Family Toolkit - Chapter 03 - Section 05 - English

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General Resources 

GreatSchools has created Milestones. GreatSchools describes Milestones as follows: “This is a free online collection of videos aimed at helping parents learn grade-level expectations in grades K–12. Milestones has students showing what success looks like in reading, writing, and math, grade by grade. High school Milestones shows real-world skills students should know as well as the academic ones.” This resource is available in English and Spanish. 

KidsHealth has created 10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in Elementary School. This resource is available in English and Spanish. “The World of Math Online” offers homework help, practice lessons, tips for choosing a tutor, calculators and tools, and games. 

National Association for College Admission Counseling has information about what courses are needed for college admission.  

The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education provides parent education and other family engagement activities that may help you connect more meaningfully with your child’s school.  Click here to visit the Families page:  

PBS Parents has information on supporting your child’s school success.  
This resource is available in English and Spanish. 

There are 13 Statewide Family Engagement Centers in the U.S. These centers provide help and training to state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) in promoting family engagement policies, programs, and activities that lead to student development and academic achievement. Click here to find the center in your state: 

TODAY Parenting Guides is a collection of resources with information about almost every aspect of your child’s development. Information is divided by grade level and topic. 

Advanced Classes 

College Board is a mission-driven organization that oversees the national AP program. Its Parent Resources page provides guidance and resources that can help families support their children in their post-secondary education journeys. .

Equity in Gifted/Talented Education is a website run by the Texas Education Agency. It provides practical resources and information for identifying and serving linguistically diverse gifted/talented learners.  

Online or Distance Learning 

eLearning has created Getting the Most Out of Your eLearning Course: 10 Study Tips for Online Learners. This article shares 10 study tips for online learners that will help them succeed while studying for an online course.  

NCELA: Ensuring Continuity of Learning and Operations is a webpage that includes resources for EL educators, students, and families on various topics related to distance learning. Some of the resources on this page provide information on culturally responsive practices and native language resources, and they also help EL families support their children during remote learning. Some resources on this page are available in languages other than English. 


Bilingual LIEPs provide instruction in English and an EL’s first or home language. These programs may include the participation of English proficient students in addition to ELs to develop bilingual skills in both groups of students. Two examples of bilingual LIEPs are: 

  • Dual-language education programs, also known as two-way immersion programs. These programs serve both EL and non-EL students. The goals of dual-language programs are to develop bilingualism and biliteracy in English and a partner language (e.g., Spanish), promote high academic achievement in both languages and develop understanding and appreciation of multiple cultures. There are two types of dual-language programs: two-way and one-way. Two-way programs serve ELs and non-ELs by having both groups in the same classroom for academic instruction in both languages. One-way programs serve predominantly students who share the same language background (e.g., ELs whose first language is Spanish). Dual-language programs generally start at the beginning of elementary school (in either kindergarten or grade one) and continue throughout elementary school, with some programs continuing at the secondary level. Some states may have specific policies or eligibility criteria regarding EL placement into dual-language programs.43 
  • Transitional bilingual education (TBE) programs, also known as early exit bilingual education, use an EL’s first or home language for instruction. These programs maintain and develop skills in the first or main language and culture while introducing, maintaining, and developing skills in English. The primary purpose of a TBE program is to help the EL transition to an English-only instructional program while receiving academic subject instruction in the student’s first or home language.44 

ESL LIEPs provide instruction in English with classroom materials and teaching adapted to the learning needs of ELs. ESL LIEPs may include both language and content instruction or just language instruction.45  Two examples of ESL LIEPs are: 

  • Content-based ESL programs provide language instruction using academic content like science and social studies.46 Students in these programs may also have a separate ESL class during their school day or may receive pull-out ESL instruction where they work with an educator for short periods during other classes. The goals of these programs are both the development of English language skills and preparation for students to meet academic achievement standards.  
  • Sheltered English immersion programs provide instruction that introduces both language and content at the same time by using teaching techniques adapted to ELs’ language needs.47 The focus is on teaching academic content rather than the English language itself, even though English learning may be one of the instructional goals. 

A language instruction educational program (LIEP) is defined in the ESEA, for purposes of Title III of the ESEA, as “an instruction course in which an [EL] is placed for the purpose of developing and attaining English proficiency while meeting challenging state academic standards and that may make instructional use of both English and a child’s native language to enable the child to develop and attain English proficiency, and may include the participation of English proficient children if such a course is designed to enable all participating children to become proficient in English and a second language.” (ESEA section 3201(7)). LIEPs can be divided into two types — bilingual programs and ESL programs — with various models that fit into each category. Program models may differ according to how states define them; public school district websites may have information regarding LIEPs posted on them. Within any LIEP, ELs may make progress in English with teaching that is adapted to meet the student’s learning needs. The following examples of LIEPs are not a complete list but provide descriptions of the types of programs that your child’s school district may offer.  

A magnet school is defined in the ESEA for purposes of the federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program as “a public elementary school, public secondary school, public elementary education center, or public secondary education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds.” Magnet schools may offer special instruction in academic content like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), or different languages. Magnet schools do not charge tuition to families, though they may have a separate admissions process. Magnet schools must comply with local, state, and federal laws. 

A public charter school is a publicly funded school that is typically governed by a group or organization under a legislative contract (or charter) with the state, district, or other entity. It provides an elementary or secondary education program or both. Charter schools are free from some state or local rules and regulations, but they do need to meet the accountability standards outlined in their charters. A school’s charter is reviewed periodically by the entity that granted it and can be taken away if guidelines on curriculum and management are not followed, or if the accountability standards are not met.48  

Public charter schools vary according to a state’s charter school laws, so characteristics, such as the curriculum they use or the programs they offer, may differ from state to state. However, there are some common characteristics of charter schools. Among these, families choose to apply to have a child attend a charter school and attendance is free. Public charter schools also differ from traditional public schools because they can use innovative educational practices. Charter schools may offer in-person, online, and hybrid classes.

A charter school that receives federal money must comply with all applicable federal requirements. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education operates the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP), which provides money to support the creation of new charter schools and the replication and expansion of existing, high-quality charter schools. A charter school receiving CSP money must meet the definition of a charter school in section 4310(2) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). See for more information. 


This document contains examples and resource materials that are provided for the user’s convenience. The inclusion of any material is not intended to reflect its importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered. These materials may contain the views and recommendations of various subject matter experts as well as hypertext links, contact addresses, and websites to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. The opinions expressed in any of these materials do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any outside information included in these materials. Mentions of specific programs or products in these examples are designed to provide a clearer understanding and are not meant as endorsements.

43 U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. (2015). Dual language education programs: Current state policies and practices. 
44 U.S. Department of Education. (2012). Language instruction educational programs (LIEPs): A review of the foundational literature. Retrieved from
45 Ibid. 
46 Ibid. 
47 Ibid.
48 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). The condition of education 2021: Public charter school enrollment (2009-2018). Retrieved from