Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Arkansas Professional Judgment Rubric/Exit Criteria Guidance

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Learning Services
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Federal Programs; Superintendents; Principals; Teachers

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Under ESSA, all districts in Arkansas must utilize the same exit criteria and process when determining whether a Language Minority Student (LMS) qualifies as an English Learner (EL) or a Former English Learner (FEL). As part of the transition to common Entry and Exit Procedures related to Language Minority Students, Arkansas has created the attached Professional Judgment Rubric and Exit Criteria Guidance. This work is the result of a subgroup of the Arkansas ESSA English Learners/Title III Advocate Group.

When LMS students attain established criteria that demonstrate they are Fluent English Proficient (FEP) and can transition successfully to classrooms with minimal English Language Development support, they are then identified as an FEL. In order to exit a student from EL status, a Language Proficiency and Assessment Committee (LPAC) must verify that there are three pieces of evidence supporting the decision. The first piece of evidence is scoring “Proficient” on an ELPA21 Assessment. The second two pieces are gathered as part of the Professional Judgment Rubric described more below. Once these three pieces of supporting evidence are available, the LPAC must exit the student and begin the monitoring process. The goal is to determine when a LMS student is ready to be identified as an FEL in a timely and appropriate manner

The common exit procedures are outlined in the Arkansas ESSA Plan on page 125:
Exit Procedures
Timeline: LEAs will annually review every identified English Learner’s progress in acquiring English.


1. This review will be conducted by a site based Language Proficiency and Assessment Committee (LPAC).
2. Annual reviews will include a committee analysis of ELPA 21 summative assessment scores and other available student performance data.

Table 26. Criteria for Annual Review Placement


English Learner


Former English Learner, Year 1



Summative Overall Score

“Emerging” or “Progressing”



Judgment Rubric






Recommends appropriate English Learner services, classroom accommodations, assessmentaccommodations

Recommends exit to Former English Learner status





Continued identification as an English Learner

Exit from English Learner status and to be monitored for four years to ensure continued success

The attached Professional Judgment Rubric-Exit Criteria Guidance document outlines the Exit Criteria, Supporting Evidence, Examples of Evidence in Addition to ELPA21, the Professional Judgment Rubric, and how this applies to Former English Learner Monitored Years 1-4.

Effective immediately, the criteria to place a student as FEL requires a student to score as “Proficient” on the ELPA21 Summative Overall Score and to be rated as “Proficient” as described within the attached Professional Judgment Rubric-Exit Criteria Guidance document.  
It is the LPAC’s responsibility to consider all available evidence for a given student. Once a student has an ELPA21 score of proficient AND at least two additional pieces of data indicating performance comparable to grade level non-EL peers, it is the responsibility of the LPAC to exit the student from EL status and begin monitoring the student for continued success.

The ESSA English Learner Advocate Group also created a common ADE Language Minority Student Exit-Monitoring Form (attached) that must be utilized from this point on for the following three purposes:
1. Initiating placement as a FEL
2. Documenting a prior exit that was not documented
3. Monitoring a FEL

The revised Arkansas Entry/Exit Procedures Manual will be released in late Spring 2018 will contain the most up to date information and forms.   You may also reference Commissioner’s Memo LS-18-083 for more information on the Required Home Language Usage Survey, Entry/Exit Procedures, ELPA21 Screener, Summer Training, and includes a training schedule for the complete Entry/Exit Procedures.

A Zoom webinar will be held on Monday, May 7, from 1:30 -2:30 pm to introduce the Professional Judgment Rubric-Exit Criteria Guidance. Alan Lytle will discuss how to access the Spring 2018 ELPA21 scores and Tricia Kerr will discuss the new exit criteria.

In order to participate in the Zoom webinar, Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or iPhone one-tap : 
    US: +16465588656,,479117258#  or +16699006833,,479117258# 
Or Telephone: 
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 
        US: +1 646 558 8656  or +1 669 900 6833 
    Meeting ID: 479 117 258 
The recorded webinar and accompanying presentation materials will be posted on the ADE English Learner’s webpage.

For questions regarding Language Minority Students and English Learners, please contact Tricia Kerr, ADE ESOL Program Director,, 479-267-7450.  For questions regarding ELPA21, please contact Dr. Alan Lytle, ADE EL Assessment Specialist,, 501-682-4468.


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