Banning Unified School District - English Learner Program

English Learner Program


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English Learner Program

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Banning Unified School District serves a diverse student population. In accordance with state guidelines, Banning Unified School District has implemented programs for English Learners in order to meet the needs of the English Learner population. The Banning Unified School District program for English Learners focuses on all children of diverse language backgrounds and their needs. All students are expected to achieve academic success through high expectations as well as through the use of effective instructional methodology. In order to ensure that all English Learners are provided with opportunities to be successful, the Banning Unified School District addresses the identification, program design, curriculum, staffing, and instructional materials for English Learners as well as training for parents. In order to ensure the successful implementation of this program, the following goals have been established:

  • Establish standards-based student instruction and evaluation procedures by aligning district programs with state standards.
  • Provide equal access to the core curriculum.
  • Provide students with a smooth transition into the core curriculum and ensure academic success by developing English proficiency.
  • Provide staff and parents with a comprehensive overview of instructional practices for English Learners.
  • Assist students in developing positive self-esteem.

Students are identified, assessed, placed, and reclassified according to state guidelines. When a student enters any school in the Banning Unified School District, the parent or guardian completes a Home Language Survey. If the parent indicates that there is a second language in the home, the Language Assessment Center makes an appointment for the student to be tested with the California English language Development Test (CELDT). If the student is designated as an English Learner (EL), the parents choose one of the following three options for their child's education.

  •  Option 1 Mainstream Program
  •  Option 2 Structured English Immersion Program
  •  Option 3 a. Alternative Program

Options 1, 2, and 3 are available Kindergarten through grade twelve and all options chosen include the instruction of English Language Development. The following describes each of the district's options.

Option 1: Mainstream English Program
The Mainstream English Program provides the opportunity for the acquisition of English in an educational setting in which all the instruction is presented in English from Kindergarten through grade twelve, regardless of the student's stage in the acquisition of English. The EL student however, participates in an English Language Development program. The Mainstream English Program is offered at all schools in the Banning Unified School District.

Option 2: Structured English Immersion Program
The Structured English Immersion Program provides the opportunity for the acquisition of English and the majority of the instruction is presented in English. Academic support is provided in the student's primary language if needed. Teachers will have been trained in the implementation of English for primary language speakers. The students will receive an English language development (ELD) program. Academic instruction/support will be presented in the students' primary language as needed. The Structured English Immersion (SEI) Program is offered at every school in Banning Unified School District.

Option 3:
a. Alternative Program
The Alternative English Program provides the opportunity for the acquisition of English. The student's primary language is used to strengthen the academic achievement of the child. The students will participate in an English language development program. The Alternative program will be offered if there are 20 or more students in the target language and in the same grade level. Parents may request a transfer to a school, which offers the program, if space is available, but the parents are responsible for transportation.
Children will be placed in a Mainstream English Program for at least 30 calendar days. The parents must also sign a parental Exception Waiver.

English Learner History
Banning Unified School District has experienced an increase of English Learners, growing from 900 English Learners in 1996-1997 to 1306 in the year 2007. In order to provide the best academic instruction to our students, Banning Unified School District constantly seeks ways to ensure that the most rigorous program, instructional materials, opportunities for staff development, and the mandates of both state and federal laws are implemented.


Banning Unified School District has made a concerted effort to staff classrooms of English Learners with fully credentialed teachers. Newly hired teachers are asked to sign a teacher contract to agree to obtain a state-approved authorization such as the Cross-Cultural Language Academic Development (CLAD), the Bilingual Cross-Cultural Language Academic Development (BCLAD), or other state authorization to provide services to English Learners. In order to assist current teachers, the district continues to provide training leading to proper certification for teachers of English Learners. In a concerted effort between the school sites and the district office, BUSD has created four English Learner specialists positions.  These Teachers on Special Assingment are based at the school sites:  Cabazon Elementary /Hoffer Elementary; Central elementary/Hemmerling Elementary; Coombs Intermediate/Nicolet Middle; and Banning High School/New Horizons High School.  Banning Unified School District also provides bilingual instructional aides to sites whose students are in need of primary language support.

ELL Parent Involvement
The academic success of all students and particularly English Learners will be enhanced by the ongoing cooperation and collaboration between school sites and parents of English Learners. The Banning Unified School District provides multiple opportunities at both district and site levels for parents of English Learners to be involved in the education of their children. In order to take full advantage of these opportunities, parents must be made aware of the various ways in which they can gather valuable information that contributes to their child's academic success.
The school site may accomplish this by:
Ensuring that all home-school communication is provided in English and the primary language.

  • Having bilingual personnel available at all times in the front office.
  • Providing interpreters at school functions.
  • Utilizing the Parent Liaisons.
  • Calling parents and communicating in the primary language to invite them to school functions.
  • Sending newsletters on a regular basis.

Parents can access information and support their children by attending:

  • School functions such as Parent-Teacher Conferences, Parent/Teacher Association Meetings, and Back to School Night,
  • Parent Trainings, 
  •  Conferences
  • School Site Council (SSC),
  • English Learner Advisory Committees (ELAC),
  • District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC), 
  •  Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings, and
  • Actively using the Parent Liaisons.

In order to ensure the English Learners' academic success, parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the educational system of the United States and especially that of California. Knowledge of the Standards and Benchmarks at each grade level, an understanding of student achievement and accountability measures such as assessments, promotion and retention criteria, High School Exit Exam, and standardized testing are also critical elements for student success. Parents of English Learners are highly encouraged to participate in the schools' English Learner Advisory Committees (ELAC) and the monthly meetings of the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC). A more detailed description of the ELAC and DELAC is provided in the ELAC Parent Notebook.