Curriculum & Goals | ELL Plan

Action Plans for a Learner-Centered School
Board Approved March 2007

At the Lake Mills Community School District, we welcome all learners. In order to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students we outline the following basic goals and our plan for education students. *Critical documents are referenced in the Appendix.

K-12 Program Goals for Serving Limited English-Proficient Students

To help students to become English proficient in the language skills of speaking, reading, writing, and listening.
To help students to successfully participate in classroom learning situations and other school activities.
To help students to develop and/or reinforce positive attitudes toward self, school, and community.


All students are able to use English to participate in social interactions.
All students are able to use English to achieve academically in all content areas
All students use language variety, register, genre, and nonverbal communication appropriate to audience, purpose, and setting.


Lake Mills Community Schools will provide the opportunities for learners to:
All families are asked what language is spoken in the home through a question on the registration form. Families that indicate languages other than English are spoken in the home initiate the identification process and will be provided a Home Language Survey (281-60.3(1)). (See Appendix C for a sample - surveys in some foreign languages are available in the 1996 Iowa Department of Education handbook "Educating Iowa's LEP Students.") Our district is prepared to conduct oral or native language interviews in the student's home with those adults who may not have sufficient English or literacy skills to complete a survey written in English (281-60. 3(1)).

Families registering children will be assisted in completed documents and registration materials onsite as needed. Any report cards, important information on previous schooling, and immunization records will be requested and copied for student files. If home language assistance is necessary in order to secure accurate data for the following, every reasonable attempt will be made to provide this support. A birth certificate or Social Security card are not required documents.

Teacher observation, referral, or self-referral are other means of entrance into the Limited English Proficient student support program.

Initial Assessment and Program Placement

The New Student Profile (Appendix D) will be completed within the first thirty days of registration
Parent interview form
Communication observations/Social Behavior
Health information form

A designated LMCS staff member will observe administration of the Language Assessment Scale (LAS) Oral Proficiency Test by an AEA 267 consultant upon arrival of the first LEP student. If a student achieves a 3 or higher, written and academic abilities will be assessed using multiple measures to provide student oral and listening proficiency data (281-60.3(1)b). Ongoing language assessments will be conducted locally with parallel forms of the oral, reading, or writing LAS, authentic testing materials, or other assessments the district chooses. The LMCS ESL Coordinator, Title 1 teacher, or the child's classroom teacher will assess academic skills, in relation to the student's grade or age level (281-60.3(1)b). Informal assessments may include the following: An informal reading inventory, including sight words and comprehension questions. An informal math inventory, including appropriate addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.

Age and grade appropriate skills (Eg. For kindergarten/1st grade students: putting a puzzle together, cutting out shapes, coloring a picture, following directions, etc.). Former school documents will be examined.

Instruction and Resources

Academic program plans are maintained by the district (280--280.4). Instruction of LEP students is overseen by certified teachers with Iowa's ESL endorsement or pre-1988 certification (281--60.3(2)). Based on assessment results, the LEP student will be assigned to mainstream classrooms with students the same chronological age, or when absolutely necessary, with an age group no more than two years differential (60.3(3)a).

Administrators work with community members, businesses, organizations to build an environment for learning where all students are able and expected to successfully achieve standards defined within the district. Existing staff, community organizations, and volunteers are valuable resources that support the language learning process. Curriculum coordinators work with ESL teachers, paraprofessionals, content area teachers, and AEA 267 consultants to identify and choose instructional materials. Inservice training is provided for all staff involved in the educational process of LEP students (281--12.5(8), 12.8 (1), and 60.3(3)b5).

LMCS will keep abreast of current materials available for the instruction of LEP students by previewing resources through AEA 267 Lending Library and publishers. LMCS will purchase and modify instructional materials that are appropriate to the needs of the learner and goals of instructional programs (280--280.4). State funding is provided for the "excess costs of instruction of LEP students." (281--60.4 and 60.6(280)).

At preschool inservices, administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff who will be working with ELL students are introduced to the Checklist for Educating Students who are nonnative speakers of English. (Appendix E) All educational and appropriate school personnel receive inservice training regarding instructional techniques and modifications for LEP students, with continuing training provided according to school's Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (281--12.7(256) and 281--60.3(3)b5). We will use ASCD resources for this training.

Appendix A

State of Iowa DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Bureau of Instructional Services
Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146


Code of Iowa

CHAPTER 280, SECTION 280.4 as amended by House File 457 of the Seventy-Fifth General Assembly, 1993 Session


The medium of instruction in all secular subjects taught in both public and nonpublic schools shall be the English language, except when the use of a foreign language is deemed appropriate in the teaching of any subject or when the student is limited English proficient. When the student is limited English proficient, both public and nonpublic schools shall provide special instruction, which shall include but need not be limited to either instruction in English as a second language or transitional bilingual instruction until the student is fully English proficient or demonstrates a functional ability to speak, read, write, and understand the English language.

As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

Limited English proficient: means a student's language background is in a language other than English, and the student's proficiency in English is such that the probability of the student's academic success in an English-only classroom is below that of an academically successful peer with an English language background.

Fully English-proficient: means a student who is able to read, understand, write, and speak the English language and to use English to ask questions, to understand teachers and reading materials, to test ideas, and to challenge what is being asked in the classroom.

The department of education shall adopt rules relating to the identification of limited English proficient students who require special instruction under this section and to application procedures for funds available under this section.

In order to provide funds for the excess costs of instruction of limited English proficient students above the costs of instruction of pupils in a regular curriculum, students identified as limited English proficient shall be assigned an additional weighting that shall be included in the weighted enrollment of the school district of residence for a period not exceeding three years. However, the school budget review committee may grant supplemental aid or modified allowable growth to a school district to continue funding a program for students after the expiration of the three-year period. The school budget review committee shall calculate the additional amount for the weighting to the nearest one-hundredth of one percent so that to the extent possible the moneys generated by the weighting will be equivalent to the moneys generated by the two-tenths weighting provided prior to July 1, 1991.

Ongoing Student Assessment

Limited English Proficient students will be evaluated twice yearly with a standardized instrument, such as the Language Assessment Scales (available through AEA 267) or the IDEA Proficiency Test. In addition, mainstream teachers will report the student's achievement and growth (60.3(1)b) through authentic assessments and content area tests (modified as necessary) in the regular classroom. Adjustments will be made to support students until the student is able to achieve academically in the classroom with age and grade level peers.


LEP students achieving proficiency in English speaking, listening, reading, and writing at a level commensurate with their grade and/or age peers will be transitioned into the mainstream classroom or passed out of the LEP program (60.3(3)b4). Follow-up plans assure consistent reporting and additional language support as necessary.

General Information

How long has your family lived in this district? Iowa? United States?

Where has your child attended school?

Tell me about your child's school experiences (i.e. ESL pullout, bilingual classes, mainstream classes (which subjects?), special education, etc.)

Tell me about your home life. (Optional and confidential)

Sample prompt questions:
Who lives in the home with your child (names and relationships)?
What does the child like to do at home?
What chores does your child do at home?
What are some of the things the family does together?
What interests does your child have at home?
Who plays with your child?
Who takes care of your child at home (relationship and name)?

Communications Observations

Please share your observations of communication at home.

Sample prompt questions:
Do you read to your child? In what language?
What language does your family speak most at home?
Is your child able to understand what you say in English most of the time?
Does your child often use gestures?

Appendix E

Checklist for Educating Nonnative English Speakers (NNES)
Establishing a program for students who are nonnative Speakers of English Speakers (NNES)

_____Equal Access and Opportunities: LEP students have equal access to all school programs and services offered by the district commensurate with their age and grade level and have equal opportunity to participation all school programs and extracurricular activities.

_____Initial Identification: The initial identification is completed within thirty days of the LEP student's enrollment.

_____Annual English Language Assessment: English language proficiency assessment is completed for each LEP student each year. The results are used to determine the student's continued eligibility.

_____Identification of LEP Students With Special Needs: All new entrants receive native language screening whenever possible to determine which students are possibly gifted or have a possible handicapping condition and/or possibly are LEP. All laws and regulations regarding entry screening and procedures for diagnostic evaluation and placement of LEP students with possible handicapping conditions will be followed.

_____Information to Parents: Whenever possible, school related information will be distributed to parents in the language they understand.

_____Parental Involvement: Parents or legal guardians of LEP students will be encouraged and allowed to serve on committees in each school building to advise on important decisions.

_____Parental Notification of Placement: Parents are notified of the type of language services their child is receiving.

_____Parental Withdrawal Option: Parents who do not want their child to receive LEP support must notify the school in writing. Parents are encouraged to discuss options with the school before making any decisions.

_____biannual Parent Meeting: District personnel will make every effort to meet with the parents of LEP students at least twice a year.

_____Free-Standing English as a Second Language Program: A free standing ESL program will be implemented in those school buildings within the district with an enrollment of fewer than 20 students of the same grade level with the same native language which is other than English.

_____Support Services: LEP students in the district will be provided the appropriate support services needed to achieve and maintain a satisfactory level of academic performance. Where appropriate, such services will be provided in the first language of the student and the student's parents.

_____Transitional Services: The district will ensure a smooth transition from a free standing ESL program into an English mainstream program.

_____In-Service Training: The district provides in-service training to all personnel providing instruction or other services to LEP students in order to enhance their appreciation for the students' native languages and cultures and their ability to provide instructional and support services.

_____Extension of Services: Approval for an extension of services will be requested from the State Budget Review Committee on behalf of LEP students who continue to require services under Chapter 280.4 Iowa Code more than three years.

It is the policy of the Lake Mills Community School District not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact the district's Equity Coordinator by writing to: Kari Wagner, 102 S 4th Av E, Lake Mills, IA 50450, or call 641-592-1882, or email The Lake Mills CSD offers career and technical programs in the areas of agriculture, business, family and consumer science, and industrial technology.