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Reclassification FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Reclassification.
What are the reclassification criteria set forth in California Education Code?

The reclassification criteria set forth in California Education Code (EC) Section 313 External link opens in new window or tab. and Title 5 California Code of Regulations (5 CCR) section 11303, remain unchanged. Local educational agencies (LEAs) should continue using the following four criteria to establish reclassification policies and procedures:

  1. Assessment of English language proficiency (ELP), using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the state test of English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) [standardized statewide as Summative ELPAC Overall Performance Level 4]
  2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the student’s curriculum mastery [locally defined]
  3. Parent opinion and consultation [locally defined]
  4. Comparison of student performance in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills of English proficient students of the same age [locally defined]
When should a student be reclassified to fluent English proficient (RFEP)?

Reclassification should take place as soon as the student meets all four criteria, at any time during the academic year. In order to be included in the 2020–21 RFEP Count, reclassification prior to June 30, 2021, is recommended. In 2020–21 the official RFEP count has been transitioned from a count of students who were reclassified from Census Day to Census Day, to a count of students reclassified during the school year, from July 1 to June 30. This will align the RFEP count with the timeframe used for the English Learner Progress Indicator (ELPI) in the California School Dashboard. More information is also available in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Update Flash #189.

Are any of these criteria standardized across California?

Yes. The State Board of Education (SBE) approved the use of Summative ELPAC Overall Performance Level (PL) 4 as the statewide standardized ELP criterion for reclassification beginning with the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC administration for grades TK–12 (see Criterion 1 above).

Which Summative ELPAC threshold scores should LEAs use to meet Criterion 1 requirements?

LEAs should use the Summative ELPAC Scale Score Ranges (PDF) approved by the SBE in November 2018. These are available on the California Department of Education (CDE) ELPAC web page, to determine level designation for English language proficiency. The Summative ELPAC Scale Score Ranges are identified for each grade level for (TK–8) and by grade span for grades 9–10 and 11–12.

Which teachers should provide evaluation data to meet Criterion 2 requirements?

Because the student may have different language support needs across different subject areas, all teachers and certificated staff with direct responsibility for teaching or placement decisions of the student should be afforded the opportunity to evaluate. Teacher evaluation is not to be interpreted as teacher opinion and should be based on data as well as the LEA’s locally-established process for soliciting teacher evaluation.

Is parent involvement required to meet Criterion 3 requirements?

Yes. Parent consultation and opinion, not consent, is required per EC 313 (f)(3) Parent and Option and Consultation. The parent is to be consulted and included as part of decision-making throughout the reclassification process, but consent is not required. Specifically, California Code of Regulations (5 CCR) Section 11303 External link opens in new window or tab. mandates parental involvement through:

  • Notice to parent(s) or guardian(s) of language reclassification and placement, including a description of the reclassification process and the parent's opportunity to participate; and
  • Encouragement of the participation of parent(s) or guardian(s) in the school district's reclassification procedure, including seeking their opinion and consultation during the reclassification process.
What can be used to meet the requirements for Criterion 4 when evaluating the performance of a student in basic skills?

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium English language arts scores, LEA benchmarks, or other assessments identified by the LEA that measures progress in English language arts. Progress can be measured by a set score or point span depending upon the educational research and value. Note of caution: The selected assessment must be administered to all students, not solely to English learner students.

Do all of the reclassification criteria apply to all grades K–12? Do they apply to students with exceptional needs?

Yes, the reclassification criteria apply to all English learners in grades K–12, including students with exceptional needs. For further information, please see page 27 of the 2020–21 ELPAC Information Guide (PDF).

Does a student have to score an Overall PL 4 to be considered for reclassification?

Yes. If a student will be taking the Summative ELPAC during the 2018–19 administration or later, then that student must score an Overall PL 4. The SBE approved the use of the ELPAC Overall PL 4 as the statewide standardized ELP criterion (see Criterion 1 above) for reclassification on January 9, 2019.

If listening, speaking, reading, or writing domain scores are less than four but meet an average Overall PL 4, should the students be reclassified?

Yes. The student should be reclassified. Only ELPAC Overall PL 4 was approved as the statewide standardized ELP criterion. Thresholds for the individual domains were not approved.

What should the English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS) start date be for students who become RFEP at the end of the school year or during the summer?

The RFEP date should reflect the date that the LEA determines the student has met all four criteria required for reclassification (California EC Section 313[f]), including parental consultation, as reflected in the scenarios below:

  • Reclassifications that are Determined Towards the End of the School Year: If the determination that the student has met all four criteria for reclassification occurs towards the end of the school year, the RFEP date should reflect the date the determination was made. If the end of the school year is on or before June 30, and assuming the student continues to be enrolled, then the student will be included in the school’s count of students reclassified in that school year, beginning with the 2020−21 school year.
  • Reclassifications that are Determined During Summer Break: When the determination that the student has met all four criteria required for reclassification occurs during the summer break (after the end of the school year and before the start of the next school year), the RFEP date should reflect the date the determination was made. The CDE will identify students in the CALPADS Operational Data Store (ODS) who were reclassified during the summer and who have no school enrollments, and attribute their reclassification to the school at which they were last enrolled. While these students will not be included in the school’s certification reports, they will be included in the school’s official count of students reclassified in the 2020−21 school year used for state and federal reporting.
  • Reporting Reclassifications in Subsequent School Years: Enrolled students who meet the four reclassification criteria beginning with the 2021–22 school year will be reported in the next census day data collection. Example: The school’s RFEP count for July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, will be reported the first Wednesday of October 2022.
How is the RFEP date determined by LEAs?

The RFEP date is determined as the date that a student has met all four reclassification criteria per the LEA’s reclassification policy or the last day of school (whichever comes first), this allows LEAs to access the system and make CALPADS entries after school has ended.

Therefore, if school ends June 15 and the determination that the student met all four criteria is made on June 10, the RFEP date should be June 10. However, if the determination that the student met all four criteria is made on June 20, then the RFEP date should be the last day of school: June 15.
Are LEAs required to present the district reclassification policy to the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC)?

Yes, LEAs are required to present the reclassification policy to the DELAC in order to solicit advice on reclassification procedures. The DELAC shall review and comment on the school district reclassification procedures, pursuant to 5 CCR, 11308 (c)(6) (Advisory Committees). For further information, please visit the CDE DELAC web page.

What are the areas of focus when monitoring RFEP students?

Monitor for a minimum of four years for the same progress indicators as when the students were classified as EL:

1)      Students are engaged in and are maintaining success in core content courses

2)      Students make all achievement goals set for all other students

3)      Students receive support when not making progress

4)      Students are provided all A-G and advanced courses regardless of language proficiency levels

Questions:   English Language Proficiency and Spanish Assessment Office | 916-319-0784
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 4, 2021