English Learners (EL)

The Milton Town School District is committed to supporting the academic and social needs of all English Learners (EL) attending our schools and ensuring that EL students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs. An EL student is a student with a home language other than English and who is limited English language proficient based on results from an English language proficiency assessment approved by the state of Vermont. Historically terms have been used to describe the EL students, including English as a Second Language (ESL), Limited English Proficiency (LEP), English Language Learner (ELL) and English Language Program (ELP). The MTSD EL Program is inclusive of students who fall into all of these categories.

Students are determined to be eligible for EL Services through a screening and identification process.

  1. At the time of registration, parents/guardians of each new student will complete the state required VT Primary/ Home Language Survey.  If any other language is indicated on the Survey, the EL teacher assigned to that school is notified and provided with a copy of the Survey.
  2. The EL teacher will review the survey, conduct any necessary interview and/or testing to determine the EL needs of student, if any.
  3. If it is determined that this student is an EL student, the EL teacher will develop an EL Student Service Plan which outlines the nature and frequency of EL services provided to the student that year.  The Service Plan will be revisited throughout the year and may be revised to meet the changing needs of the student. Parents/guardians will receive notification of assessment results and EL status determination, as well as a copy of the EL Student Service Plan (if applicable). Parents will be given an opportunity to ask questions or share their concerns.

Based on the screening and identification process, EL students fall into one of three categories:

  • Current EL – An EL student who qualified and is receiving services.
  • Monitoring – An EL student who has passed the ACCESS test must be, per VT regulations, monitored by a qualified EL teacher for two years prior to fully exiting the program.  Students are listed as Monitoring Year 1 (MY1) or Monitoring Year 2 (MY2). During this time, EL teachers will review student academic records, assessment results and consult with teachers to ensure that the student’s academic progress is not being hindered by language proficiency.
  • Exited – Following two years of monitoring an EL students will exit the EL program.

Vermont is a member of the WIDA Consortium.  EL instruction and Assessment Programs in Vermont are aligned with the WIDA Standards.  To learn more about the Standards and the WIDA Consortium visit the WIDA site. The WIDA standards include “Can Do” Indicators for each grade level which outline what a student at each language proficiency level should know and be able to do.  Click here to read the Can Do indicators.

All parents and guardians, including non-native speakers, are entitled to meaningful communication in a language they can understand. MTSD provides translation services for families in order to support access to their child’s educational program, including parent conferences, special education meetings, truancy hearings, open house events, field trip permission forms, report cards/progress reports and other critical school events and documents. Translation services provided by MTSD are limited to only to school-related events and materials. For information about Translation Services please contact Lynne Manley lmanley@mystsd-vt.org, Stephanie Teleen steleen@mymtsd-vt.org or Emily Paula epaula@mymtsd-vt.org.


Vermont regulations require that an EL student continue with EL programming until he or she passes the state ACCESS for ELs assessment or the school determines that the student is eligible to exit services based on other compelling local assessment data. EL students are required to take all other state assessments unless he or she qualifies for an exemption as outlined by state or federal regulations.  For example, currently newcomer EL students are exempt from participation in the state assessment SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for English Language Arts if they have moved into the U.S. within one calendar year of the assessment window. The student is, however, required to take the state math and science assessment.

All school districts are required to maintain a current Lau Plan. The Lau (EL) Plan is named from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1974 decision in Lau v. Nichols to ensure that all students have equal access and that identical education does not constitute equal education under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The MTSD Lau Plan will be updated periodically to ensure compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations.Click here to view MTSD LAU Plan for English Language Learners.