Reclassification of English Learners

What is reclassification of English Learners and how does it happen?

Reclassification is the process whereby an English Learner is reclassified as a Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) student after meeting various linguistic and academic criteria set by the state and district. The San Francisco Unified School District has developed student reclassification policy and procedures based on criteria set forth by California Department of Education (CDE) guidelines. In general, students initially identified as English Learners (ELs) are reclassified as Fluent English Proficient when they meet the following criteria:

  • Overall English proficiency level of 4;
  • Demonstration of “basic skills” in English from an objective assessment that is also given to English proficient students of the same age;
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Parent Notification

Please refer to the linked “SFUSD Reclassification Criteria by Grade Level” for each language. Once students reach RFEP status, their school and Multilingual Pathways Department will closely monitor their academic progress for four years.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions about reclassification of English learners (standard process)?

If you have additional questions or need more information about the process of reclassification, contact Sukei Lao,  Ed Policy Analyst at the Multilingual Pathways Department.

Reclassification of English Learners with IEPs (Individual Education Plans)

What is individualized reclassification?

Individualized Reclassification (IR) is a process by which an English Learner student with an IEP may be reclassified as a fluent English proficient student. Students with disabilities, including severe cognitive disabilities, should be provided the same opportunities to be reclassified as students without disabilities. The Individualized Reclassification process may be appropriate when the IEP team determines that an English Learner student with an IEP would benefit from reclassification, but the student’s disability prevents him/her from meeting the standard reclassification criteria.


How does an IEP team determine whether Individualized Reclassification is appropriate for an English Learner with an IEP?

​The IEP team may consider measures of English language proficiency (ELPAC or alternate assessment if appropriate, e.g. VCCALPS) and performance levels in basic skills that would be equivalent to an English proficient peer with similar disabilities. If the IEP team determines that the primary reason the student does not meet standard reclassification criteria is due to the disability rather than limited English proficiency, and the student’s English language proficiency is commensurate with similarly disabled English proficient peers, the IEP team can recommend that the student be reclassified via the Individualized Reclassification Protocol.


Who initiates and manages the Individualized Reclassification process?

The Special Education case manager is responsible for completing the Individualized Reclassification packet and submitting it to Multilingual Pathways Department for approval.


What documents are required as part of the Individualized Reclassification packet submitted to Multilingual Pathways?

  • Individualized Reclassification form with required signatures (original)
  • IEP -- a copy of the entire most recent IEP including a signed copy of the signature and consent page. Please note: The IEP must be compliant according to CDE guidelines & have all required components for EL students in the appropriate sections.  
  • Recent report card


Below are the frequently used forms for reclassification for students with IEP’s (only accessible to SFUSD educators)

Where can I find information about mandated annual English Language Proficiency testing in SFUSD?

Who should I contact if I have additional questions about Individualized Reclassification?

If you have additional questions or need more information about Individualized Reclassification contact Corinne Vega, TSA at the Multilingual Pathways Department, at

Changes to Reclassification Criteria