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Reclassification

Information on how a district determines whether or not an English learner student has sufficient English proficiency to be reclassified as a fluent English speaker.

Reclassification is the process whereby a student is reclassified from an English learner to Fluent English Proficient (RFEP). Local districts determine when the student has met the 4 criteria listed in Education Code (EC) Section 313 (f) External link opens in new window or tab. , in accordance with the California Department of Education (CDE).

Legislation

Reclassification procedures shall utilize multiple criteria in determining whether to reclassify a pupil as proficient in English, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

  1. Assessment of language proficiency using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the English language development test that is developed or acquired pursuant to Section 60810.
  2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the pupil's curriculum mastery.
  3. Parental opinion and consultation.
  4. Comparison of the performance of the pupil in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based upon the performance of English proficient pupils of the same age, that demonstrates whether the pupil is sufficiently proficient in English to participate effectively in a curriculum designed for pupils of the same age whose native language is English.

EC Section 313(f) External link opens in new window or tab.
English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment requirements are specified in California Education Code sections 313, 60810, and 60812.

EC Section 60810 External link opens in new window or tab.
California law requires that the assessment for initial identification of an English learner and the summative assessment shall include, but not be limited to, an assessment of achievement of these pupils in English reading, speaking, and written skills.

Reclassification Criteria

Criterion 1: Assessment of language proficiency using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the English language development test that is developed or acquired pursuant to Section 60810.

California Department of Education (CDE) English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Web Page
The ELPAC web page provides information and links regarding the ELPAC and additional resources.

2019–20 English Language Proficiency Assessments for California Information Guide (PDF)
The ELPAC 2019–20 Information Guide is designed to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with information about ELPAC implementation.

The ELPAC Website External link opens in new window or tab.
The ELPAC website, maintained by Educational Testing Services, serves as the portal for resources that an LEA will need to administer the ELPAC.

Criterion 2: Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the pupil's curriculum mastery.  Districts continue to use locally determined criteria.

The Observation Protocol for Teachers of English Learners (OPTEL) is an observation protocol in development to meet the requirements of California Assembly Bill 1808 (Ting et al.), amending EC Section 313.3 External link opens in new window or tab.. The OPTEL is intended to combine Criteria 2 and 3, upon approval by the State Board of Education. 

Assembly Bill 1808
Assembly Bill 1808 specifies the design and use of the OPTEL.

OPTEL General Information
This link provides general information regarding the OPTEL.

OPTEL Advisory Committee (OAC) Members
Please click the above link to find a list of the OPTEL OAC Members.

OAC Meeting Dates and Locations
The above link provides OPTEL meeting dates and locations.

Update on the OPTEL (State Board of Education December 2019 Memorandum) (DOCX)
Information that provides an update on the development of the OPTEL. This includes the OPTEL Prototyping Feedback and an OPTEL draft.

Criterion 3: Parental opinion and consultation. LEAs should continue using parental opinion and consultation per local policy to establish reclassification policies and procedures for Criterion 3.

Criterion 4: Comparison of the performance of the pupil in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based upon the performance of English proficient pupils of the same age, which demonstrates whether the pupil is sufficiently proficient in English to participate effectively in a curriculum designed for pupils of the same age whose native language is English. The LEA establishes the empirical range of performance in basic skills when setting the criteria for reclassification by taking into consideration the overall achievement goals set for all students.

Smarter Balanced Website External link opens in new window or tab.
The Smarter Balanced assessment system is designed to support instruction and give teachers better information about their students’ progress.

The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Website External link opens in new window or tab.
Students in grades three through eight and grade eleven will receive full-length summative tests for both English language arts/literacy and mathematics, with approximately seven to eight hours of total testing time for each student.

State Board of Education Approved Content Standards
Content standards were designed to encourage the highest achievement of every student, by defining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that all students should acquire at each grade level.

Letters to the Field

Letter to Local Educational Agencies Regarding the Monitoring of Reclassified Students (December 20, 2019)
This letter reminds local educational agencies about requirements of monitoring reclassified students.

Reclassification Guidance for 2019–20 (September 2, 2019)
This letter provides guidance to local educational agencies regarding reclassifying students from English learner to fluent English proficient status.

Updated Letter to Local Educational Agencies Regarding Reclassification Guidance for 2018–19 (January 18, 2019)
This letter updates the guidance previously provided to local educational agencies regarding reclassifying students from English learner to fluent English proficient status.

Letter to Local Educational Agencies Regarding Interim Reclassification Guidance for 2018–19 (September 14, 2018)
This letter updates to interim guidance provided to local educational agencies regarding reclassifying students from English learner to fluent English proficient status.

Letter to Local Educational Agencies Regarding Interim Reclassification Guidance for 2017–18 (January 2, 2018)
This letter updates to interim guidance provided to local educational agencies regarding reclassifying students from English learner to fluent English proficient status

Letter to Local Educational Agencies Regarding Reclassification Guidance for 2017–18 (April 28, 2017)
This letter reminds local educational agencies about requirements of monitoring reclassified students.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Additional Resources

Reclassification FAQs
The above link provides frequently asked questions regarding English learner reclassification.

English Learners Resources Web Page
The above link provides FAQs regarding English learners in California and appropriate teacher authorizations and links to websites with information about developing programs for linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Federal Program Monitoring (FPM) Instrument California Department of Education (CDE) Web Page
The California Department of Education Monitoring Tool (CMT) is a web-based system, which allows LEAs to facilitate a response to state and federal requirements for program monitoring.

U.S. Department of Education English Learner Toolkit Web Page External link opens in new window or tab.
Office of English Language Acquisition’s EL Tool Kit was published in 2015 as a companion to support the January 7, 2015 Dear Colleague Letter External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) produced by the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the Department of Justice, outlining legal obligations for English learner students. Some chapters of the tool kit have been updated related to the Every Student Succeeds Act External link opens in new window or tab. of 2015 (ESSA).

Questions:   Language Policy & Leadership Office | 916-319-0845
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
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