State and federal laws require that all students whose primary language is other than English, as determined by a Home Language Survey, be assessed for English language proficiency. The legal basis for requiring English proficiency testing is that all students have the right to an equal and appropriate education, and any English language limitation (left unidentified and/or unaddressed) could keep a student from accessing that right.

Education Code Section 313(a) states:

Each school district that has one or more pupils who are English learners shall assess each pupil’s English language development in order to determine the level of proficiency of English.

In Accordance with this Ed Code, all school districts in California administer the California English Language Development Test, otherwise known as the “CELDT”. The CELDT must be given to all students whose primary language is not English within 30 calendar days after they are enrolled in a California public school for the first time (these are “Initial” test takers). The CELDT also must be given once each year to all previously identified ELs (these are “Annual” test takers) until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient.

The CELDT has three purposes:

  • To identify students who are limited English proficient (LEP)

  • To determine the level of English language proficiency of LEP students

  • To assess the progress of LEP students in acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English

Administering the CELDT: The testing window for each school year is July 1 through October 31 for all annual test takers, and July 1 through the end of the school year for all initial test takers. Only test examiners who are employees of Hesperia Unified School District, are proficient in speaking English, and have received formal CELDT training may administer the test.

Receiving CELDT Results: Student Performance Level Reports are received approximately eight weeks after the completed tests are sent to the test contractor for scoring. These reports are received in Language Support Services, and then mailed out to each student’s parents or guardians. CELDT results are confidential, and results are only to be shared with each student’s teacher(s) and parents or guardians.


Why does my child have to take the CELDT?

Your student must take the CELDT if at the time of enrollment, it is determined that a language other than English is used in the home, by way of a home language survey that was completed within the enrollment packet. If your student attended another school district in California prior to enrolling with Hesperia Unified School District, the language designation determined at your child’s prior school will carry over when transferring to one of our schools.

Can parents opt to have their students exempted from taking the CELDT?

No. Parents cannot “opt out” of the CELDT because English language proficiency assessment is both a federal (NCLB Title I. section 1111[b][7] and Title III, 2002) and state requirement (EC 313). A child must test out by meeting district reclassification criteria.

What if I made a mistake when completing my child’s home language survey?

If you indicated a language other than English in error on the home language survey, and we have not yet administered the CELDT to your child, you may re-submit a corrected home language survey. However, if we determine that the child was already identified at a prior school district as an EL, that designation overrides the home language survey you complete when enrolling your child here. Also, if the student was administered the CELDT already, and identified as an EL, we cannot accept any revision to the language survey at that time.

What does a parent need to do to have his/her child placed in an English language mainstream classroom?

The parent/guardian of an EL need only request this placement at the child’s school. This does not entail going through a waiver process.

What is SEI?

SEI, also known as “Sheltered English Immersion” is an English language acquisition process for young children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English, but with curriculum and presentation designed for children who are learning the language. Typically, SEI includes: (1) English language development appropriate to each student’s level of English proficiency, (2) content instruction utilizing specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE) whenever needed for full access to the core curriculum, and (3) may include primary language support. Usually, SEI is for ELs scoring at the beginning through intermediate levels on CELDT.