• LOOK - Language Opportunities for Our Kids
    English Learner Education (ELE) Proposed Regulations and the LOOK Act / Parent Outreach

     

    What is the LOOK Act?


    • The Language Opportunities for Our Kids Act is designed to improve the education of English learners (ELs) and other students.

    Proposed LOOK Act Regulations


    • English Learner Parent Advisory Councils (603 CMR 14.09)

    • English Learner Programs (603 CMR 14.04)

    • Bilingual Education Endorsement (603 CMR 7.14 and 7.15)

    • State Seal of Biliteracy (603 CMR 31.07)

    1.  English Learner Parent Advisory Councils (ELPAC)


    • Districts that require an EL Parent Advisory Council are those with 100 or more English learners or where English learners comprise 5% of the student body.

    • Schools that require an EL Parent Advisory Council are those that have ELE programs and are underperforming or chronically underperforming.

    • The council shall receive assistance from the ELE Director or other appropriate school personnel as designated by the Superintendent.

    • ELPAC duties include but are not limited to:
      • Create by-laws (rules) regarding officers and operational procedures,

      • Advise the school district, school committee, and board of trustees on matters related to English learners,

      • Meet regularly with school or district leaders to participate in the planning and development of programs to improve educational opportunities for English learners o Advise the district on any new ELE programs before they are submitted for approval o Participate in the review of district and school improvement plans as they relate to English learners, and

      • Meet at least annually with the school committee or school council.

     

    2.  English Learner Programs:  Proposed Regulations


    • Proposed regulations establish the process that districts and the Department would use when a district applies to offer a new Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) program OR an alternative English learner education program.

    • Proposed regulations also specify the process a district would follow when a parent/guardian requests to enroll or transfer an English learner into an English learner education program offered by the district.

     

     Review Process for New ELE Programs Requirements:  LOOK Act

    • Districts that wish to operate a new SEI or alternative ELE program must submit information required to the Department.

    • The Department has 90 days to review the information submitted and notify the district in writing whether the program fails to meet federal and state law requirements.

    • There are two possible outcomes based on the Department’s review:
      • The district can begin the proposed program.
      • If required, the district will have 30 days to submit a revised proposal incorporating the feedback to bring the program into compliance.

    • The Department will then review the revised proposal and determine whether the district can start implementing the program.

    Parental Requests for an ELE Program

    • A parent can request to enroll or transfer their student into another ELE program in the district. This is ultimately the Superintendent’s decision.

    • Parents of 20 or more students may request the implementation of a new ELE district program. This is ultimately the Superintendent’s decision.

    • Districts must respond within 90 days after receiving the request and provide: 
      • a plan for implementation of the requested program; or 
      • a denial of the request, in writing, including an explanation of the denial.

     

    3.  Bilingual Education Endorsement; Proposed Regulations


    • Proposed regulations clarify the requirements to earn a Bilingual Education endorsement.

    • Proposed regulations specify which educators will need the SEI or Bilingual Education endorsements.

    • Proposed regulations allow the Commissioner to issue a one-year waiver of the Bilingual Education Endorsement requirements under certain circumstances.

     

    4.  State Seal of Biliteracy: Proposed Regulations


      Proposed regulations describe the process and criteria for earning the State Seal of Biliteracy. 

     

         Seal of Biliteracy Proposed Criteria

    • Meets all graduation requirements.

    • Demonstrates a high level of proficiency in English as measured by MCAS.

    • Demonstrates a high level of proficiency in a foreign language by attaining a minimum score on a nationally recognized and readily available assessment or an alternative evidence method established by the Department.