Title III Support
Students identified as English Learners take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21) each spring. This assessment assesses their proficiency and growth in reading, writing, speaking and listening in academic English. The academic progress of English Learners is calculated in large part by the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21). The Iowa Department of Education sets the final testing window each year, which generally occurs during February and March.
Home Language Survey
The home language survey is the first step in identifying students with a language other than English. Based on guidance from the Iowa Department of Education, until further notice, school districts are to provide the home language survey as a hard copy in its full form to new enrollees and maintain that paper copy in a student folder. The required Home Language Survey-IA form is available in multiple languages and is located on the TransAct website. If a language other than English is indicated through the Home Language Survey, schools administer the ELPA21 Dynamic Screener to determine the student’s need for a Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP).
All school districts, regardless of English Learner enrollment, must have a Lau Plan. This is required by the Office of Civil Rights and Iowa Code section 216.9. Additional information can be found at the Lau Plan Requirement section of the Iowa Department of Education’s English Learner’s webpage. Districts may contact their assigned ESL/Diversity Consultant for any needed support.
The Lau Plan, so named from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1974 decision in Lau v. Nichols, is required of both public districts and accredited non-public schools in accordance with Title III of the ESEA (PL 107-110) and federal civil rights law, as well as Iowa Code section 280.4 and Iowa Code section 216.9.
Regardless of whether a public school district or non-public school has identified English Learners, the law requires the development of a plan to address the specific language instruction educational needs of ELs should it become necessary to provide such services.
On an annual basis, districts/schools are required to update their Title III state-required Lau Plan. Additional information, including a Lau Plan template, can be found on the Lau Plan Requirement section of the Iowa Department of Education’s English Learners webpage.