Massachusetts - Engagement of Parents of English Language Learners: Program requirements

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation
Summary: 

State law requires parent and family engagement as a component of English Language Learner (ELL) programs.

Massachusetts General Laws ch 71A.6A English Learner Parent Advisory Council

A school district or charter school operating a language acquisition program for English learners serving 100 or more English learners or in which English learners comprise at least 5 per cent of the district’s or charter school’s student population, whichever is less, shall establish an English learner parent advisory council; provided, however, that any other school district or charter school may establish a parent advisory council pursuant to this section. The council shall be composed of volunteer parents or legal guardians of students who are or have been identified as English learners and, to the extent feasible, the members of the council shall represent the native languages most commonly spoken by the students of the district or charter school. The duties of the council shall include, but not be limited to: (i) advising the school district, school committee and board of trustees on matters that pertain to English learners; (ii) meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning and development of programs designed to improve educational opportunities for English learners; and (iii) participating in the review of school improvement plans under section 59C of chapter 71 and district improvement plans under section 1I of chapter 69 as the plans relate to English learners. Upon request from a parent advisory council, each school committee or school council within that parent advisory council’s district shall meet at least annually with the council; provided, however, that if the parent advisory council advises a charter school the board of the charter school shall, upon request from the parent advisory council, meet not less than annually with the council. The council shall establish by-laws regarding officers and operational procedures. In the course of its duties under this section, the council shall receive assistance from the director of language acquisition programs for the school district or charter school or other appropriate school personnel as designated by the superintendent. The department shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of this section including, but not limited to, the process for parents or legal guardians to be notified of English learner parent advisory councils and the process for the appointment of volunteer parents or legal guardians to a council.


603 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 14.09 English Learner Parent Advisory Councils

(1) Each school district serving 100 or more English learners or in which English learners comprise at least 5% of the student population, whichever is less, shall establish an English learner parent advisory council in accordance with M.G.L. c. 71A, § 6A. Nothing in 603 CMR 14.09 shall prevent any other school district or charter school from creating an English learner parent advisory council if it chooses to do so.

(2) Each school designated as underperforming or chronically underperforming and operating a program for English learners shall establish an English learner parent advisory council in accordance with M.G.L. c. 69, § 1J(x).

(3) A school district or school required to establish an English learner parent advisory council shall annually notify parents and guardians of English learners of the opportunity to participate in the council and shall provide the notification in a language that the parent or guardian can understand.
(4) All parents and guardians of English learners who volunteer to participate in the English learner parent advisory council shall be appointed to the council by the superintendent or the superintendent's designee. Nothing in 603 CMR 14.09 shall prevent a school district from recruiting volunteer parents and guardians of English learners to participate in the English learner parent advisory council.

(5) The duties of the English learner parent advisory council shall include those listed in M.G.L. c. 71A, § 6A and any other duties as may be identified by the school district consistent with guidance from the Department. English learner parent advisory councils shall carry out their duties in accordance with state law and guidelines established by the Department. An English learner parent advisory council shall establish bylaws regarding officers and operational procedures. The school district shall, without charge, and upon reasonable notice and consistent with the availability of staff and resources, assist the English learner parent advisory council in carrying out its duties.
Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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