May 2021

Section 1

Legal Foundation for Providing Effective Educational Services to English Learners

The Yarmouth School Department abides by the laws and Supreme Court decisions that establish the legal requirements for providing English learners with effective language and content acquisition programming. The following list, compiled by Brown University, highlights these laws and Supreme Court decisions (Retrieved and adapted from: diverse-learners/legalprovisions-education-english-language-learners):

Federal Legislation

•  Every Student Succeeds Act (2015) provides for strong accountability for the education of all children and for certain provisions specific to limited English proficient students, especially under Titles I and III of the Act. ESSA also provides funds to states and local schools and universities to carry out the intent of the Act. (full text) elsec/leg/essa/index.html (U.S. Department of Education's official ESSA website)

• Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin (and other civil rights). (full text)

•  Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974 requires schools to "take appropriate steps" to assure equal access as stipulated in the Lau opinion below.

Supreme Court Decisions

•  Lau vs. Nichols (1974) ruled that providing the same access to curriculum, instruction, and materials for students of limited English proficiency as is provided to English dominant students is not in effect equitable:

•  Plyler vs. Doe (1981) ruled that all students in public schools must be appropriately served, including any students who may not be documented as legal immigrants: historics/USSC_CR_0457_0202_ZO.html

•  Castañeda vs. Pickard (1981) case precedent requires schools to use a three-pronged approach to assure that they are following the spirit of the above decisions vis-à-vis: a practice grounded in sound educational theory; effective implementation of an appropriate program; assurance that the program is working through an evaluation and subsequent program modification to meet this requirement.


Section 2

English Learner Identification 

The Yarmouth School Department identifies English learners in accordance with federal and state requirements (Legal Basis: Section 3111, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965).

 Action Required by Federal Law and/or State Policy

When and how is this action accomplished in the SAU

Administration of the Maine DOE Language Use

Survey englishlearners/policy/survey

Occurs at registration

Translation/Interpretation Services Provided to Parents/ Guardians

The school department contracts with an agency for purposes of interpretation and translation. The Language Line and Talking Points are also used as appropriate.

Referral of all Potential English Learners for Screening

Occurs upon review of Language Use Survey

Administration of English Language Proficiency Screener

Administered by an EL teacher upon referral

Language Acquisition Committee Meeting to Develop Program of Services for Identified English Learners

Team convenes within 30 days of enrollment from the beginning of the school year or within two weeks of enrolling during the school year

English Language Proficiency Screening Assessment Requirements



Screening Assessment

Minimum Score Required

              to be Non- EL

Pre-k ELP



1st semester K

Kindergarten W-APT

Listening and Speaking 29

2nd semester K/1st semester 1st grade

Kindergarten W-APT

Listening and Speaking 29 Reading 14

Writing 17

1st semester K

Kindergarten MODEL

Oral Language Proficiency level 6.0

2nd semester K/1st semester 1st grade

Kindergarten MODEL

Composite Proficiency level 6.0

2nd semester 1st grade-12th grade

WIDA Screener Online

Composite Proficiency level 4.5

Legal Basis: Sec-on 3111, Elementary and Secondary Educa-on Act of 1965


Section 3

Development of Individualized Language Acquisition Programs

The Yarmouth School Department ensures that all English learners have an Individualized Language Acquisition Program to meet their English language acquisition and academic content learning needs.

Legal Basis: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Castañeda, 648 F.2d at 1009-10; Cf. 34 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(1), (2); see also 20 U.S.C. §§ 6312(g)(1)(A)(viii) (Title I), 7012(a)(8) (Title III)

1. Development of Individualized Language Acquisition Plan (ILAP)

Once a student is identified as eligible for EL services (see Section 2) a team (parent/guardian; EL teacher(s); classroom teacher(s); an administrator, counselor and/or instructional strategist; and, as appropriate, student) meets to develop an ILAP.

Development of ILAP includes:

-Demographic Information (Name, Parents, Address, DOB, Date entered US, Date entered program, School, Grade, Teachers, First/Other languages, Literacy skills in home language, Years of school in primary language, EL instructional level)

-Purpose of Meeting, Participants, Teacher Input and other Notes.

-Interpretation of Assessment Data (WIDA MODEL, ACCESS, NWEA, PSATs, etc)

-English Language Goals

-Description and Frequency of Services (direct instruction outside of the classroom, support within the classroom, and consultation with classroom teachers)

-Recommendations for Teachers/Classroom Accommodations

-Post High School Plans (as appropriate per grade level)

2. Record-Keeping and Parent Notification:

-The team is convened and the ILAP is updated at least annually. ILAPs are completed by EL teacher and a copy is sent home to parents/guardians. A copy is kept at schools (accessed by EL teachers, classroom teachers, school counselors, and administrators) and in the school department office of instructional support.

- In accordance with Federal guidelines, parents are notified of ACCESS test results and eligibility for EL programming on an annual basis.

-The following documents will be placed in a student’s cumulative file or individual EL binder:

a.     Language Use Survey

b.     Intake forms as needed

c.     Annual ACCESS for ELLs testing results

d.       ILAP

e.       WIDA Screener results

f.      EL Program Exit Letter

The minimum is amount and frequency of services that EL’s receive is as follows: ELs in English language proficiency levels 1 and 2 (as measured by WIDA assessments) should receive at least two periods of ESOL per day, and ELs above proficiency level 2 should receive at least one period of ESOL per day. A period is defined as the usual amount of time dedicated to any other content area, such as math or English language arts (ELA). All decisions for frequency and type of service are made individually, based on student need.

Section 4

Meaningful and Equitable Access to Academic and Extracurricular Programs

The Yarmouth School Department ensures that English learners have equitable access to all academic and extracurricular programs that their schools offer, such as college preparatory classes, Advanced Placement, dual enrollment, Gifted and Talented, Career and Technical Education, pre-kindergarten, athletics, academic/career counseling, performing and visual arts, clubs, honor societies, and others.  Legal Basis: 34 C.F.R. § 100.1-.2; 20 U.S.C. § 1703(f)


All notices/information about school program/activities that the school department’s schools offer are accessible to English learners and equity of access is considered.

EL’s have equitable access to AP, College Prep and other rigorous, grade-level-appropriate coursework given that open enrollment is the practice. EL teachers and guidance staff support students and families in making these decisions.

Notifications educational programs and co-curricular activities, from building staff and the superintendent are translated into preferred languages and sent to parents. The school department, in agreement with the Office of Civil Rights, translates important documents such as report cards and student handbook, special education documents into other languages. Other documents are interpreted as needed, including identification policies and procedures for instructional support opportunities (such as Special Education, Gifted and Talented, 504, etc.)

Interpretation services are offered for all meetings. Phone calls are made using Language Line and shorter messages are sent using Talking Points.

Section 5

Equitable Personnel, Facilities, and Materials


The Yarmouth School Department ensures that English learners are be provided with sufficient, qualified  teaching staff to meet their language learning and academic content acquisition needs, as well as facilities and materials of comparable quality to those of their peers. Legal Basis: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 20 U.S.C. § 6826(c); Castañeda, 648 F.2d at 1013

EL teachers provide long term instruction and oversee any supplemental services provided by education technicians.

EL teachers’ caseloads are reviewed annually prior to the budget process so that EL program   is staffed adequately.

Professional development to support content area and classroom teachers to meet the needs of EL’s is  provided in group settings and individually. Full staff training/overviews, individual consultations, ongoing collaborations, informal meetings, and general advocacy for EL’s are in place.

EL’s have full access to school facilities and materials. Content area and classroom materials are adapted and lessons scaffolding to remove language barriers as appropriate.

EL’s are not unnecessarily segregated from their non-English learner peers. This occurs through the development of the ILAP which includes placement in a variety of learning settings, both individual,  small group and general classroom.

EL’s are placed in age appropriate classrooms and their access increases as they make progress in language skills. Mixed EL and non EL groups for instruction and   other activities is common.

Section 6

Annual English Language Proficiency Test Administration


The Yarmouth School Department ensures that all English learners in Maine public schools, as well as publicly-funded English learners in non-public schools, must be administered ACCESS for ELLs (or Alternate ACCESS, if applicable) annually. Legal Basis: 20 U.S.C. §§ 6311(b)(7) (Title I), 6823(b)(3)(C), (D) (Title III)

All English learners are administered ACCESS for ELLs/Alternate ACCESS annually as required by state and federal DOE mandate. A schedule is created within the testing window and EL teachers administer all assessments.

EL services can be declined by parents/guardians only after they meaningful consent. Parents/guardians of EL’s are encouraged to enroll their children in the EL program. However, if parents/guardians elect to decline EL services altogether, or a particular type of service (such as pull-out), the school department ensures that parents/guardians fully understand their children’s rights and options, as well as the educational implications of declining EL services. In this case, the school department continues to meet students’ academic and language learning needs via consultation with classroom teachers. EL teachers continue to administer the ACCESS for ELs. EL students may also receive instructional supports outside of EL services such as special education (when appropriate), 504, and Title I/RTI services.

Section 7

Exit and Monitoring

When an EL meets Maine’s definition of English language proficiency on ACCESS for ELLs/Alternate ACCESS (currently an overall composite proficiency level of 4.5, or level P2 on Alternate ACCESS), the student is exited from EL status. No other criteria is substituted for a score of proficient on ACCESS for ELLs/Alternate ACCESS.

The school department monitors the academic performance of all former EL’s for two years to ensure that English language support services are no longer needed. If educators suspect that a student is no longer proficient in English, the WIDA Screener Online may be re-administered to determine EL status a student is reentered into EL status if he/she scores below an overall composite score of 4.5 and EL services are put into place. The ACCESS for ELLs/Alternate ACCESS is administered annually until exiting again.

Section 8

Ongoing Program Evaluation

LEAs must regularly evaluate the effectiveness of their programs for English learners and make modifications if the desired outcomes, both academic and linguistic, are not being achieved. Legal Basis: Castañeda, 648 F.2d at 1014-15

The director of Instructional support, EL staff, building administrators will evaluate EL services and procedures every three years. The program evaluation will include, but not be limited to, the following: Overall program goals; English language growth of enrolled EL students; parental involvement in school activities and community attendance; degree of collaboration with classroom teachers; and compliance with the school department’s Lau Plan. The program evaluation is informed and supported by data collection. Along  with this internal evaluation a program review by school committee is also completed every two to three years.

Section 9

Meaningful Communication with Parents/Guardians

The Yarmouth School Departments ensures meaningful communication with parents with a primary/home language other than English in a language they can understand and adequately. Notification about any program, service, or activity of the school department that is called to the attention of non-Limited English Proficient Parents (LEP) parents is translated into preferred languages, including IEP meetings, grievance procedures, notices of nondiscrimination, student discipline policies and procedures, registration and enrollment, report cards, requests for parent permission for student participation in school department or school activities, parent-teacher conferences, parent handbooks, gifted and talented programs, magnet and charter schools, and any other school and program choice options.

Notifications of educational programs and co-curricular activities, from building staff and the superintendent are translated into preferred languages and sent to parents. The school department, in agreement with  the Office of Civil Rights, translates important documents such as report cards and student handbook, special education documents into other languages. Other documents are translated as needed, including identification policies and procedures for instructional support opportunities (such as Special Education, Gifted and Talented, 504, etc.).

The need for translation and interpretation for meetings and other communications is identified during the  interview registration/intake process and/or via individual conversations/meetings.

The Director of  Teaching & Learning along with building administrators are responsible for training staff  in the use of Language Line, Talking Points and interpretation services. 

The Yarmouth Schools are committed to providing curricular, instructional and other related services to “Empower All Students to Create Fulfilling Lives in a Changing World”. To accomplish this for students with English Language Learner (ELL) needs, the Yarmouth Schools will implement this Lau Plan, which details the procedural requirements and services to be provided to students with English Language Acquisition needs.


The Language Assessment Committee (LAC) will facilitate the process for identification and programming for students who are limited in English proficiency. The LAC will coordinate and oversee the education program of ELL students enrolled in the school year.



1.     Language Assessment Committee will consist of the following personnel at appropriate levels: Building Administrator, Regular Education teacher(s), ELL consultant, School Counselor, the parent or guardian and other school personnel as needed.

2. Responsibilities of the Language Assessment Committee include:

·      identification of ELLs.

·      determination of the assessment process for ELLS.

·      design of an effective program reflective of individual student needs.

·      alignment of instruction of ELLs to state and local content standards.

·      provision of ongoing authentic assessments to ascertain their growth in English language proficiency and comprehension of academic content.

·      determine when the ELL student meets the exit or reclassification standards as  defined by the State of Maine which is a level 6 composite score on the ACCESS for ELLs®. 

·      monitor any ELL who has met proficiency for 3 years in order to ensure academic success of that student.

·      maintain a language development file (blue) for each ELL within the cum folder.


         3.  The LAC will:

a. review home language surveys which are completed upon enrollment.

b. identify ELL students using multi-criteria evaluations.       

c. develop an appropriate and effective Individualized Language Acquisition Plan

 (ILAP) for any student who does not meet proficiency according to the Maine  definition of proficiency by attaining a Level 6 Composite Score on the ACCESS for ELLs®. 

The Individualized Language Acquisition Plan (ILAP) may include but is not limited to:

a.     a description of the programming to address language acquisition and academic performance.

b.     a description of integrative materials used to support that instruction.

c.     ancillary services such as interpreter services or special education, gifted /talented, computer literacy as appropriate.

d.     a plan to review the ILAP at least annually or upon request of the parent or team member. 


         1. Home Language Survey to be completed upon enrollment

         2. Informal Observation/Interview (part of regular registration process)

         3. Parent/Student Interview (in native language as necessary)

         4. Previous School Records Review

         5. Registration Information

         6. Teacher Observation

         7. Appropriate Language proficiency assessment WAPT.



Potential ELL students will be assessed for level of English language proficiency by:

         1. consultation with classroom teacher.

         2. anecdotal information from student, family/guardian and/or sponsors.

         3. testing in academic/content area skills.

         4. annual ACCESS testing after screening of WAPT.



The Yarmouth Schools have the following continuum services available to students with ELL needs:

·      regular classroom instruction.

·      consultation by the ELL instructor to the classroom teacher/ educational technician.

·      consultation by the ELL instructor to the student.

·      in-classroom support of the student by the ELL instructor / educational technician.

·      direct instruction by the ELL instructor of the student in the regular classroom.

·      direct instruction by the ELL instructor of the student in a pull out setting.




A multi-criteria assessment will be made determining if an ELL student will be classified as a Fluent English Proficient (FEP) student. This will consist of the following:

1.  Teacher evaluation of general language proficiency by observing the student’s oral social language and academic language performance in both formal and informal settings.

2.     LAC evaluation of progress of the students in reference to ELL skills and objectives. An objective evaluation will be made as to how the student is functioning in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing compared to their English speaking classmates. This evaluation will be made jointly by the ELL instructor and the classroom teacher(s). Exit thresholds will include, but not be limited to:

3.     ACCESS testing completed annually.  Maine recognizes that a composite score of Level 6 on the ACCESS for ELLS® constitutes an exit from an ESL educational program.

4.     Monitoring of students by the LAC for a three year period after reclassification to FEP.


The Director of Instructional Support is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the Lau Plan. An effective plan is one in which students are achieving proficiency in English and are able to participate meaningfully in the Yarmouth School’s programs. The Director of Instructional Support will annually perform the following functions:

·      review staff compliance with Lau Plan procedures and requirements;

·      review student data to assess student progress in achieving English proficiency and participation in school programs;

·      obtain feedback and suggestions from staff, parents, and students (if appropriate) concerning Lau Plan procedures and services provided to students;

·      provide a report to the Superintendent regarding the findings of the program evaluation and any recommendations for improvements to the Lau Plan procedures or educational programs and services provided to ELLs. 

Adopted: October 9, 2008

Revised:  March 10, 2022