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Wyoming Department of Education discusses English Learners

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 4:50 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - English Learners are students in Wyoming schools who speak a primary language other than English. These students enter Wyoming schools with a variety of language backgrounds. English Learners in kindergarten through 12th grade are expected to take the ACCESS for ELLs English Proficiency Assessment to fulfill federal and state requirements.

“There is a civil rights legislation that requires all districts provide appropriate supports and services to English Learners. Title I requires that all active ELs participate in a spring administration of the assessment at the state level,” said Laurie Hernandez, the WDE Director of Standards and Assessment.

There are three steps to identify an EL student. First, there is a home language survey. Then, there is a follow-up family interview. Last, there is a proficiency screening. Once a student is determined to be an EL student, services are set up to support them. The Wyoming Department of Education has seen 2,780 students using this service over the last several years.

“We, over the last several years, had an increase in even adopted students. So the family may be speaking English and the parents many be primarily English speakers but there has been an influx of students that are EL because they were born out of the country,” said Hernandez.

Upon achieving the “English Proficient” scare, ELs are no longer active and will not be required to take the annual assessment. Districts must continue to monitor the students for four years.

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