Bilingual/ESOL SPED Program
The Bilingual English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Special Education Program was created in an effort to meet the requirements of the State Board of Education vs. LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) et. al., Consent Decree and the needs of the multicultural/multilingual population of special education in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The current Policies and Procedures for the Provision of Specially Designed Instruction and Related Services for Exceptional Students assures the appropriate identification and placement of English Language Learners (ELL) students of special education. The Office of Special Education, Alternative Outreach, and Psychological Services monitors schools to ensure the appropriate identification and placement of special education students who speak a language other than English at home. Bilingual/ESOL SPED Program personnel also participate in district mediation cases as needed.
Teachers and support personnel (e.g., staffing specialists) are trained by staff from the Bilingual/ESOL SPED Program on issues related to the identification and placement of ELL students into special education. Training is also provided to SPED personnel to meet the requirements of the LULAC, et. al., Consent Decree.
Bilingual Assessors (English/Spanish or English/Haitian-Creole) funded by the Office of Special Education and Psychological Services through federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and local funds conduct social and academic language assessments. In compliance with IDEA, Bilingual Assessors conduct language proficiency/dominance assessments (LPDA) prior to the referral of an ESOL student to determine if the English Language Learners (ELL) student’s reported academic and/or behavioral difficulties are due to the process of second language acquisition. The LPDA’s are conducted in English and the student’s home language(s) (e.g., Haitian-Creole and French). An LPDA report is developed and sent to the school. The report is used by school site committees. (e.g., ELL Committee, School Support Team, Child Study Team, School Development Team) to develop appropriate interventions, and determine the need for further evaluations. In addition, two Itinerant ESOL SPED teachers provide ESOL and/or Basic Skills in the Home Language (BSHL) instruction to Deaf/Hard of Hearing ELL students.
The Bilingual/ESOL SPED Program utilizes the services of interpreters from the Division of Bilingual Education and World Languages Multilingual Team and contracts with outside vendors to assist with other languages as needed.