No Child Left Behind

Services for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students

The NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (NCLB) ACT of 2001 is a federal law to improve education for all children. It holds schools responsible for results, gives parents greater choices, and promotes teaching methods that work. This fact sheet will point out one part of the law that is important for New York parents to know.

If your child is new to this country or has entered school from a home where English is not spoken…

To be successful in school, students need to understand, speak, read, and write English well. If your child is not using English well now, he or she may need special classes for English language learners. Under NCLB, these services are called services for limited English proficient (LEP) students. In New York State, LEP students receive intensive English as a second language (ESL) instruction in bilingual education programs or in ESL programs. Under NCLB, schools receiving Title I funds to provide English language proficiency programs have new responsibilities. They must notify parents if their children are in bilingual education or ESL only classes and explain how the classes will help their children.

A school using Title I funds to provide an English language proficiency program must tell you if your child is enrolled in a bilingual education program or ESL only class within 30 days after school starts, or within two weeks after your child begins an LEP class during the school year. Because learning English is so important, you will want to learn all about the bilingual education program or ESL only classes and how they will improve your child’s ability to understand, speak, read, and write English.

Here is what you will learn from your school –

  • Why your child needs a bilingual education program or ESL only class.
  • How well your child speaks English now and how the school assessed this.
  • How your child is doing in school now.
  • How the bilingual education program or ESL only class will help your child learn English and do better in school subjects.
  • How bilingual education programs or ESL only programs differ in content and teaching methods.
  • How long your child might need these classes.

You can choose the best way for your child to learn English at school.

New York schools have different ways to teach English. Under NCLB, teachers in your school will help you choose if different kinds of bilingual education programs and ESL only classes are available. If your child has special education needs, your child’s special education teacher and bilingual education or ESL teacher will plan with you to meet the goals in your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

What can you do to make sure your child learns to understand, speak, read, and write English well?

  • If your child is already in a class for limited English proficient students, you will want to learn all about the services provided. Ask your child’s teacher for information written in your own language. Or ask that a translator be with you in parent-teacher conferences.
  • If you think your child needs help understanding, speaking, reading, or writing English, but isn’t getting it, don’t delay! Contact your child’s classroom teacher, the bilingual education or ESL teacher or the principal today.
  • Schools can also tell you about classes for adults who want to learn English. Contact your school principal or parent coordinator to learn what’s available in your community.
  • If you want to get to know other families with children learning English, contact your school’s parent coordinator or parent group leader. Share your interest and let them know you want to help organize a group.

This is one of a series of NY parent information sheets about the federal education law No Child Left Behind. Part A, Section 1112 (g) of No Child Left Behind covers classes for “limited English proficient” students.

For more “…Facts”:

Last Updated: September 21, 2009