A. Intake Procedures: English Language Learner Committee


English Learner Committee


The English Learner (EL) Committee is a school team responsible for guiding and monitoring the placement, services, and assessment of students who are ELs.  The EL Committee may be comprised of content-area or general classroom teachers of ELs, assessment specialists, school administrators, school counselors, ESL staff, and other members as appropriate (e.g., parents, central office administrators, and school psychologists).  Although there is nothing to prohibit members from the Problem Solving Team (PST) participating on EL Committees, these committees serve different purposes. 




Roles of Problem Solving Team (PST) and ELs Committees


The problem solving team process plays a central role in implementation of Response to Instruction (RtI). The purpose of RtI is to combine core instruction, assessment and interventions within a multi-tiered system in order to increase student achievement and to reduce behavior problems. The role of the PST is to help guide general education intervention services for all students who are at risk of failure academically or behaviorally. (At-Risk definition: core grades below C, stanines 1, 2, 3, or 4 on standardized tests, chronic behavior referrals, etc.)  Although it is a required step before special education testing, it is not used only for pre-special education testing purposes. English Learners may be referred to the PST only after differentiated instructional strategies have been provided for them for a reasonable amount of time in Tier I and there is data showing that this instruction has been unsuccessful. ELs cannot be referred to the PST if language is the barrier to achievement. PST committees may not have the specialized training needed to write appropriate strategies or accommodations for students whose primary language is other than English.




  1. If an EL student is being discussed for possible special education issues and language is clearly not the issue, then PST is the appropriate vehicle, provided ELs staff member(s) are part of the team.  Once language has been eliminated as the barrier to achievement, ELs students must be served in the same way as all other students.




  1. The EL and PST committees are separate entities but may include some of the same members. In smaller school districts, there are a limited number of personnel available for these important roles. The issue is not the duplication of personnel on the committees; it is the purpose of the committees. Appropriate personnel to serve on the EL Committee include content-area or general classroom teachers of ELs, assessment specialists, school administrators, school counselors, and ESL staff.