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Grading and Retention of ELs


Madison County Schools uses Grading Guidelines from ALSDE EL Guidebook:

Grading of ELs is on students’ level of English proficiency. The teacher ensures this through the continual use of accommodations and assessments according to the students’ I-ELP. This complies with the federal law (Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016 (ESSA). Appropriate instruction and differentiation are adjusted according to language proficiency level in order to appropriately accommodate the student. Documentation of these components (lesson plans, work samples, and ongoing assessments) is maintained by the classroom teacher.

Retention of ELs shall not be based solely upon level of English language proficiency (Section I, Part G, Guidelines to Satisfy Legal Requirements of Lau v. Nichols).  Prior to considering retention of an EL, the EL Committee should address the following points.

  • What is the student’s level of English language proficiency?
  • Has an Individual English Language Plan (I-ELP) been implemented to document classroom modifications and student progress?
  • To ensure meaningful participation, are classroom accommodations being made in the areas of:
  • Teacher lesson delivery?
  • Activities and assignments?
  • Homework?
  • Formal and informal assessments (e.g., quizzes and tests)?
  • How much individual English language development instruction is the student receiving during the school day?
  • Has an alternate grading strategy been implemented (e.g., a portfolio, checklist, teacher observation, or rubric assessment on content and language objectives)?
  • Has the student’s classroom teacher been adequately trained with instruction and assessment strategies specifically designed for students learning English?
  • Do the reports cards indicate that students were graded according to their

A grade of “F” cannot be assigned to an EL student without full documentation of accommodations having been made to assure the student’s full access to the content.

Lack of ability to read and write in English is not the basis for an “F”.