the student with:

IAC 228 defines a Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) as a program that provides:

“Specialized instruction designed to assist students whose home language is other than English in attaining English language proficiency. English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction includes skill development in listening, speaking, reading, and writing."

IAC 228 defines TBE (Bilingual Education) as a program that provides:

  1. “Instruction in subjects which are either required by law (see 23 Ill. Adm. Code 1) or by the student's school district, to be given in the student's home language and in English; core subjects such as math, science and social studies must be offered in the student's home language;
  2. Instruction in the language arts in the student’s home language;
  3. Instruction in English as a second language, which must align to the applicable English language development standards; and
  4. Instruction in the history and culture of the country, territory, or geographic area which is the native land of the students or of their parents and in the history and culture of the United States.”

IAC 228 further defines a program called Part-Time TBE that consists of:

IAC 228 provides the following guidelines for program establishment:

IAC 228 defines components of a full-time and part-time Transitional Bilingual Education Program as:


The mission of the ESL/Bilingual programs is to serve the unique academic and linguistic needs of students who are in a special and critical learning period of their lives.

The purpose of the ESL/Bilingual programs is to provide an environment that supports and encourages students’ development of both their native language(s) and English in a culturally sensitive and supportive environment; and to give students the linguistic supports they need to continue to develop their academic English skills while meeting the same standards as their peers.


The WIDA consortium’s English Language Development Standards identify and define four language domains that are essential for EL students' success in school:

(1) Listening - process, understand, interpret and evaluate spoken language in a variety of situations.

(2) Speaking - engage in oral communication in a variety of situations for an array of purposes and audiences.

(3) Reading - process, interpret and evaluate written language, symbols and text with understanding and fluency.

(4) Writing - engage in written communication in a variety of forms for an array of purposes and audiences.

On the following page, are the five proficiency levels that define EL students' acquisition of the essential language domains in English.

5 Proficiency Levels of English Language Development

Defined by the WIDA Consortium







The EL Program Director oversees the operation of all EL Programs and reports to the Associate Superintendent of Student Achievement. Additionally, a parent advisory committee consisting of parents, legal guardians, bilingual staff, counselors and community leaders must meet at least four times per year. The minutes of these meetings must be kept on file by the district and the committee must review the district's annual program application to the Illinois State Board of Education.


The ESL/Bilingual program incorporates a staffing plan similar to that used to staff traditional classrooms. As per IAC 228, the student-teacher ratio in ESL/Bilingual program shall not exceed 90% of the average student teacher ratio in classes at the grade levels served in that attendance center. When classrooms exceed that threshold during the year due to additional enrollment, an instructional aide or an additional teacher may be recommended. These staffing guidelines are followed to the extent that they are contractually feasible.

Staff Member(s)

Certification Held/Description


(Preschool, Elementary, Middle School)

Teachers must hold a teaching license endorsed for their grade level and subject area (ESL or Bilingual Education).  Bilingual teachers who already have a Bachelor’s degree may have an Educator License with Stipulations that allows them to teach while completing necessary course work for 5 years.  Teachers plan and deliver core instruction and intervention.


Paraprofessionals must hold a paraprofessional educator license to assist teachers in serving our students.

TBE/TPI Director

Must hold a valid administrative certificate and be endorsed to teach ESL and Bilingual Education as well as pass a language proficiency test provided by the Illinois State Board of Education in a language other than English.

ACCESS Screener and Test Administrators

Certified teaching staff are trained and certified to administer state language assessments.


All service delivery models reflect Illinois state code requirements and best practices.

Program Definitions

*2019-’20 school year enrollment required target languages for TBE of Arabic (grades 5-8) and Spanish (grades K-3 and 5-8)

Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) Program

Part-Time Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) Program - Elementary and Middle School

English as a Second Language Program (TPI) - Elementary and Preschool

English as a Second Language Program (TPI) - Middle School

Newcomer Supports - All Levels

Rationale / Priority Given to EL Programming

When an EL student is offered programming, they should be offered the programming that is the most effective first.  Below is a prioritized list of available programming.  Ensure that families are first offered the highest level of service a student qualifies for.  If they wish to reject that service they may speak with an administrator to do so.

Below is a chart from Thomas and Collier’s (2002) research on the effectiveness of the major models of EL programming.  In our district, we currently offer ESL pull-out (number 6 on the chart) through Early Exit TBE with content-based ESL (number 3 on the chart).

When possible, we offer our students bilingual programming as this leads to a 16 percentile point gain in achievement compared to traditional pull-out ESL.  This is akin to a child advancing from 76th place out of 100 students to 60th place in overall achievement.

Similarly, whenever possible we provide content based ESL instruction pushed in to children’s classrooms as this leads to a 10 percentile point gain compared to traditional ESL pull-out services.  

Our prioritized list of services is as follows:

  1. Bilingual Education Program
  2. Push-in Content Based ESL
  3. Pull-out Traditional ESL
  4. Refusal of All Services

Identification of a Student as an English Learner 

Home Language Survey

When a new student registers in the district they must complete a Home Language Survey (HLS) that includes a question regarding languages spoken in the home and a question regarding languages spoken by the child.  If the response to either of those questions indicates a language other than English, the children are screened either by a records review of previously existing records from other districts or by an age-appropriate language screener to determine their level of English language proficiency.

A flowchart showing how EL status determination is made can be found following this section.


Preschool children who are screened in their English language proficiency are screened using the Pre-IPT Oral Test to gauge their speaking and listening skills in English.  Those children who score in the categories of Early Advanced, Intermediate, Early Intermediate, or Beginning are determined to be English Learners (EL) and will qualify to receive EL services as described in the programming section of this handbook.

Kindergarten and First Semester of 1st Grade

Preschool screening results may not be used to determine placement in kindergarten. All children identified as coming from homes where a language other than English is spoken on the home language survey must be screened with the WIDA MODEL to determine EL status and placement in TBE/TPI programming in kindergarten and the first semester of first grade. Children who were identified as EL in preschool but meet the State English proficiency standard when screened for kindergarten are no longer considered to be EL and will be enrolled in the same manner as other non-EL students.  The criteria for determination of EL status on the MODEL are included below.

Second Semester 1st Grade Through 8th Grade

Beginning the second semester of 1st grade and continuing through 12th grade, students’ English language proficiency is screened using the WIDA screener.  Much like the MODEL, the WIDA screener evaluates a child’s listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  If a child scores below a 5.0 composite score they are considered to be an English Learner.

Determination of EL Status

The principal should be notified of the child’s scores and should then follow the Determination of EL Status flowchart to determine if the child qualifies for services.  For convenience, the flowchart has also been included in this document.

Parent Notification

Once a child has been determined to qualify for status as an EL (and annually after that), their parent is notified through a program specific Title III parent notification letter informing the parent of their current scores on the screener or annual ACCESS scores as well as the program(s) they qualify for.  Unless a parent meets with a school administrator to sign a refusal of services form, their child will now receive EL services.  Click here to access the Parent Notification Letter Flowchart, also included here for convenience.

Annual English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment


There is no annual ELP testing requirement for ELs in preschool programs nor is there a requirement to screen students again until entry into Kindergarten or they turn 6 years old, whichever comes first.  EMSD 37 may choose to assess students’ progress in English acquisition and modify the level of EL services provided based on current performance data..

Kindergarten Through 8th Grade

Students are assessed using the ACCESS (which stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State) for ELLs assessment.  ACCESS is provided by WIDA, a consortium of 40 US states, territories, and federal agencies that are dedicated to the research, design, and implementation of high quality systems to support English learners in K-12 education.

The test is composed of four component tests: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Each test is administered separately, typically between mid-January to early March.  Students receive a score on each individual test that can inform us about areas of need for further linguistic support as well as an overall composite score that indicates for us when a child is ready to exit EL services. The criteria for this on the ACCESS test is when a child scores a cumulative score of 4.8 or above.

Monitoring the Progress of Exited Students

Students who have met ESL/Bilingual exit criteria are monitored for two years following their exit from services. Grade level meetings (one during mid-first quarter and one early third quarter during each year of monitoring) are the basis for coordinating services and tracking the academic progress of students.

These meetings are scheduled by building principals and are facilitated by the ESL/Bilingual staff at each school as well as the classroom teachers of the students as well as other staff who work with the children, such as special education staff. During the meetings, the academic progress and special needs of former ESL/Bilingual students are reviewed and recorded on the Transition Monitoring Form. Students who successfully complete two years of monitoring are considered to be non-EL students who are participating in their education in the same manner as their never-EL peers.

In the case that an exited EL student who is being monitored falls behind and shows a possible need for their EL services to continue their academic growth at an appropriate pace, consult with the Director of English Learners to consider whether rescreening the child’s English language development may be needed.  This is the only situation in which a rescreening may be considered.

EL and Classroom/Content Teacher Roles

In EL programs, EL teachers share responsibility with classroom teachers in moving EL students from being reliant on specialized instruction to becoming self-sufficient in their use of academic  English. The following charts illustrate how these responsibilities are divided:

Elementary ESL Push-in Services

Middle School TBE / TPI



For comprehensive information on MTSS and the IEP process for ELs, please refer to the California Guide for ELs with Disabilities.

IEP Team

Possible Meeting Discussion Points

Questions to ask at / information to gather for a Domains meeting and follow up on at the initial IEP meeting:

Information to gather to present at an for Annual Review meeting:

Other Considerations

Before a Special Education Referral

For more information, reference the district’s English Learners in the MTSS Process and English Learners with IEPs handbooks.  (still under creation)


ESL/Bilingual staff will maintain and keep files on each child. The ESL/Bilingual files will contain all the forms shown on the EL folder dated and filled out completely.

Prior to the end of the school year, ESL/Bilingual files will be returned to the students’ cumulative folder. ESL/Bilingual files will travel with the students’ cumulative folders to the following teacher, grade or school. ESL/Bilingual teachers will retrieve the files from the cumulative folders at the beginning of each school year. When a child exits the ESL/Bilingual program, the file will be marked EXIT, dated, and will then be stored in the student’s cumulative folder.

For any student that transfers or leaves the district in the middle of the year, the ESL/Bilingual file will travel with the student’s cumulative folder.