English Language Learner Program

JMS English Learner Program

To ensure all students can be successful, English learners are provided support until they become Fluent English Proficient (FEP). The instructional model in classrooms for English learners (EL) is a program of Structured English Immersion (SEI). The program takes place in the regular classroom and/or support classes. All instruction is taught in English using primary language instruction and/or materials as support (when available). The program includes English Language Development (ELD) and subject areas taught in a way English learners can understand, also known as Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE). The participation in this program is only known by the student’s teachers and site administration. At the end of each school year, every EL student is re-evaluated to determine his or her English language ability. To learn more about the program and services for the English language learners in grades K-12 in the Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) download a copy of the TUSD English Learner Handbook for Parents and Staff

English Language Learner Educational Philosophy

Jefferson Middle School is a multilingual school in a multilingual district. We are committed to a strong academic curriculum for all students, including equal access to the core curriculum for English learners, which leads to grade promotion and a high school diploma. The instructional program for English learners consists of combinations of English Language Development (ELD), Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), primary language support, and instruction that reinforces a positive self-image and promotes cross-cultural understanding.

Parents'/Guardians' Role:  Parents/guardians play a critical role in their students’ success. Therefore, communication between the school and the home is very important. Report cards, notes home, conferences, back to school night, and open house are opportunities for parents/guardians to meet with their child’s teacher(s) and monitor their child’s progress. In addition, the school handbook is another tool for parents to use to become familiar with their child’s school. Students are also expected to complete homework regularly. Parents should provide a place for their child to do his/her homework and regularly monitor the homework so that assignments are being completed. 
Reading: Reading is very important for student success. Students are encouraged to read or be read to daily. Reading may be done in any language the child or parent can fluently read.

Volunteering: JMS encourages our  parents to volunteer. Parents are also encouraged to join the local school site parent/teacher association (PTA) and our English Learner Multicultural Advisory Committee.

TUSD Reclassification Criteria 

Annually each English learner is assessed to determine progress in learning English. Parents will receive an annual letter reporting the student’s progress. An English learner will be reclassified as fluent English proficient when ALL of the following criteria is met: 

The Reclassification Criteria Pursuant to California Education Code Section 313 TUSD Reclassification Criteria for Grades 3 through 12
1. Assessment of English language proficiency, using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the state test of English language development; and

California English Lang. Development Test*

A student must receive an overall score of Early Advanced or Advanced on the CELDT and no single sub-score below Intermediate.

2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the student's curriculum mastery; and

Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6: 
  • The student must demonstrate that he/she has met a preponderance of standards in all academic areas on the 3rd trimester (year-end) Achievement Report (standards-based report card) with no standards reported as not met. 
  • The classroom teacher must recommend the student for reclassification to fluent based on the student’s ability to demonstrate curriculum mastery and English language proficiency.
Grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12: 
  • The student must earn grades of C or better in all academic areas.
  • The English/language arts teacher must recommend the student for reclassification to fluent based on the student’s ability to demonstrate curriculum mastery and English language proficiency.

3. Parent opinion and consultation; and
Reclassification Parent Meeting:
  • The site administrator or ELD Coordinator invites the parents/guardians of all students who meet reclassification criteria 1, 2, and 4 to a reclassification meeting. 
  • At the meeting the Reclassification Record and appropriate supporting materials will be shared and discussed with the parents.
  • If the parent/guardian agrees to the change in placement, the student will be reclassified as fluent English proficient (RFEP).
  4. Comparison of student performance in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based on the performance of English proficient students of the same age. California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)**
  • The students must meet or exceed the achievement standards on the English Language Arts/Literacy portion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment that is taken by students at the end of each year in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11.
  • Students must perform at/near or above standard (meet or exceed achievement standards) on selected English Language Arts/Literacy Smarter Balanced Interim Assessment Blocks that are taken by students at the beginning of each year in grades 3, 10, and 11.

*The California English Language Development Test (CELDT) assesses students in grades kindergarten through twelve in four areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. The CELDT is aligned to the English Language Development (ELD) standards.

**The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) is a system of valid, reliable, and fair next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts/literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11. See our 'Resource' tab for comprehensive information on CAASPP

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TUSD English Language Development and Language Assessment Center Website

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California English Language 

Development Test (CELDT)

In the state of California, school districts are required to test the English language skills of new students whose home or primary language is not English. School districts are also required to annually assess all students who are identified as English learners. School districts in California use the CELDT to assess these English language skills. The purposes of the CELDT are to:

  • Identify English learners in kindergarten through grade twelve
  • Measure their skill level in English
  • Check their progress in learning English each year 

The CELDT measures English language skills in four domains: ListeningSpeakingReading, and Writing.

For answers to “What is the purpose of the CELDT?” and “Who must take the CELDT?” and other frequently asked questions, please visit the CELDT Frequently Asked Questions web page.

Are you wondering what the test looks like? Take a look at these sample questions (Released Test Questions, Update Sept. 2012). The Guide to Test Reports provide information on interpreting the Student Performance Level Report. The Test Performance Descriptors, which describe what students at each level of the CELDT can do, are also provided for each grade span. Guide to Test Reports and Test Performance Descriptors.


All English Learners must be tested on the state test called the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). This test is state and federally mandated and must be administered every year until the student is redesignated as Fluent English Proficient (FEP). We will be offering five weeks during the summer to complete the CELDT test. We will test all students prior to the commencement of school. Summer testing minimizes classroom disruptions and increases student performance.
Locations for ALL returning students K-12th grade are: 

  • July 6 - July 29, 2016 testing at Madrona Middle School (21364 Madrona Ave, Torrance, CA 90503)
  • August 15 - August 19, 2016 testing at Educational Materials Building (2336 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance, CA 90501)

CELDT Online Registration

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Jefferson Middle School implemented the Achieve 3000 program within our English Language Development classrooms, in addition as a support to other programs on campus. Each student has an account and can work on site or at home on their fluency and literacy. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000® is a proven and patented method of online differentiated reading instruction that engages all learners at their individual reading levels, both in fluency and in comprehension as it constantly challenges students to improve their literacy skills.