English Learners (ELs)

Q: What is the guiding document in Nebraska that addresses program requirements and services for identified ELs in public schools?

A: Nebraska Rule 15, Regulations and Procedures for the Education of Students with Limited English Proficiency in Public Schools. The Rule 15: Guide for Implementation is a companion document to the rule and provides guidance to Nebraska school district administrators, teachers, and other personnel who are responsible for the education of English learners in Grand Island and across the state.

Q: How is a student identified as an EL?

A: After the Home Language Survey is completed and a language other than English has been identified, a valid and reliable initial English language proficiency assessment is administered at the GIPS Welcome Center. As a result, the district appropriately identifies and places students in a supplementary language instruction educational program to that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve academically, regardless of the students native language.

Q: Do parents have to be notified if their child is identified as an EL and placed in language instruction educational programs?

A: Yes. Federal guidelines outline the requirement to notify parents about the score on the initial language assessment, the program services that can potentially be provided, special education considerations, and other information which can allow parents to make informed decisions about their child regarding student program placement.

Q: What services for ELs are provided by GIPS?

A: Based on the guidance of NDE Rule 15, GIPS provides a continuum of supplementary service to identified English Learners which can include Newcomers, Transitions, Pullout, In-Class Supports, or Sheltered Instruction classes. Contact the Federal Programs Office at 308-385-5900 for further information.

Q: How is a student exited from EL services?

A: Based on the guidance of NDE Rule 15, an EL student who scores “Proficient” on the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) in the spring, can be officially exited from active EL services.

Q: How can it be ensured that a student continues to progress academically after exiting the EL Program.

A: All students exited from active EL services (with some special education exceptions) are monitored for four years following the exit to ensure academic progress.

Q: Can an EL student be served in more than one program?

A: Yes. Based on certain criteria, an EL student can be served in the EL program and other programs as appropriate (i.e., Gifted and Talented, Special Education).

Q: Why is a student identified as an EL, but he/she speaks English?

A: As individual EL students progress through the program, they gain English proficiency at different rates. District exit criteria are established to determine that the student has attained English language proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening. This is measured by the annual ELPA21 assessment. If the student does not have a “Proficient” score, they will continue to be identified as an EL until proficiency is attained.

Migrant Education Program

Q: What is the Migrant Education Program?

A: It is a federal program that strives to ensure that migrant children fully benefit from the same free public education provided to other children.The national, state and local programs work together to address the unique needs of migrant children and youth to help reduce educational disruptions and other problems that result from repeated moves.  A grant is written to meet academic goals that support student success in school based on the state’s comprehensive needs assessment.  Goals include: School Readiness; Reading, Writing, and Mathematics; and Graduation & Services to Out-of-School Youth (OSY)

Q: How does a student qualify as Migrant?

A: Qualification is determined through identification and recruitment by the Migrant Recruiter. Please contact Suyapa Gonzalez for more information (sgonzalez@gips.org, 308-385-5796)

Q: What services are provided to qualified Migrant students?

A: Academic supports, support services, and free lunch are all supplementary services that may be provided to GIPS migrant qualified students to enable them to succeed in school. The GIPS Migrant Education staff works closely with schools to evaluate and monitor migrant student needs and assist with identifying and aligning direct services to migrant students as outlined in the GIPS Migrant Service Delivery Plan.  Academic Supports include reading, writing, vocabulary, and mathematics supports; supplies to assist with language arts and mathematics; tutoring; before and after school programs; summer opportunities; credit recovery.  Support Services include student leadership programs and/or conferences; career or higher education conferences and/or experiences; community counseling services; parent education programs and literacy events; transportation (to-from school); medical and nutritional services.

Q: What if my child does not qualify for Migrant services?

A: Each child in Grand Island Public Schools receive services needed to enable them to succeed in school. If you have any questions regarding qualification, contact Suyapa Gonzalez at (308)385-5796.

Q: Where is the GIPS Migrant office located?

A: We are located in the Grand Island Public Schools Kneale Administration Building at 123 S Webb Grand Island, NE 68803, at the corner of Webb Road and Hwy 30.

Q: What is the contact information for the Grand Island Project Migrant Education Program staff?

A: Kris Schneider, Director (308)385-5900, ext. 1120

    Amanda Levos, Coordinator (308)385-5900, ext. 1119

   Suyapa Gonzalez, Recruiter & Facilitator for Middle School Migrant Students (308)385-5796

   Sara Jelinek, Data Entry & Parent Liaison (308)385-5900, ext. 1108

   Annalien Gonzalez de la Vega, Facilitator for PK-5 Migrant Students (308)390-4809

   Maria Trejo, Facilitator for High School Migrant Students (308)390-5718


Interpreting/Translation Services

Q: How can I request an interpreter for a parent meeting or parent communication?

A: Interpretation is available in Spanish on a continuing basis by contacting Jaqueline Guerrero (jguerrero@gips.org, ext. 1111) several days in advance of the scheduled meeting.  For languages other than Spanish (i.e. Somali, Nuer, Arabic) arrangements can be made through the EL Office and Pat Cummings (pcummings@gips.org, ext. 1122).  We will send the necessary contact information but school staff will be responsible for setting up the interpretation services and submitting payment.

Q: What languages are available for interpretation?

A: The EL Office has a list of community members that have agreed to interpret for the school district. Current languages available include Somali, Arabic, Nuer, Oromo, Vietnamese, and Spanish. Please contact Pat Cummings (pcummings@gips.org, ext. 1122) for more information. Interpretation is available in Spanish on a continuing basis by contacting Jaqueline Guerrero (jguerrero@gips.org, ext. 1111).

Q: What is the process for getting a document translated into Spanish?

A: Complete the Request for Interpretation/Translation Assistance form and send to Jaqueline Guerrero (jguerrero@gips.org. ext. 1111).  Please make arrangements for translation services as far in advance as possible. Contact Jaqueline for an estimated completion date which is dependent on the length of the document.

Q: I know a person who would like to interpret for the district as needed, what is the process to get them approved?

A:  Contact Pat Cummings (pcummings@gips.org, ext. 1122) in the EL Office.  In order for the interpreter to be paid by the district for services, the individual will need to complete a W-9 and submit to the GIPS Business Office.  The interpreter’s information will then be added to the contact list located in the EL Office.

Q: What paperwork needs to be completed by an interpreter for payment?

A:  In order to be paid by the district for interpretation services, GIPS needs a W-9 on file and a signed copy of the Interpretation and Translation Services pay request form.  Send completed forms to Pat Cummings in the EL Office at the Kneale Administration Building.

Q:  Does GIPS have a Spanish phone line?

A:  Yes, call 308-385-5796 to be connected to a Spanish-speaking district employee.