2110 Transitional Bilingual Instruction

  • The board of directors has the highest commitment toward ensuring an equal educational opportunity for every student. While English is the basic language of instruction in the district's schools, the district will provide a Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program for children whose primary language is not English, and whose English skills are sufficiently deficient or absent to impair learning. The district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program is designed to enable students to achieve competency in English. Annually, the board of directors will approve the district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program.

    The district and its staff will:

    1. Communicate, whenever feasible, with parents of English language learners in a language they can understand;
    2. Assess and determine, by means of a state approved placement test, student eligibility within 10 days of enrollment and attendance;
    3. Annually assess, by means of the state approved test, improvement in English language proficiency for each eligible English language learner;
    4. Provide professional development training for administrators, teachers, counselors and other staff on the district’s bilingual instruction program, appropriate use of instructional strategies and assessment results, and curriculum and instructional materials for use with culturally and linguistically diverse students; and
    5. Provide for continuous improvement and evaluation of the district’s Program to determine its effectiveness.

    For purposes of providing such services, the superintendent will establish procedures for implementing the district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program.

    Legal References:
    RCW 28A.180.010/080      Transitional bilingual instructional program
    WAC 392‑160                        Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program
    WAC 162-28-040                  English language limitations and national origin discrimination

    ADOPTED: 01/17/1991
    REVISED: 09/25/1997; 06/23/2009

    Procedure No. 2110P Transitional Bilingual Instruction

    The following procedures are instituted for purposes of implement­ing a transitional bilingual instruction program.
    Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program, as defined by state law, means a system of instruction which uses two languages, one of which is English, to build upon and expand language skills to enable the pupil to achieve competency in English. Or in those cases where the use of two languages is not practicable, appropriate instruction for English learners may be provided primarily in English.

    The district will provide English learners appropriate core academic instruction in addition to language instruction. The district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program is intended to supplement core academic instruction.

    Program Application and Description

    Annually, and prior to August 1 of each year, the district will submit an application to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction requesting funding to support its Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program. In its application the district will provide a description of its research-based program models including staffing and implementation strategies.


    At the time of registration, the parents/guardians of each student will be asked to complete a home language survey which identifies the child’s primary language. Students that indicate on the home language survey a primary language other than English will be assessed within ten school days of enrollment and attendance using the Washington Language Proficiency Placement Test to determine eligibility for the transitional bilingual instruction program. Any student who scores a level one (beginning/advanced beginning), two (intermediate) or three (advanced) will be eligible for the program. Students who score at level four (transitional) are not eligible for the program. Staff will determine the appropriate instructional program for each eligible student.

    If a transfer student has previously been identified as an English learner in Washington and has not yet scored at a “proficient” level, the student will be served in the receiving district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program based on the last score the student received in the sending district.

    Parent/Guardian Notification

    Parents/guardians will be notified, in writing, of their child’s initial eligibility and notified annually of their child’s continuing eligibility in the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program. At a minimum the parent/guardian notification will contain:

    • How the child’s eligibility was determined and the child’s current level of English proficiency;
    • A description of the district’s program and how it will meet the child’s educational needs;
    • The method of instruction used in the program in which their child is, or will be, participating, and the methods of instruction used in other available programs, including how such programs differ in content, instruction goals, and use of English and a native language instruction; 
    • How the program will specifically help their child learn English, and meet age appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation;
    • The specific exit requirements for the program, the expected rate of transition from such program into classrooms that are not tailored for English learners, and the expected rate of graduation from secondary school for such program if funds under this title are used for children in secondary schools; and
    • Information on the parent’s right to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another program or method of instruction, if available; and assisting parents in selecting among various programs and methods of instruction, if more than one program or method is offered by the eligible entity.
    • Communication with parents/guardians should be provided, when feasible, in the parents’ primary language.

    Continued Eligibility/Annual Assessment

    Each eligible English language learner, including English learners under a parent waiver, must be assessed annually, using the state-approved language proficiency test to determine continued eligibility. Students remain eligible until they reach level four (transitional) on the annual state-approved language proficiency test. After students have exited an EL program, school districts must monitor the academic progress of former English learners for at least two years to ensure that: the students have not been prematurely exited; any academic deficits they incurred as a result of participation in the ELL program have been remedied; and that the students are meaningfully participating in the standard instructional program comparable to their never-EL peers.

    Expected Graduation Year

    For students, including eligible English learners, who require extended time to meet high school graduation requirements, the district may set an expected graduation year beyond the typical four years of high school or through the school year in which a student turns 21. For an EL program to be reasonably calculated to ensure that EL students attain equal participation in the standard instructional program within a reasonable length of time, if an EL student enters the ninth grade with beginner-level English proficiency, the school district should offer EL services that would enable them to earn a regular high-school diploma in four years.

    Record Keeping and Documentation

    The district will maintain records of eligible students and comply with state reporting requirements. Original documents will be kept in the student cumulative folder and copies in the program folder if applicable. These documents include the home language survey, parent notification letters, parental waiver (if applicable), and language proficiency test assessment data.

    Communication Plan

    The district will develop and provide to parents/guardians, district staff and interested stakeholders a user friendly description of the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program offered in the district in the stakeholder’s home/primary language. The description will include the process for identifying and serving English learners and provide contact information for the district’s transitional bilingual instruction program manager.

    Professional Development

    Provide in-service training for teachers, counselors, and other staff, who are involved in the district’s transitional bilingual program. Such training shall include appropriate instructional strategies for children of culturally different backgrounds, use of curriculum materials, and program models.

    Report to the Board

    Annually, prior to the board of directors’ program approval, the superintendent or designee will report on the status of the district’s Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program.

    ADOPTED:  01/17/91
    REVISED: 09/25/97; 06/23/2009; 5/10/2018

2000 Policies