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English Learner Education

English Learners with Disabilities/Special Education

The number of English Learners (ELs) in Massachusetts is growing. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is committed to helping districts uphold their obligation to provide appropriate support to ELs who require additional assistance, including additional language acquisition instruction, instructional support services, and in some cases, special education.

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Guidance for Supporting ELs with Disabilities

Using a Tiered System for Support

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Ensure Equitable Access to Education through a Tiered System of Support
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The Massachusetts Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)
Blueprint is one example framework districts can use to implement school-wide initiatives that assist all students.


Providing Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction

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Promote Inclusive Practice Accessible to All Students: A Focus on Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Practices
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Massachusetts Educator Effectiveness Guidebook for Inclusive Practice
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Cultural Proficiency: A Strategy to Address Equity Gaps in Students' Achievement and Learning Experiences
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Family Engagement (WIDA)
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Focus on ELs with Disabilities: Providing Access to Complex Language (WIDA)
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Diversity and Disproportionality (RTI Action Network)
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Family and Community Engagement (U.S. Department of Education)


Language Acquisition/Classroom Resources

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ESL Stories from the Field: A Focus on Language Acquisition & Learning


Evaluating ELs for Special Education and Related Services

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Ensure Equitable Access to Education: Focus on Assessment/Evaluation for Special Education & Related Services
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IEP Process Guide
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Identifying ELs with Specific Learning Disabilities (WIDA)


ESL Educators and the IEP Process

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Ensure Equitable Access to Education: Language Professionals & the IEP Process
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A Parent's Guide to Special Education


Collaborating for Student Support

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Promoting Inclusive Practice Accessible to All Students: A Focus on Collaborating for Student Success

Additional Resources

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Supporting ELs & Students With Disabilities: Strategies From Turnaround Schools in Massachusetts
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Dear Colleague Letter - ELs & Limited English Proficient Parents (U.S. Department of Justice & U.S. Department of Education)

Last Updated: April 4, 2019

 
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

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Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.