EHBE Special Programs: Bilingual Education/ESL


It is the policy of the state that every student who has a home language other than English and who is identified as an English language learner shall be provided a full opportunity to participate in a bilingual education or English as a second language (ESL) program.


“Student of limited English proficiency (LEP)” means a student whose primary language is other than English and whose English language skills are such that the student has difficulty performing ordinary classwork in English.

“English language learner” is a person who is in the process of acquiring English and has another language as the first native language.

The terms English language learners and LEP student are used interchangeably.

“Parent” includes a legal guardian of a student.


The School shall:

  1. Identify English language learners not previously identified by their local school of residence, based on criteria established by the state;
  2. Provide ESL programs as integral parts of the regular program;
  3. Seek certified teaching personnel to ensure that English language learners are afforded full opportunity to master the essential knowledge and skills; and
  4. Assess achievement for essential knowledge and skills in accordance with Education Code Chapter 39 to ensure accountability for English language learners and the schools that serve them.

Education Code 29.052; 19 TAC 89.1201(a), .1203


Within the first four weeks of the first day of school, the language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) shall determine the number of LEP students and shall classify each student according to the language in which the student possesses primary proficiency. The information gathered by the LPAC shall be provided to the Board before November 1 each year. The board shall ensure that this information is provided to TEA before November 1 each year. Education Code 29.053(b)

Language Proficiency Assessment Committees (LPAC)

TSBVI shall, by Board policy, establish a language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC). The LPAC shall be established and operated to enable it to discharge its duties within 20 school days of the enrollment of LEP students. The School shall have on file policy and procedures for the selection, appointment, and training of members of the LPAC.

Membership of LPAC

  1. The LPAC shall include one or more professional personnel, a TSBVI educational program administrator, and the students’ primary teachers or advisors who are members of the ARD committee.
  2. The School may add other members to the committee in any of the required categories. If the School does not have an individual in one or more of the job classifications required, the Principal shall designate another professional staff member to serve on the LPAC.

The Principal may appoint a parent of a LEP student to the LPAC. No parent serving on the LPAC shall be a TSBVI employee.

All members of the LPAC, including parents, shall be acting for the School and shall observe all laws and rules governing confidentiality of information concerning individual students. TSBVI shall be responsible for the orientation and training of all members, including the parents, of the LPAC.

Education Code 29.063(a), (b); 19 TAC 89.1220(a)–(f)


The LPAC shall have the duties set forth at Education Code 29.063(c) and 19 Administrative Code 89.1220(g)–(i), (k).


Within four weeks of each student’s initial enrollment in their local school districts of residence, the students’ local school districts shall conduct a home language survey to determine the language normally used in the home and the language normally used by the student.


The LPAC may classify a student as LEP if:

  1. The student’s ability in English is so limited or the student’s disabilities are so severe that assessment procedures cannot be administered.
    1. The student’s score or relative degree of achievement on the TEA-approved English proficiency test is below the levels established by TEA as indicative of reasonable proficiency;
    2. The student’s primary language proficiency score as measured by a TEA-approved test is greater than the student’s proficiency in English; or
  2. The LPAC determines, based on other information, including a teacher evaluation, parental viewpoint, or student interview, that the student’s primary language proficiency is greater than the student’s proficiency in English or that the student is not reasonably proficient in English.

Education Code 29.056(c)


Within ten days of the LPAC’s classification of a student as LEP, the LPAC shall give written notice to the student’s parent. The notice must be in English and in the parent’s primary language. The notice shall inform the parents of the benefits of the program for which the student is recommended and that it is an integral part of the school program.

The entry or placement of a student in the bilingual education or ESL program must be approved in writing by the student’s parent.

Pending parent approval, TSBVI shall place the student in the recommended program, but may count only those students with parent approval for bilingual education allotment.

The School may identify, exit, or place a student in a program without written approval of the student’s parent or guardian if:

  1. The student is 18 years of age or has had the disabilities of minority removed;
  2. Reasonable attempts to inform and obtain permission from a parent or guardian have been made and documented;
  3. Approval is obtained from:
    1. An adult whom the School recognizes as standing in parental relation to the student, including a foster parent or employee of a state or local governmental agency with temporary possession or control of the student; or
    2. The student, if no parent, guardian, or other responsible adult is available; or
  4. A parent or guardian has not objected in writing to the proposed entry, exit, or placement.

Education Code 29.056(a), (d); 19 TAC 89.1220(j), (m), .1240(a)

Participation of Non-LEP Students

With the approval of TSBVI and a student’s parents, a student who is not LEP may also participate in the School’s ESL program. The number of participating students who are not LEP may not exceed 40percent of the number of students enrolled in the program. Education Code 29.058; 19 TAC 89.1233


Program Content

An ESL program shall be an intensive program of instruction in English from teachers trained in recognizing and dealing with language differences. Instruction in ESL shall be commensurate with the student’s level of English proficiency and his or her level of academic achievement.

The School shall provide for ongoing coordination between the ESL program and the regular educational program. The ESL program shall address the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of English language learners as described at 19 Administrative Code 89.1210(f).

The ESL programs shall be an integral part of the regular educational program required under 19 Administrative Code Chapter 74 (Curriculum Requirements).

The ESL program shall be designed to consider the students’ learning experiences and shall incorporate the cultural aspects of the students’ backgrounds.

The School shall modify the instruction, pacing, and materials of ESL programs to ensure that English language learners have a full opportunity to master the essential knowledge and skills of the required curriculum.

Students enrolled in the ESL program shall be placed in classes with other students of approximately the same age and level of educational attainment. The School shall ensure that each student’s instruction is appropriate to the student’s level of educational attainment, and the School shall keep adequate records of the educational level and progress of each student enrolled in the program.

LEP students shall participate fully with English-speaking students in regular classes provided in subjects such as art, music, and physical education. TSBVI shall provide students enrolled in the ESL program a meaningful opportunity to participate fully with other students in all extracurricular activities.

Education Code 29.055, .057(b); 19 TAC 89.1210(a)

ESL Program Models

The ESL program shall be implemented with consideration for each English language learners unique readiness level through one of the following program models:

  1. ESL/content-based program model; or
  2. ESL/pull-out program model.

19 TAC 89.1210(g)


Teachers assigned to ESL programs must be appropriately certified. Education Code 29.061(b), (c)

If the School is unable to hire a sufficient number of teachers with ESL certificates, it may file an application for exception with TEA, in accordance with 19 Administrative Code 89.1207. Education Code 29.054; 19 TAC 89.1207


In kindergarten-grade 12, a LEP student shall participate in the assessment of academic skills in accordance with Commissioner’s rules at 19 Administrative Code Chapter 101, Subchapter AA. 19 TAC 101.5(c) [See EKBA]


To determine when a student exits from the School’s ESL program, the School shall use the exit criteria and procedures published by the TEA.

Exit for Students Receiving Special Education Services

The exit criteria under TAC §89.1225(h) apply to the vast majority of English Language Learners (ELLs) who receive special education services. In rare cases, an ELL receiving special education services may qualify to be exited using criteria permitted under TAC §89.1225(k), which give special consideration to an ELL for whom assessments and/or standards under TAC §89.1225(h) are not appropriate because of the nature of a student’s particular disabling condition. Students considered for special exit criteria under TAC §89.1225(k) should only be only those designated to take STAAR Alternate 2, as determined by the ARD committee in conjunction with the LPAC. The School shall follow the program exit procedures promulgated by the TEA when considering whether a student qualifies to exit using the criteria authorized by TAC §89.1225(k).

Notice To Parents

TSBVI shall notify parents of a student’s reclassification as English proficient and his or her exit from the bilingual or ESL program. 19 TAC 89.1240(b)

Post-Exit Monitoring

The LPAC shall reevaluate a student who is transferred out of a bilingual education or special language program if the student earns a failing grade in a subject in the foundation curriculum during any grading
period in the first two school years after the student is transferred to determine whether the student should be reenrolled in a bilingual education or special language program.

During the first two school years after a student is transferred out of a bilingual education or special language program, the LPAC shall review the student’s performance and consider:

  1. The total amount of time the student was enrolled in bilingual education or special language programs;
  2. The student’s grades each grading period in each subject in the foundation curriculum;
  3. The student’s performance on state assessment instruments;
  4. The number of credits the student has earned toward high school graduation, if applicable; and
  5. Any disciplinary actions taken against the student under Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter A.

After the evaluation, the LPAC may require intensive instruction for the student or reenroll the student in a bilingual education or special language program.

Education Code 29.0561


TSBVI shall include the following information in the School’s Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) report:

  1. Demographic information on students enrolled in TSBVI special language programs;
  2. The number and percentage of students enrolled in each instructional model of a special language program offered by the School; and
  3. The number and percentage of students identified as LEP students who do not receive specialized instruction.

Education Code 29.066 (a)

Adopted: 3/12/82
Amended: 3/12/82, 7/12/85, 5/30/91, 11/15/96, 1/24/97, 1/24/02, 1/25/13, 9/20/13, 9/25/15