Hamden Public Schools District Policies

6141.31 - Bilingual-Bicultural Education 

The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, shall ascertain annually the number of children of limited and non-English speaking ability within the school district and classify them according to their dominant language and report them to the Board of Education. 

Whenever it is ascertained that there are in any public school building within Nutmeg twenty or more eligible students classified as dominant in any one language other than English, the Board of Education shall provide a program of bilingual education for such eligible students for the following school year. 

The Superintendent of Schools will require each School Principal to conduct a preliminary assessment of dominant language of all students in the district as follows: 

  1. From parents/guardians by personal contact in the student's presumed dominant language.
  2. From parents/guardians by use of questionnaires in the student's dominant language.
  3. From personal interviews in the presumed dominant language (grades 4-12 only).
  4. From school records (only when unable to use one of the methods described in la -1c.)

The Superintendent shall apply annually for a grant of funds to support such a program. The Superintendent shall also submit annual reports of progress as required by law. 

A meeting shall be held with the parents/guardians of eligible students to explain the benefits of the language program options available in the district. A student will be placed in a bilingual program if the parent(s)/guardian(s) elect this option. 

An eligible student for the bilingual program shall be limited to no more than thirty (30) months, excluding summer school and time spent in two-way language programs, in a bilingual program. The program must continuously increase the use of English for instruction and provide that more than 50% of instruction be in English by the end of a student’s first year in the program. 

Beginning September 1, 2000, the progress made by each student in the bilingual education program in meeting the English mastery standard developed by the State Department of Education shall be assessed annually. Students not meeting the English mastery standard or those demonstrating limited progress shall be provided with additional language support services which may include, but are not limited to, summer school, after-school assistance and tutoring. Students meeting the state standard shall leave the program. The date of initiation into the district’s bilingual program and the date and results of the required assessments shall be documented on the student’s permanent record card.  

Eligible students enrolling in a secondary school with less than thirty (30) months remaining before graduation shall be assigned to an English as a Second Language program. He/she may also be provided with additional services designed to enable the student to speak, write, and comprehend English by the time the student gradates and to assist the student meet the course requirements for graduation. 

The district, when required to provide a bilingual education program, shall also investigate the feasibility of instituting two-way language programs starting in kindergarten. 

Legal Reference:  

Connecticut General Statutes 

10-17 English language to be medium of instruction. Exception.

10-17a Establishment of bilingual and bicultural program.

10-17d Application for and receipt of federal funds.

10-17e Definitions.

10-17f Required bilingual education. (as amended by PA 98-168)

10-17g Application for grant. Annual evaluation report.

10-76e Definitions.

10-146f Waiver of certification requirements for bilingual teachers. State Board of Education Regulations

10-17h-1 to 10-17h-15. Programs of bilingual education.

P.A. 99-211. An Act Improving Bilingual Education.


Policy adopted:  April 11, 2000

Hamden Public Schools     Hamden, Connecticut