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Education Rights for Parents of English Learners

From the US department of Education: 

Family and Student Rights

As a family member with school-aged children, you have certain rights. This is very important. A parents’ national origin, citizenship, or immigration status does not change this right.

  • Under federal law, all children, regardless of their citizenship or residency status, are entitled to equal access to a free public education.
  • Schools and school districts can ask for immunization records and proof of age from a clinic or doctor, as well as proof of residency (for example, a utility bill that reflects your current address). Check the enrollment website to learn about the documents required to enroll your child in school. All students must provide this information.
  • Schools cannot ask for documentation that would prohibit or unlawfully discourage a student from enrolling in or attending school.
  • Schools are not allowed to share information that may reveal a student’s personal information, unless permitted by law or if you give them written permission.
  • Schools must ensure meaningful communication with limited English proficient parents in a language they can understand. They must notify limited English proficient parents of information about any program, service, or activity of a school district that is called to the attention of parents who are proficient in English.
  • Schools must identify EL/Multilingual Learner students who need services to learn English. To get started, we will ask you to fill out a Home Language Survey. This will help determine if your child needs to be tested to find out if your child is eligible for English language services.
  • If the English proficiency assessment determines that your child is eligible for specialized language services, Belgrade school district must provide these services. You must give permission for your child to receive these services. You also have a choice to not have your child receive such services. 
  • Parents or guardians may choose for their child to receive services to learn English if their child is identified as needing these services. School districts and schools are required by federal law to provide these services.
  • The right for your children to have equal access to all programming and services offered by the school district, appropriate to age and grade level including those required for graduation, and to all school programs available to other students.
  • The right for your children to receive all core content instruction, and to learn English and other subjects such as Reading/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies at the same academic level as all other children. Being entitled to EL services does not limit the ability to get core content instruction.
  • The right for your children to have full access to extracurricular activities (afterschool clubs, sports, etc.). Being entitled to EL services does not limit the ability to take part in extracurricular activities.
  • The right for your children to get support services (e.g., Academic Intervention Services) aligned with any intervention plans, as deemed necessary by the school.
  • Schools should provide a safe and helpful environment, free from bullying. 
  • In addition to a report card for your child, each year, all families must receive another type of report card: a school report card. The school report card provides important information about your child’s school. This is a good way to learn how well the school is performing, and enables you to compare your child’s school with other schools in the district. School report cards must be posted on the district’s website and must include: student demographic data, school safety and climate information, academic performance in mathematics, reading, language arts, and science, number of English learners achieving English language proficiency, school graduation rates, teacher and staff information, postsecondary preparation information and financial data.