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English Language Learner KnowledgeBase for Administrators & Teachers

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The English Language Learner (ELL) KnowledgeBase for Administrators and Teachers is an online resource supporting both the administration, teaching and execution of programs for English learning students. It offers resources related to Office for Civil Rights (OCR) requirements and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Task 2: Become Familiar with OCR Guidelines

Guideline: Leaders at the school and/or district level should become familiar with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights guidance addressing equal educational opportunities for all students. Knowledge of this guidance will assist in developing policies and programs that meet the legal standards.




This U.S. Department of Education website offers a 2015 Peer Review Non-Regulatory Guidance of State Assessment Systems required to meet Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Dear Colleagues Letter and Guidance: English Language Learners and Limited English Proficient Parents

This Dear Colleagues letter developed by the Office of Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice, describes the responsibilities of districts and schools to provide equal educational opportunities to language minority students. This site offers this document in alternate languages.

ESSA Accountability

The School Superintendents Association developed this document with proposed regulations for ESSA Accountability.


Equal Educational Opportunity to LEP Students OCR Pamphlet - Spanish

This resource offers Equal Educational Opportunity to LEP Students guidelines in Spanish via this OCR Pamphlet.



Applying Federal Civil Rights Laws to Public Charter Schools

This Office for Civil Rights document summarizes the applicable civil rights compliance issues that Charter Schools must address in relation to LEP programs.

Equal Educational Opportunity to Limited-English Proficient Students OCR Pamphlet

This pamphlet, prepared by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, provides a summary of the legal basis for providing equal educational opportunity to students with limited English proficiency. It is a useful tool for explaining the legal requirements to parents, board of education members, district and building level staff and community leaders. The pamphlet is available in English and Spanish versions.

Alternate Formats: Spanish Downloadable PDFs: English and Spanish

Parent Involvement

Having parents play a significant role in their child's experience with the ELL program requires planning by the school's teachers and administrators. This document summarizes the primary issues that should be addressed.

Programs for English Language Learners - OCR Underlying Legal Principles

This Office for Civil Rights document provides guidance on establishing Programs for English Language Learners. The document provides an overview of the guiding legal principles that serve as the basis for compliance assessment with the applicable laws, regulations and case law.

Protecting Student from Harassment and Hate Crimes - A Guide for Schools

Provides elementary and secondary schools with practical guidance to help protect students from harassment and violence based on race, color, national origin, sex and disability.

Resources Available in Other Languages

The Office of Civil Rights website offers documents on students’ rights and guidelines in 24 different languages.

School Climate and Discipline

This link to the U.S. Department of Education website provides resources addressing school climate and discipline. As noted on the website, "The guidance package is a resource resulting from a collaborative project—the Supportive School Discipline Initiative (SSDI)—between ED and DOJ. The SSDI, launched in 2011, addresses the school-to-prison pipeline and the disciplinary policies and practices that can push students out of school and into the justice system. The initiative aims to support instead school discipline practices that foster safe, inclusive and positive learning environments while keeping students in school." 

The Department of Education news releases explains that the resource package consists of four components:

  • the Dear Colleague guidance letter on civil rights and discipline, prepared in conjunction with DOJ, describes how schools can meet their legal obligations under federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating against students on the basis of race, color or national origin

  • the Guiding Principles document draws from emerging research and best practices to describe three key principles and related action steps that can help guide state and local efforts to improve school climate and school discipline

  • the Directory of Federal School Climate and Discipline Resources indexes the extensive federal technical assistance and other resources related to school discipline and climate available to schools and districts

  • the Compendium of School Discipline Laws and Regulations, an online catalogue of the laws and regulations related to school discipline in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, compares laws across states and jurisdictions


Featured Topics on School Climate and Discipline

This U.S. Department of Education website provides newly featured resources addressing School Climate and Discipline.


The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.