English Language Learners

EL Department’s Mission

  • Randolph embraces its linguistically and culturally diverse English Learner (EL) population. Currently, more than 25 different languages, and countries from all around the world, are represented in our student body. This diversity adds a vibrant richness and new perspectives to all our classrooms!

    In partnership with a caring community, Randolph Public Schools creates a dynamic learning environment which engages each of us to be inspired learners and responsible citizens, prepared to meet global challenges. The goal of the EL program is to help students from other language backgrounds learn and use English effectively, succeed academically, and become productive, contributing citizens while continuing to cherish their cultural heritage.

English Learners (ELs)

  • English Language Learners (ELs) are students who speak a primary language other than English in the home. Their English language proficiency varies from one English Language Develop- ment level to the next. English Learners enter our schools to learn English as a second language as well as English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and other subject areas.

    Some English Language Learners were born in the United States. Others are immigrants from other countries who have come to the United States for different reasons. Currently, Randolph Public Schools has approximately  450 EL students  enrolled in their schools.

EL Programming in Randolph Public Schools

  • Randolph Public Schools follows a Sheltered English Immersion model, in which students receive English language development (ELD) instruction by licensed English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and sheltered content instruction (SCI) by licensed subject-area or grade-level teachers. This program model is designed to support ELs both in their English language acquisition and in their academic learning.

    SEI consists of two instructional components necessary for the effective instruction of ELs

    1.The SEI program requires grade-level content taught by SEI-endorsed core academic teachers using strategies to scaffold and differentiate instruction.  Sheltered English Instruction is intended to make instruction in academic content areas, delivered in English, more comprehensible to ELL students.
    2.ESL, taught by ESL certified teachers, includes direct ESL-instruction tailored to student’s level of English proficiency, separate from core-content instruction. ESL instruction addresses the listening, speaking, reading and writing standards contained in the WIDA Instructional Framework for the English Language Development Standards.

    The language development of EL students is the responsibility of both ESL and general education teachers.

Initial Language Identification, Program Placement, monitoring and exiting from the EL program

  • Identification:

    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) regulations require that all schools determine the language(s) spoken in each student’s home to identify their specific language needs. This information is essential for schools to provide meaningful instruction for all students and is gathered through the use of a Home Language Survey (HLS), which is a required part of the district registration packet.

    Every newly enrolled student whose HLS indicates that a language other than English is spoken at home must be screened for English language proficiency.  Districts are required to use WIDA screening assessments. The screening process is conducted on an individual basis, with the language proficiency test administered by a licensed, experienced EL educator who has been trained to use the screening assessments.

    • A student who is identified as an English learner (EL) after a language screening assessment is placed in an EL program to address his/her limited English proficiency so that the student can be provided the opportunity to participate meaningfully and equally in the district’s educational program (603 CMR 14.04).


    • Once the results of the screening assessment are obtained, the EL staff and building-based administration will work together to determine the appropriate placement of the student in the school setting and the appropriate level of ESL support. In general, the student will be placed in the appropriate class for his or her chronological age.
    • DESE has established guidelines for the amount of English Language Development an EL student should receive based on his or her proficiency level. Parents will be informed promptly of final placement decisions through a Parent Notification letter. (These letters have been translated into our students’ home languages). 
    • If a student has interrupted or limited education prior to enrolling in RPS, additional assessments may be given in the student’s native language to determine levels of literacy and mathematics knowledge/skills.

    Monitoring EL Progress:

    • Students remain in the EL program, receiving direct English language development (ELD) instruction and sheltered content instruction (SCI), until they demonstrate that they can do regular school work in English. Districts must annually assess EL’s language proficiency and academic achievement and consider other relevant data to determine whether students can perform ordinary classwork in English, and whether such students’ EL classification should be removed.
    • Federal and state laws require that ELs be assessed annually to measure their proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English, as well as the progress they are making learning English. The ACCESS test is a standards-based, criterion-referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English learners' social and academic proficiency in English

EL Support Services


    In addition to providing students with Sheltered English Instruction and English as a Second Language, it is important to ensure substantial academic support, access to extended day learning, extracurricular enrichment activities and socio-emotional guidance. Bilingual, bicultural liaisons are available to assist students and their families in obtaining needed services.

    Opportunities to provide ELL students with needed supports include but are not limited to the following:

    • After School Tutorial
    • Translation and Interpreter’s Services
    • Connecting families with service delivery providers
    • ESL Classes for Adults, in cooperation with Randolph Community Partnership.
    • EL Summer Enrichment Academy
    • Summer Reading Programs in different languages
    • EL Family and Cultural Events

EL Assessment

  • Federal and state laws require that ELs be assessed annually to measure their proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English, as well as the progress they are making learning English.  The ACCESS test is a standards-based, criterion-referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English learners' social and academic proficiency in English.

    The scores produced by ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 will identify which proficiency level an EL has achieved at the time of the assessment (mid-year) in each of the single domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing and the composite areas of literacy, oral language, and overall proficiency.

    Exiting the EL program:
    When an EL student’s language proficiency scores on the ACCESS assessment, along with academic achievement data, determine that students can perform ordinary classwork in English, EL students can be considered for reclassification.

    Parents will be informed promptly when their child is being considered for exiting the EL program. They will be invited to meet with school administrators/teachers to ask questions and discuss the next steps in their child’s education.

    Once a student demonstrates this ability, they are “reclassified” or “exited” from the EL program.  The district must then monitor the student for four years, to ensure that the student continues to make effective academic progress.

Amount of Time for ESL Instruction Needed by Students at Specific ELD Levels

  • There are specific state requirements for the amount of time English Language Learners should be receiving ESL. Lower proficiency English students receive up to two class periods per day of direct English Language instruction. Higher proficiency students receive 1 period of direct English language instruction.

Opt-out and Alternate ELE program Requests

  • A parent/guardian has the right to opt out of the EL program. We request that the parent meet with the EL Director to discuss the student’s placement, past school performance, and sign an official opt-out form at that time. Opt-out forms will need to be re-signed annually. 

    Alternate ELE Program requests: If parents/guardians believe that their child should be placed in a different ELE program than the one proposed/available in the district, they have the right to request placement in an alternate ELE program.

    If there are 20 students or more of a given grade level in one particular language group whose parents have waived the SEI program in favor of a bilingual or other type of language support program, the district will be required to consider that type of program.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Director of ELL at (781) 961.6220, ext. 535.