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EL Policy Handbook - Identifying, Supporting, and Reclassifying English Learners

Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, and as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) and Wisconsin state statutes, Wisconsin school districts are required to identify in a uniform manner and provide services to English learners (ELs). This includes immigrant and migrant students, and students with disabilities.  

The requirements for identifying, supporting, and reclassifying English learners (ELs) stem from multiple sources, including federal law and associated regulatory guidance, common law, and state law. To help support districts as they navigate the policies, procedures and practices, the DPI in consultation with many Wisconsin school districts over time, has developed the EL Policy Handbook. This handbook documents Wisconsin’s collective best practices to serve and support ELs and their families.

A link to the current Handbook can be found at

Comments on this handbook may be sent to the administrator of this page and should be noted in the subject heading.


For questions about this information, contact Tamara Mouw (608) 266-2364