Language Access Procedures

  • Definitions

     The following defined terms are used throughout the Language Access Procedures:

    “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department.
    “CSE” means Committee on Special Education.
    “District” means the Mount Vernon City School District and schools within the Mount Vernon City School District.
    “ESL” means English as a second language.
    “HLQ” means the Home Language Questionnaire generated by the New York State Department of Education.
    “LEP” means limited English proficient.
    “NYSED” means the New York State Education Department.
    “NYSESLAT” means the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test.
    “NYSITELL” means the New York State Initial Test for English Language Learners.

    Procedure: Initial Screening and Assessment of Students for English Language Proficiency
    This procedure shall be used during the enrollment process when District personnel screen and assess students for English language proficiency, pursuant to Parts 117 and 154, respectively, of the New York State Regulations on Identification and Services to LEP Students (8 NYCRR §§ 117, 154).

    The District shall administer the HLQ to the student/guardian present at enrollment. The District shall provide a copy of the HLQ in English or in the student/guardian’s native language, when necessary. The District shall have present an interpreter appropriately trained and qualified in the student/guardian’s native language in order to conduct an informal interview and complete the student’s initial screening for English proficiency.

    In the event the District does not have a copy of the HLQ in a student/guardian’s native language, either from NYSED or another source, the District shall make an appointment for the student/guardian  to  return  at  a  later  time  to  complete  enrollment,  and  shall  also determine whether, at that later appointment, the student/guardian needs an interpreter for such appointment. Prior to a student/guardian’s second enrollment appointment, the District shall use an independent translation service to create a copy of the HLQ in the student/guardian’s native language. At the student/guardian’s second enrollment appointment, the District shall have present an interpreter appropriately trained and qualified in the student/guardian’s native language in order to conduct an informal interview and complete the student’s initial screening for English language proficiency.

    No later than two weeks after a student’s enrollment in the District, the District shall administer the NYSITELL in order to complete the student’s screening and assessment for English language proficiency. Based upon the student’s results on the NYSITELL, a student identified as English proficient shall be placed in a general education program, while a student identified as an ELL shall be placed in a bilingual education or freestanding English as a Second Language program.

    At the first enrollment appointment with the student/guardian, the District shall obtain a Release of Student’s Educational Record from the student/guardian. If the student lists having previously attended another school within New York State, the District shall promptly request from the student’s prior school all records concerning the student’s previous screening and identification for English language proficiency. The District shall use all reasonable means to identify the existence of and obtain such records from the student’s prior school within two weeks of the student’s enrollment with the District. Such reasonable means include, but are not limited to, directly contacting the prior school or district within New York State concerning such records and inquiring of the student/guardian concerning whether such screening and assessment occurred at the student’s prior school within New York State. If, within two weeks of the student’s enrollment, the District receives educational records reflecting the student’s prior assessment via NYSITELL by a school within New York State, the District shall use such records for the student’s eligibility and placement in appropriate ELL instructional programs.  If a student lists having previously attended another school within New York State, the District shall administer the NYSITELL to the student if, after two weeks following the student’s enrollment, and after using reasonable means to obtain records from the prior school, the District is unable to obtain records concerning the student’s prior screening and assessment for English language proficiency by another school within New York State.

    The District shall retain all documents concerning its screening and assessment of students for English language proficiency (e.g., HLQs, students’ results on the NYSITELL, students’ educational records of prior screenings by other districts within New York State). If a student screened and assessed by the District for English language proficiency transfers or changes schools within the District, the District shall not require the student/guardian to go through the screening and assessment process a second time. Following such a transfer, the District shall refer to such student’s records for screening and assessment maintained by the District in order to assure the continuity of ELL services provided by the District to eligible students.

    Procedure: Annual Evaluation of LEP Students
    This procedure shall be used when District personnel annually assess the English language proficiency of LEP-designated students, pursuant to Parts 117 and 154, respectively, of the New York State Regulations on Identification and Services to LEP Students (8 NYCRR §§ 117, 154)

    Annually, the District will administer the NYSESLAT to each LEP-designated student. The District shall provide notification to the parent/guardian of each LEP-designated student of the results of such assessment and the District’s determination as to whether the student should continue receiving ESL/bilingual services. Such notification shall be provided in English and the parent/guardian’s native language, if it is a language other than English, as indicated on the HLQ. If the District does not have personnel fluent in the parent/guardian’s native language who can translate the notification into such language, the District shall contract with an independent translation service to create a copy of the notification in the parent/guardian’s native language.

    Procedure: Parental Notification of Student Placement in District Bilingual/ESL Program
    This procedure shall be used to notify a student’s parent/guardian upon the District’s determination that a student qualifies for placement in a bilingual or free-standing ESL program, pursuant to Part 154 of the New York State Regulations on Identification and Services to LEP Students (8 NYCRR § 154).

    Following a District assessment that a student qualifies for a bilingual or ESL program (e.g., via NYSITELL), the District shall notify the student’s parent/guardian of this placement in both English and the language the parent/guardian understands, if it is a language other than English, as indicated on the HLQ. In the event the District does not have the notification in the language indicated by the parent/guardian on the HLQ, the District shall contact NYSED to obtain the notification in such language. In the event the District cannot obtain the notification in such language from NYSED, the District shall use an independent translation service to translate the notification into the language indicated by the parent/guardian on the HLQ.

    Procedure: Notifications and Interpreters for District Bilingual/ESL Program Orientations
    This procedure shall be used when the District provides parents/guardians of new- entrant LEP students an orientation on standards and program requirements for District bilingual/ESL programs, pursuant to Part 154 of the New York State Regulations on Identification and Services to LEP Students (8 NYCRR § 154).

    The District shall provide notification to the parents/guardians of LEP-designated students of orientation event(s) concerning District bilingual/ESL programs. Such notification shall be provided in English and the parent/guardian’s native language, if it is a language other than English,  as  indicated  on  the  HLQ.    If  the  District  does  not  have  personnel  fluent  in    the

    parent/guardian’s native language who can translate the notification into such language, the District shall contract with an independent translation service to create a copy of the notification in the parent/guardian’s native language. In such notification, the District shall ask whether the parent/guardian requires an interpreter to be present at the orientation event and shall provide instructions as to how the parent/guardian may request an interpreter from the District, at no cost to the parent/guardian. In the event the District does not employ personnel fluent in the parent/guardian’s native language who can attend and interpret at an orientation event, the District shall contract with an independent interpreting service to provide an interpreter for such event.

    Procedure: Parental Notification of Evaluation for Special Education Services
    This procedure shall be used when the District communicates with the parents/ guardians of students being referred, evaluated, or placed for special education services in the District, pursuant to Part 200 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (8 NYCRR § 200).

    The District shall provide notification to a student’s parent/guardian of the District’s intent to evaluate the student for a disability. Such notification shall be in English and in the language used by the parent, if it is a language other than English, as indicated on the HLQ. If the District does not have personnel fluent in the language used by the parent/guardian and who can translate the notification into such language, the District shall contract with an independent translation service to create a copy of the notification in such language. At the time of the District’s initial referral of a student for evaluation, the District shall also provide a copy of the Commissioner’s procedural safeguards notice in English and the parent/guardian’s native language, if it is a language other than English, as indicated on the HLQ. If the District cannot obtain  the procedural safeguards notice in the parent/guardian’s native language from NYSED, the District shall contract with an independent translation service to create a copy of the notice in the parent/guardian’s native language.

    Procedure: Evaluation for Special Education Services, Parental Notification of Results, and Parental Participation in CSE Meetings
     This procedure shall be used when the District refers, evaluates, or places LEP- designated students for special education services, pursuant to Part 200 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (8 NYCRR § 200).

    Evaluation: When an LEP-designated student is being evaluated for special education services, the District shall use an evaluator fluent in the student’s native language, as indicated on the HLQ. If the District does not employ personnel both qualified to evaluate the student and fluent in the student’s native language, the District shall contract with an independent service to obtain an evaluator fluent in such language to conduct the evaluation.

    Notification of results: The District shall provide the results of such evaluation to the student’s parent/guardian in his/her native language, as indicated on the HLQ. If the results are communicated in written form, the District shall translate the results into the parent/guardian’s native language. If the District does not have personnel who can translate the results into such language, the District shall contract with an independent translation service to do so. If the results are communicated orally to the parent/guardian, the District shall provide an interpreter who is fluent in the parent/guardian’s native language and can interpret the results for such parent/guardian. In the event the District does not employ personnel fluent in the parent/guardian’s native language, the District shall contract with an independent interpreting service to provide an interpreter to communicate the results of the student’s evaluation.

    Participation in CSE meetings: Once an LEP-designated student has been evaluated for special education services, the District shall provide notification to the student’s parent/guardian of a CSE meeting and request the parent/guardian’s attendance at such meeting. Such notification shall be provided in English and the parent/guardian’s native language, if it is a language other than English, as indicated on the HLQ. If the District does not have personnel fluent in the parent/guardian’s native language who can translate the notification into such language, the District shall contract with an independent translation service to create a copy of the notification in the parent/guardian’s native language. In such notification, the District shall ask whether the parent/guardian requires an interpreter to be present at the CSE meeting and shall provide instructions as to how the parent/guardian may request an interpreter from the District, at no cost to the parent/guardian. In the event the District does not employ personnel fluent in the parent/guardian’s native language who can attend the CSE meeting, the District shall contract with an independent interpreting service to provide an interpreter for such meeting.

    Procedure:  Parental Notification of Disciplinary Action; Disciplinary Hearings
    This procedure shall be used with LEP-designated students facing possible disciplinary action by the District, pursuant to New York Education Law § 3214 and Part 100 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (8 NYCRR § 100).

    Notification: Whenever the District proposes a suspension or disciplinary action against an LEP- designated student, the District shall provide written notification to the student’s parent/guardian. Such notification shall be in English and in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parent/guardian, if it is a language other than English, as indicated on the HLQ.  If the District does not have personnel fluent in the dominant language used by the parent/guardian who can translate the notification, the District shall contract with an independent translation service to translate the notification.

    The notification shall:

    (i) provide a description of the incident(s) for which suspension is proposed,

    (ii) inform the student’s parent/guardian of his/her right to request an informal conference with the school principal, in the case of proposed suspensions of five days or less,


    (iii) ask whether the parent/guardian requires an interpreter to be present at such an informal conference, and

    (iv) provide instructions as to how the parent/guardian may request  an interpreter from the District for such conference, at no cost to the parent/guardian. In the event the District does not employ personnel fluent in the parent/guardian’s native language who can attend such an informal conference, the District shall contract with an independent interpreting service to provide an interpreter for such event.

    Hearings: Whenever the District intends to convene a disciplinary hearing for an LEP-designated student facing a proposed suspension longer than five days, the District shall provide written notification to the student’s parent/guardian. Such notification shall be in English and in the dominant language or mode of communication used by the parent/guardian, if it is a language other than English, as indicated on the HLQ. If the District does not have personnel fluent in the language used by the parent/guardian who can translate the notification, the District  shall contract with an independent translation service to translate the notification.

    The notification shall:

    (i) ask whether the parent/guardian requires an interpreter to be present at such hearing,

    (ii) ask whether the parent/guardian consents to the use of District personnel to act as an interpreter at such hearing, and

    (iii) confirm to the parent/guardian that if (s)he does not consent to such use of District personnel, the District will provide an interpreter from an independent interpreting service for the disciplinary hearing, at no cost to the parent/guardian.

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