English Learner Information & Resources



Maura L. Balmaceda
Coordinator, English Learner Program
760-955-3201 x10422

Welcome to the English Learner Program

English Learner Program Department Mission: 
It is our belief, as the Victor Valley Union High School District, that all students can learn.  
It is our commitment that every student will have access to a positive, caring and challenging learning environment. Therefore, we understand that quality programs, long-term stability of leadership, highly qualified teachers and classified staff, are essential to the long-term success of our students. 

Through evidence-based, standards-aligned lessons, clearly articulated goals, dedicated staff, high expectations, frequent monitoring, effective professional development, parent and community involvement, along with purposeful communication, we ensure that all students, regardless of their linguistic or cultural heritage, have equal access to, and full participation in, all district programs. 

The goal of the department is as follows:

  • Ensure that English learners acquire full proficiency in English as rapidly and effectively as possible and attain parity with native speakers of English.
  • Ensure that English learners, within a reasonable period of time, achieve the same rigorous grade-level academic standards that are expected of all students.

This department supports both certificated and classified staff who work directly with English Learners.

What is ELD Instruction?
English Language Development (ELD) refers to an instructional program for students who are developing proficiency in English. English Language Learners (ELLs) refer to the students who are enrolled in ELD classes. Many ELs are fluent in more than two languages when they begin to learn English.

Who is eligible for ELD?
Students whose heritage language is other than English and who are not yet proficient in English are eligible for ELD. Students who were born in the United States and speak a heritage language other than English are enrolled in ELD programs if they need to develop proficiency in English. Americans often speak another first language and many do not learn English until they are in school. The key indicator is the student's home language and English proficiency in all domains: listening, speaking, reading and writing on grade level.

What are the criteria for inclusion to be in ELD?
The Home Language Survey is completed by every student at registration. If the survey indicates a home language influence other than English, the ELD teacher reviews the student's records for evidence of academic achievement and proficiency in English. In addition, the ELD teacher conducts an initial evaluation through an oral interview with the student. If the interview indicates that the student may need ELD support, the ELD teacher will administer the ELPAC to determine the student's level of language proficiency and appropriate placement.

Reclassification is the process whereby a student is reclassified from English learner status to fluent English proficient (RFEP) status. Local education agencies determine when the student has met the four criteria listed in Education Code (EC) Section 313 (f), in accordance with the California Department of Education (CDE).

State testing - ELPAC:
Our office administers the Initial ELPAC test for newcomers and the Summative ELPAC test for those already designated as English Learners.

The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) consists of the Initial, Summative, and Alternate ELPAC. The Initial ELPAC testing window is from July 1 through June 30 annually. The Summative ELPAC testing window is from February 1 through May 31 annually. The practice and training tests allow students, parents/guardians, families, teachers, administrators, and others an opportunity to become familiar with the computer-based test delivery platform as well as the types of test questions that may appear on the actual test at each grade or grade span. Additional information can be found here.

ELPAC Resources for Parents (Understanding ELPAC Reports)- Link: ELPAC Resources for Parents

Program Placement

Newcomer Programs
Newcomer programs are programs designed for recent immigrants at the secondary school level who have little or no English proficiency, and limited or no formal education in their native countries. These programs have been developed to meet newcomers' needs before they enter into general education classrooms. The goals of newcomer programs are mainly to help kids develop linguistic survival skills and start adapting to the new culture.

Structured English Immersion
A classroom setting for English learners in which nearly all classroom instruction is provided in English but with a curriculum and presentation designed for pupils who are learning English. At minimum, English learners will be provided a program of Structured English Immersion. [EC sections 305(a)(2) and 306(c)(3)]. 

Academic English courses for Long Term English Learners
These courses are offered to students who have been in the program longer than 3 years and continue to need support in the core content areas

All schools are required to provide support for EL Learners. There are two programs to serve our students based on English level and time in the program: Designated (separate designated English acquisition time) and Integrated (curriculum is integrated within the mainstream with teacher support).

State Seal of BiLiteracy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) was amended in 2017  effective January 1, 2018. This program recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English. The SSB will be awarded by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with specified criteria set forth in the legislation. Please visit this link for more information.  https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/sealofbiliteracy.asp

Parent Engagement:
The Department offers many parent classes and opportunities for them to support their students and families.We promote family participation through their engagement in district and school committees such as DELAC and ELAC where parents can learn and become leaders within the school community.
The ELAC is a committee for parents or other community members who want to advocate for English Learners. The purpose of ELAC is to advise the principal and school staff on programs and services for English learners and the School Site Council (SSC) on the development of the Single School Plan for Student Achievement.
The DELAC is an advisory committee comprised of representatives from each school's English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC). The role of the DELAC is to advise the Victor Valley Union High School District on programs and services for English learners.

Link; English Learners Master Plan