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Garfield Heights City Schools

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EL Program (English Learner)

EL/ELL Program


EL stands for English Learner. Sometimes, the term ELL (English Language Learner) is used. Students receiving EL services have moved here from other countries and they have difficulty understanding and speaking English. Services must be provided to these students regardless of what their native languages are and regardless of whether or not the district has staff who speak their languages. Some of these students may speak various forms of Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Egyptian as well as languages whose origins are in the Middle East, Europe, or various islands around the world.

Parents of incoming students must complete an online enrollment application. The application can be found on the Garfield Heights City Schools website. On the right side of the page is a link that says, “New-Returning Students.” That is where to begin.

As part of the online application, parents will also complete a Home Language Survey. The survey is one of the measurements used to determine ELL eligibility and the level of service a student requires. Initial assessments are completed once children have been registered to attend school.

Lau V. Nichols Background

In 1974, about 1,800 LEP (Limited English Proficient) Chinese-American students living in the San Francisco area sued the San Francisco Unified School District because they were not receiving the help they needed to succeed in school. They felt that since they spoke little or no English, they needed assistance in order to succeed. Without this help, they said, their civil rights were being violated under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that by denying these students the right to have linguistically-appropriate accommodations, the rights of the students were being violated. The text of the decision is below:

U.S. Supreme Court

LAU v. NICHOLS, 414 U.S. 563 (1974)

414 U.S. 563


No. 72-6520.

Argued December 10, 1973
Decided January 21, 1974

The failure of the San Francisco school system to provide English language instruction to approximately 1,800 students of Chinese ancestry who do not speak English, or to provide them with other adequate instructional procedures, denies them a meaningful opportunity to participate in the public educational program and thus violates 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination based "on the ground of race, color, or national origin," in "any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance," and the implementing regulations of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Pp. 565-569.

483 F.2d 791, reversed and remanded.

DOUGLAS, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, MARSHALL, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. STEWART, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which BURGER, C. J., and BLACKMUN, J., joined, post, p. 569. WHITE, J., concurred in the result. BLACKMUN, J., filed an opinion concurring in the result, in which BURGER, C. J., joined, post, p. 571.

Edward H. Steinman argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were Kenneth Hecht and David C. Moon.

Thomas M. O'Connor argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were George E. Krueger and Burk E. Delventhal.