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Rio Tierra Junior High

Your Neighborhood 7-8 School

Rio Tierra Junior High

Your Neighborhood 7-8 School

English Language Learner (ELL) Resources

world map people saying "Hi" in different languages
Below are parent and student resources that can support and enhance  learning the English language as well as tips to get ready for the ELPAC assessment in the spring.
You can also visit our English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC) webpage.  Besides resources regarding ELL programs that support learning you can also read about how you can be involved and provide us with parent input about next year's programs to support ELL students.
ELL Program Details

ELL Program Details

Common Acronyms & Abbreviations

Education is notorious for using acronyms and abbreviations, even we can't keep up with all of them!  Here are some that are commonly used when talking about English learners.
EL: English learner. This acronym is being used more often to refer to a student in an ESL (English as a second language) program. Compare to ELL.

ELA: English language acquisition. Occasionally confused with English Language Arts, this acronym recognizes that for some people, English is not a second language. It could be a third, fourth. etc.

ELD: English language development.

ELL: English language learner. ​Often used to refer to a student in an ESL or EFL program.

ELP: English language proficiency.
ESL: English as a second language. English language programs in English-speaking countries where students learn English as a second language.
ELPAC:English Language Proficiency Assessments for California 
RFEP: reclassify as fluent English proficient 



ELPAC: English Language Proficiency Assessment for California
What it is
The ELPAC is the state’s designated test of ELP (English Language Proficiency. It is administered (1) as an initial assessment to newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English, as indicated on a home language survey (HLS); and (2) annually as a summative assessment to students who have been previously identified as EL students. This is a state-mandated assessment.
The Initial ELPAC has one purpose:
  • To identify students who are English learner students or are initial fluent English proficient (IFEP)
The Summative ELPAC has two purposes:
  • To determine the level of English language proficiency (ELP) of English learner students
  • To assess the progress of English learner students in acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English
  • The Initial ELPAC is given within 30 days of enrollment
  • The summative  ELPAC is given in the spring semester
  • Once students are reclassified, they no longer take the ELPAC

Tools for Parents

You are the expert on your child. Over the course of a school year, you receive a lot of information about how your child is performing that can be combined to give you a more complete picture of your child’s progress. In addition to report card grades and class tests, you can use the ELPAC score reports to better understand your child’s progress in learning English.  The Starting Smarter is a website that provides; help understanding your student's scores, provide practice test questions to get ready for the ELPAC, as well as suggest additional resources to support your student's learning.
starting smarter program flyer with family clipart, description of program
Click HERE to go to the Starting Smarter website.



What it is
iReady is a web-based assessment and instruction program for math and reading. The diagnostic is a computer adaptive assessment that is used to determine a student’s level of proficiency relative to grade level expectations.
The diagnostic assessment in reading is one element that contributes to a student’s eligibility for reclassification in grades K-8.
This assessment is given three times per year.

Tools For Parents

graph explaining iready scores
page two of score report details
Rather watch than read? Click HERE to watch a video about iready and your student's score report!
For even more resources click HERE to visit i-Ready Central for parents.

ELL Identification and Placement Road Map

road with google map icons

Identification Road Map

  1. Home Language Survey
  2. ELPAC Initial Placement Test within 30 days of enrollment if identified as an English Language Learner
  3. Elementary, Jr. High, & High School are different when it comes to placement.  For Rio Tierra we must use the students ELPAC test score (1-4) and calculate placement based on how many years the student has been in the United States.
  4. Each year the student will have the opportunity to take the ELPAC again.  A score report will be provided to you so you can see your students growth and any areas they may need to practice.
Tip #1: Check the reclassification requirements tab to learn about score requirements and other criteria that must be met to be considered "English Proficient".
Tip #2: Check the ELPAC and i-Ready tabs to learn about how to read your student's score report and what resources are available to support your student through their journey.

Reclassification Requirements

What is the criteria for reclassification in California?
The California Department of Education (CDE) has created guidelines. Students initially identified as English Learners (ELs) are reclassified to fluent English proficient when they meet all of the following criteria:
  •  ELPAC Overall Performance Level 4
  •  Demonstration of “basic skills” in English from an objective assessment that is also given to English proficient students of the same age
  •  Teacher Evaluation
  •  Parent Opinion and Consultation
How are English learners reclassified in our school district? 
  1. The reclassification window is open throughout the year after course grades are posted. Eligible English learners are identified to be reviewed for reclassification based on meeting the score criterion on the ELPAC and one other ELA assessment (Smarter Balanced ELA or ELA District Benchmark/Assessments).
  2. After becoming eligible, students are evaluated by their current English teacher on their performance in English Language Arts (ELA).
  3. Then, the parent/guardian(s) of the eligible student is consulted for their input and opinion about their child’s pending reclassification.
The last step requires the district's English Learner Services Department to review whether English learner students have met all four criteria of reclassification.
After meeting the score criterion on the ELPAC and one other ELA assessment, students must receive teacher recommendation and parent agreement to reclassify as fluent English proficient (RFEP).
Once students reach RFEP status, they no longer need to participate in designated ELD, annual ELPAC testing, or other English learner services. 
ELL resources for families

ELL resources for families

ELL 101

The ELL 101 slide show presentation is loaded with lots of information as well as many resources to help students.  The presentation is in English so that it can be translated via google, to your home language.

Preparing Your Student for the ELPAC

Follow the link to learn some basic facts about ELPAC (English, Spanish, & Arabic).
Want to learn more about the ELPAC test and how to get your student ready?
Click the following links to learn more:
Want your student to start practicing?  They can take a practice test HERE!
Take an ELPAC Practice Test

Understanding Your ELPAC Score Report

For tips on how to understand how to read your student's ELPAC score report and what the scores mean, you can follow the link below.
ELPAC Score Report (English, Spanish, Arabic)

Free English Language Instruction

Learn English for free HERE!  Start by testing your English or jump in to a lesson.
Try this App on your phone or laptop Duolingo
ELL 101

Presented in English
ELL 101