ESOL Toolkit

  • Introduction 

    This toolkit outlines how Baltimore City Public Schools supports English learners. Based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, several Supreme Court decisions (e.g. Lau v. Nichols, Plyler v. Doe), and federal legislative actions, English learners (ELs) are guaranteed equal access to education. 

    How to identify an English Learner 

    To ensure that English learners are being served adequately, Baltimore City Public Schools identifies anyone who qualifies for language services. Then, students receive appropriate instruction and accommodations. 
    To do this, the following steps should be taken:
    • Students register at their zoned/neighborhood school or the Office of Enrollment and Attendance, where the following registration steps are taken. Complete the Home Language Survey with the student and family.
    • Students, who speak another language and have not previously been exited from an ESOL program, will be assessed by a certified ESOL teacher to determine their eligibility for ESOL services. Once students are identified as needing language services, parents must be notified of their placement into the ESOL program. Families do have the right to refuse ESOL services.

    • Contact the school’s transportation coordinator to determine eligibility for transportation.
    • The ESOL teacher will schedule the student to receive appropriate language learning instruction and assist general educators as needed. The teacher will complete all state and federally-mandated paperwork and place it in the student’s EL folder.

    • Appropriate accommodations must be determined by the ESOL teacher in collaboration with general education and content teachers and any other relevant staff member (e.g. special education teacher).

    Interpretation and Translation services. Every family has the right to receive school information in a language they understand. Please note that this is not limited to families who have students in the ESOL program. Many state documents are available in multiple languages, but it is each school’s responsibility to make sure that families are receiving the information.

    For questions, please contact Baltimore City Public Schools ESOL Office using the One Call Center at 443-984-2000 or
     ESOL students