Richton School District Point of Contact: Dr. Felicia McCardle, 601-788-5908

What are the steps in identifying an English Learner?

Step 1: Home Language Survey 
Step 2: Initial Las Links Assessment
Step 3: Parental Notification of EL Status 
Step 4: Placement in EL Program
Step 5: Develop English Language Service Plan

ELPT: All students in the school district receive a home language survey upon initial registration. Follow-up testing is provided for students who indicate that a second language is spoken in the home to determine the need for additional language support. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that the Local Education Agency (LEA) assess all Els using the annual English language proficiency assessment (ELPT), including those students whose parents have declined to enroll them in, or had them removed from, the Language Instruction Education Program (LIEP). All ELs enrolled in schools served by the State must be assessed annually using the State’s English Language Proficiency Assessment. [ESEA Section 1111(b) (2) (G)]. There is no ELPT exemption for ELs whose parent decided to opt his or her child out of the EL program or particular EL services. State or district assessment policies, if they include a right to opt a child out of assessments, do not override or diminish the LEA’s obligation to assess 100 percent of Els using the annual English language proficiency assessment (ELPT). The district provides yearly staff development to all teachers of ELL students. District ELL services are implemented according to the guidelines of the Mississippi Department of Education for immersion language development.

Definition of an English Learner (EL)

An EL is a student:

  • who is aged 3-21;
  • who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary or secondary school;
  • who was not born in the United States OR whose native language is a language other than English; and
  • where difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual the ability in meeting the State’s proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);


Mississippi’s English Learner (EL) population is growing rapidly, with the state now serving more than 12,100 identified EL students. In response to this growth, as well as requests from districts new to serving EL students, we provide multiple resources for supporting English learners including: recorded webinars, guidance documents, and other resources designed to provide administrators, teachers, EL teachers and tutors, and other educators with information on how to effectively serve English learners and their families.

For questions regarding EL services, as well as requests for on-site large or small-group professional development, please email Sandy Elliott at Check back often for new resources!

Mississippi Seal of Biliteracy

The purpose of the Mississippi Seal of Biliteracy policy is to establish minimum criteria for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in awarding Seals of Biliteracy.  For more information regarding the State Board Policy, Guidelines, and the process of awarding and recognizing students who are eligible to receive a Seal of Biliteracy, please visit the Mississippi Seal of


LEA District EL Plan:

Process for enrolling ELs:

All students are enrolled upon request with the LEA. Documentation may be requested, such as birth certificates, living arrangements, and prior school experience.

Process for identifying potential ELs:

All students complete a Home Language Survey at the time of registration. New students/parents may share the information that identifies them as ELs. Faculty and staff may sometimes identify potential ELs also.

Process for assessing ELs:

EL students are reported to the DTC who assesses students according to the state. Guidelines are followed accordingly.

Process for exiting students from EL status:

The DTC follows the yearly requirements of the state to assess and exit students.

Process for monitoring students who have exited EL status:

The LEA monitors EL students who have exited the program to determine if additional interventions are necessary for academic and language success.

Services and Instructional Supports:

The LEA follows all guidelines presented by the state in providing services and supports, including presenting content in language friendly format for subject areas.

Language Service Plan:

The LEA will notify parents of EL students who are placed in a Language Instruction Educational Program or LIEPs. Information will be provided to parents on the plan including reasons for identification, placement, child’s level of English proficiency, assessment results, achievement results, methods of instruction, program participation, exit requirements, and how the plan will address English learning. The plan will also address possible disabilities that may qualify under IDEA.

Parent’s Rights:

Parents have the right to remove their child from the LIEP at any time. In addition, the LEA will reach out to parents to inform them to be involved in their child’s education while seeking English proficiency and high achievement in meeting the state requirements.

In addition, communication and outreach to parents of EL students will include Facebook, the school website, School Status messages, and SAMs active parent and Aims.


Tools and Supports for Parents and Students: MS English Language Proficiency Standards


MDE Department of Education Contacts:

Sandra Elliott

English Learner Student Intervention Support Specialist (Pre-K – 12)


Sharon Prestridge

EL Program Coordinator (Office of Student Assessment)


Dr. Melissa Levy-Jackson

Title III State Coordinator, Office of Federal Programs