This website was created during non-work hours using donated software, hardware and web hosting. It is intended for discussion, modification and eventual adoption by the Roseville Joint Union High School District (California). Until such process is completed, the opinions expressed on this website are the opinions of the author alone.


"There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education. Basic skills are at the very core of what these public schools teach. Imposition of a requirement that before a child can effectively participate in the educational program he must already have acquired those basic skills is to make a mockery of public education. We know that those who do not understand English are certain to find their classroom experiences wholly incomprehensible and in no way meaningful."


Justice William O. Douglas

Lau v. Nichols, 1974 (Majority opinion)  

Introduction and Overview

Program Goals

The primary program goals are guided by federal regulations concerning English learners. These are:

1. English learners acquire full proficiency in English as rapidly and effectively as possible. (20 USC 1703[f], 6892; EC 300[f], 5 CCR 11302[a])

2. English learners meet state standards for academic achievement. (20 USC 1703[f], 6812, 6892; 5 CCR 11302[b]; Castañeda v. Pickard [5th Cir. 1981] 648 F.2d 989)

Master Plan Purpose

The purpose of this Master Plan for English Learners is to (a) implement policy regarding English learners, (b) guide decision-makers in program planning, and (c) inform the public of the intentions of the Roseville Joint Union High School District regarding our English Learner population.

The policy to be implemented is federal, state and local. Along with meeting regulations, decision-makers must be informed as to best practices in the field. The public has right know and to be involved in the process as voters, parents and taxpayers. The intent of this master plan is to serve all of those purposes. It is written to be accessible by the general public, who may or may not have any particular expertise in education. It is furthermore designed to allow for depth through hyperlinks to additional details in numerous topics.

English Learners must master the same academic content as all other students, and do it in a second language. The challenges for students, parents, and educators have been well-documented. This Master Plan for English Learners will combine the research, law and practicality into a cohesive plan to guide the District in addressing the needs of our English Learner population.

This plan is intended to be both a guiding light for the travelers on the English Learner roadway as well as a living corpus that astonishes the reader with its youth and vitality. Very rarely can guideposts be agile, but we will make the attempt bring it to bear. Parts of this plan will be written, reviewed, discussed through a process that will repeat until it is polished and ready for adoption by the board of trustees. Portions of this plan will contain up-to-date information, such as data as it is released by the state or derived from other data, or plans and implementation reports.

This plan will contain:

  • References to laws, regulations, procedures and research
  • Descriptions of programs
  • Elaborations of policy and philosophy

It must:

  • Be mounted in bedrock of common sense, governmental laws and regulations, relevant court decisions and scientific research
  • Be a guide post of district policy and procedures for English Learners
  • Be flexible and responsive to new data as it is developed or derived.

These attributes may appear contradictory. One of the goals of the review process must be to determine which components can be bolted to bedrock and which ones must be given wider berth, to be changed with the flexibility and responsiveness needed to adequately manage successful programs for humans in an era of change.

Marshall McLuhan wrote "the medium is the message." This plan is not printed on paper to be stored in voluminous binders to be placed carefully on a shelf to gather dust until it is no longer current. This plan will not exist in several versions whereby the reader wonders which one is current and valid. It will be published in one place, where all readers will reference the same, current, adopted version. The medium for this plan is part of the message: the only valid version exists solely on the internet.

The following guidelines apply to the content of this plan:

  • Board adopted portions of the plan shall include this introduction, the table of contents, and all chapters. Within those pages, links and data may be changed the Coordinator of Intervention and Support as needed as corrections, updates or augmentations.
  • All appendices are declared to reflect the best judgement of the Coordinator of Intervention and Support, but are not adopted by the Board nor are they considered official policy of the Board unless specifically adopted.

This version of the Master Plan for English Learners is the preliminary version.

Board Statement

D R A F T 5/11/2009 by Ted Herr

The program for English Learners (ELs) is founded on the Board's commitment to provide equal access to the educational opportunities for all students. The District shall establish a Master Plan for English Learner Programs to ensure that ELs become fluent in English, attain their highest academic potential, and develop self-esteem and intercultural understanding. The Master Plan shall be based on state and federal law, and current research by experts in the field. Significant attention shall be paid to the program's implementation, including provisions for adequate resources; standards-aligned curriculum and assessments; selection of appropriate instructional materials; allowance of sufficient instructional time; and appropriate staffing, training of personnel, fiscal accountability and program accountability.

The District Master Plan shall establish complete program descriptions and procedures which provide for: Identification, placement, assessment, and monitoring of progress; reclassification of ELs to Fluent English Proficient (FEP) based on District criteria; related parental involvement; translation and interpretation; Parental Exception Waivers , fiscal accountability and program accountability in accordance with the law.

The District Master Plan shall be informed by the input of various constituent groups: parents, community members, the English Learning Advisory Committee for each site that has one, the District English Learner Advisory Committee, the School Site Councils of each site, the Continuous Improvement Leadership Team, the English Learner Study Group, the English Learner Coordinator, the English Language Development Department, and all pertinent administrators.

The District Master Plan shall ensure that ELs are provided with instruction that develops fluency in English as effectively and efficiently as possible. To accomplish this goal, the English instruction shall be designed to meet the needs of students at all levels of English proficiency and be aligned with State English Language Development and English Language Arts Standards. All ELs shall have full access to the core curriculum through a simultaneous program using Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) with primary language support as needed. To assess the adequacy of programs, which serve ELs, the District shall establish procedures to analyze data in order to determine the effectiveness of programs that teach English language proficiency, as well as students' overall academic achievement. In sum, it is the Board's intent to provide an adequate education for all English learners.

The Board is committed to a program for all students, which shall reflect the contributions of all ethnic groups to the common culture and shall be designed to promote positive self-concepts and cross-cultural understanding. All students will learn to respect and work cooperatively with persons of all backgrounds. Instruction shall assist students in realizing the value of individual differences as well as the human dignity and the worth of all people, providing students with the foundation for basic understanding, trust, and effective communication.

The District shall establish a District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC). At each school site with 21 or more ELs, a English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) shall be established in accordance with law.


California Department of Education. English Learner Instrument (Including NCLB). 2011. Accessed at www.cde.ca.gov/ta/cr/documents/el201011c.doc on 14 October 2011

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media. 1964. Routledge, London

Roseville Joint Union High School District Master Plan for English Learners. Draft board statement as adapted from the Pasadena Unified School District Master Plan for English Learners.

Legal References:

Castañeda v. Pickard [5th Cir. 1981] 648 F.2d 989

Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974) on Wikipedia. Full text available here.