• Many of our students speak a wide variety of languages. In the 2021-2022 school year, twenty-two percent are classified as English learners meaning the students have language experiences other than English. What an amazing opportunity for all of our Emerson students to experience a wide variety of languages and cultures!

    We have 35 students that have met reclassification criteria and exited ELD. Congratulations to those students and families!

  • Common Questions


    How are students identified to take the English language proficiency test?

    California requires parents to complete a Home Language Survey when enrolling their children in California schools. If a language other than English is listed to #1, #2, or #3 below, and this is the first time the child is enrolling in a California public school, (s)he will be given the Initial English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). If your child was enrolled in another California public school, we will contact that school to find out the previous language designation results.

    1. What language did this student learn when first beginning to talk?
    2. What language do you use most frequently to speak to this student?
    3. What language does this student most frequently use at home?
    4. What language do adults speak at home most often?


    What assessment is used, when is it given, and who administers it?

    Beginning in 2017–18, the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is the required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that must be given to students whose primary language is a language other than English, as identified above.

    State and federal law require that we administer a state test of ELP to eligible students in kindergarten (or year one of a two-year kindergarten program, sometimes referred to as “transitional kindergarten”) through grade twelve. The ELPAC is comprised of two assessments:

    1. Initial Assessment (IA)—an initial identification of students as English learners. Given within the first 30 days of attendance at a California school.
    2. Summative Assessment (SA)—an annual summative assessment to measure an English learner's progress in learning English and to identify the student's ELP level. Given annually during the February to May testing window until reclassification.

    The ELPAC is given by trained BUSD personnel and measures the student's ability to listen, speak, read, and write in English. The District sends parents the official English language proficiency results within 30 days of receiving them from the state scoring service.

    More about the ELPAC can be found at the following websites: Starting Smarter and The California Department of Education

    Understand the ELPAC

    Click here to take a practice test; select "student Interface Practice and Training Tests" and sign in as a "guest."

    student practice test

    How are the English language proficiency assessment results used?

    A student is identified as an English learner if (s)he does not score at a proficient level on the Initial Assessment. Students who score at a proficient level on the Initial Assessment are not identified as English Learners.

    Identifying students who need additional support learning in English is important to help them do well in school and access the full grade level curriculum. The ELPAC results along with teacher observations, assessments, and student work samples assist us in placing students in a learning group that will best support his/her progress in learning English.

    How are students identified as English Learners?

    Following the administration of the Initial ELPAC, there are two possible outcomes:

    1. Your child  scores  proficient:
      • You receive notification of  his/her  status as  Initial Fluent English Proficient  (IFEP).
      • Your child will not be in the ELD program and will not receive ELD instruction.
    2. Your child scores below proficient overall:
      • You receive notification of his/her status as an English Learner (EL).
      • Your child will be in the ELD program, meaning he/she will receive additional support and language instruction by the classroom teacher or ELD Instructional Assistant until reclassification.
      • Your child’s classroom teacher will not change based on the results.

    *If your child was enrolled at another California public school, we will maintain the language designation from that school. *Refer to www.elpac.org for more information.

    What services are there to support English Learners?

    English Language Development (ELD) is a structured method of teaching in English that builds vocabulary, comprehension and fluency skills. Classroom teachers and ELD Instructional Assistants work with small groups of students who are learning English to improve their level of proficiency.

    ELD is provided 20 minutes per day in Kindergarten and 30 minutes per day in 1st-5th utilizing Benchmark Advance English Language Arts/English Language Development curriculum and supplementary resources.

    Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) is a specific method of teaching grade-level content (i.e. social studies, science, math, etc.) that helps English learners master content skills as they improve their English proficiency. All classroom teachers in BUSD are required to have special training and to practice SDAIE teaching strategies with English learners in their regular education classes.

    What is reclassification?

    Reclassification is the process whereby an English Learner is reclassified as a Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) student after meeting various linguistic and academic criteria set by the state and district. California Education Code Section 313[f] identifies four required criteria for reclassification, but also allows for other measures to be included. The four required criteria are:

    1. Assessment of language proficiency, using an objective assessment instrument, including but not limited to, the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)
    2. Teacher evaluation, including but not limited to, a review of the student’s curriculum mastery
    3. Parent opinion and consultation
    4. Comparison of student performance in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based on the performance of English proficient students of the same age. Burbank Unified School District has developed student reclassification policy and procedures based on criteria set forth by California Department of Education (CDE) guidelines.

    Students in BUSD who enter at a Beginning/Emerging proficiency level can expect to exit the program (be reclassified) within 5-7 years, although many exit before that. Please speak with our school’s ELD Specialist regarding your child’s grade level reclassification criteria.

    Reclassification Criteria

    English Language Advisory Committee (ELAC)

    All parents of English learners are encouraged to participate in our school site ELAC and District ELAC (DELAC). These groups provide valuable input for ongoing program improvement. They additionally receive information and provide input to schools on curriculum, instruction, program evaluation, policies and budget.