Reclassification of English Learners

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

Reclassification is the process whereby a student is reclassified from English learner status to fluent English proficient (RFEP) status 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. EL students are reclassified after meeting these four criteria:

4 criteria required for reclassification
  1. Summative ELPAC Overall Performance Level (PL) 4; for students with for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, alternate criterion is Summative Alternate ELPAC Overall PL 3
  2. Basic Skills Relative to English Proficient Students (demonstrated by meeting cut score on SBA ELA, Star Reading, or Reading Inventory; 
  3. Teacher Evaluation;
  4. Parent Opinion and Consultation

EL students enter the reclassification process after meeting cut scores on the ELPAC and another ELA assessment (Smarter Balanced ELA, or Reading Inventory or Star Reading). Reclassification is approved after the remaining criteria are met: Teacher Evaluation and Parent Consultation. 

Students enter the reclassification process after meeting a 4 on the ELPAC and a cut score on Smarter Balanced ELA, Reading Inventory, or Star Reading (K-8)
Chart showiing the four reclassification criteria. To enter reclassification process, ELPAC proficiency and meeting one cut score on a reading assessment is required. 

For a detailed description, please refer to the process guide.

FAQs about reclassification are addressed below. You are welcome to email with any other questions about reclassification. 

What are the four criteria for reclassification? What are the cut scores by grade level?

How are English learners reclassified in our school district? 

Four times a year, happening once in the Fall and three times in the Spring semester, eligible English learners are selected to enter the reclassification process after meeting the cut score for the ELPAC and one other ELA assessment (Star Reading, Fountas & Pinnell, Reading Inventory, or Smarter Balanced ELA). See reclassification criteria for cut scores by grade level. 

After pre-qualifying for the process, students are evaluated by their current English teacher or another certificated staff member who has instructional or placement responsibilities. The evaluation includes a review of the student’s academic assessment data and performance in ELA and/or ELD.

Then, the parent/guardian(s) of the eligible student is consulted about their child’s pending reclassification by the teacher or another school staff. 

At the end of the Fall and Spring semesters, the Multilingual Pathways Department reviews whether English learner students have met all four criteria of reclassification. Criteria 3 and 4 are met through the completion of the reclassification form, which must indicate both teacher recommendation and parent consultation.


Reclassification Process. First, MPD identifies eligible ELs and sends forms to schools. Then schools evaluate students, consult with parents, and submit forms. Lastly, MPD approves RFEP And publishes results.
Process Map for Each Round of Reclassification: First, MPD identifies eligible ELs and sends forms to schools. Then schools evaluate students, consult with parents, and submit forms. Lastly, MPD approves RFEP and publishes results.

What happens after English learner students reclassify to fluent English proficient?

Once students are reclassified (RFEP), they no longer need to participate in designated ELD, annual ELPAC testing, or other English learner services.  The school and Multilingual Pathways Department will monitor RFEP students’ academic progress for four years after reclassification. Interventions and support will be recommended and implemented for RFEP students failing to meet academic achievement goals. 

RFEP Progress Monitoring

When does reclassification happen?

Reclassification can take place at any time during the academic year, upon the student meeting all the criteria.

In the 2023-2024 school year, SFUSD will initiate three rounds of reclassification using Spring 2023 ELPAC Summative Results. At the end of the school year, students with new qualifying ELPAC and ELA assessment scores will be identified for Round 0.

At the beginning of each round, parents/guardians are notified of their students’ eligibility through ParentVue. For families without ParentVue, a letter is mailed to the home. During each round, teachers evaluate the eligible students and consult with parents regarding reclassification decisions. Students who meet all four criteria for reclassification will have their statuses changed from EL to RFEP (Reclassified to fluent English proficient).

Grey, checkered monthly calendar icon

Standard Reclassification Windows:

Round 1: October 2nd - November 17th

Round 2: February 5th - March 22nd

Round 3 (clean up for 2023-2024): April 1st - May 1st

Round 0 (uses first release of ELPAC scores from Spring 2024): Mid-May - June 4th

Who can I contact?

Feel free to email your questions to

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 the student 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 (Summative ELPAC and Alternate ELPAC), and how performance levels in basic skills 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 the 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


This page was last updated on April 22, 2024