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English Learner Policy Handbook

Wisconsin English Learner 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, school districts throughout the state 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.


EL Policy Handbook 

Click the links below for direct access to the EL Policy Handbook thematic chapters.

     Introduction to the DPI Handbook

Chapter 1


Home Language Survey

 Chapter 2


ELP Screening

Chapter 3


Making an EL Determination

Chapter 4


Students Potentially Misclassified

Chapter 5


Annual ELP Assessment




Home Language Survey Translations

                              English         Spanish        Hmong        Chinese        Arabic       

                              Dari              Pashto          Somali         Russian        Ukrainian  


Chapter 6


Reclassification and Monitoring 

Chapter 7


Academic Content Assessments

Chapter 8


EL Programming

Chapter 9


EL Supports & Accommodations

Chapter 10


Parental Engagement & Support



Chapter 11


Els with Disabilities

Chapter 12


Students who are Immigrants

Chapter 13


Unique Circumstances

Chapter 14


Legal Framework

Chapter 15*


Multiple Indicator Protocol






*Please note that Chapter 15: Multiple Indicator Protocol is divided into three separate links. The main chapter provides the global overview of the Multiple Indicator Protocol. Sub chapters 15a and 15b will take you to the individual chapters on the observational protocol and the language artifacts protocol.

A link to the current Handbook in Google Drive can be found at: EL Policy Handbook

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 Amy Maciolek (608) 266-1570, Tanya Morin (608) 267-9393