If a parent of an ELL decides to “opt out” of a language program, LMACS will place the student in an English language mainstream classroom with an SEI-endorsed teacher and maintain appropriate documentation of the parent “opt out” notice in the student’s file.
Under federal law, districts must provide instructional support to ensure all ELLs, including those whose parent(s) has chosen to “opt out” of language programs, have access to the curriculum and be provided the same opportunities to master the same academic standards and curriculum frameworks as their native English speaking peers (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI); Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, 20 USC §1703(f) (EEOA)). Districts are also required to annually assess the language proficiency of all ELL students with the state mandated English language proficiency test, ACCESS for ELLs.
Therefore, in practice in Massachusetts, a parent’s choice to “opt out” means their child will not receive separate English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction focused on language development, but the district will provide the necessary support and actively monitor the student’s progress to ensure that the student’s English-language and academic needs resulting from lack of English proficiency are met.
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