Schools and districts can take proactive steps to minimize cultural and linguistic barriers faced by English learners during the school enrollment process.
- Communicate with families in home language. Federal law requires that schools communicate with parents and families in a language they can understand. Schools and districts can fulfill this need by having bilingual staff and/or interpretation services available at enrollment. Interpreters and spoken language supports can assist families with limited English proficiency at enrollment.
- Use the Language Usage Survey. Ohio’s language usage survey allows for parent engagement and collaboration when offered at the point of enrollment. Federal law requires that schools and districts to identify English learners within 30 days of the student’s enrollment. The school and district may integrate the language usage survey in enrollment packets or incorporate questions with other enrollment data into a single document.
- Consider flexibility options. Consider if newly enrolling students qualify for enrollment flexibility due to housing instability. Homeless and national origin minority students, including those with limited English proficiency, may not be delayed or prevented from accessing education services due to difficulties in providing proof of residency. The McKinney-Vento Act allows students in temporary living situations to immediately enroll in schools in the districts where they are temporarily living. Access Students Experiencing Homelessness for more information.
- Consider if newly enrolling students may be unaccompanied. Students may arrive to school without the assistance of a legal guardian. Visit the U.S. Department of Education and Justice’s Information on the Rights of Unaccompanied Children to Enroll in School and access the Unaccompanied Youth FAQ to navigate challenges that can arise for these students at enrollment.
Last Modified: 11/28/2022 8:09:00 AM