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. In general, students initially identified as English Learners (ELs) are reclassified to fluent English proficient when they meet the following criteria:

  1. ELPAC Overall Performance Level (PL) 4;
  2. Basic Skills Relative to English Proficient Students (demonstrated by meeting cut score on SBA ELA, Reading Inventory, or Fountas & Pinnell);
  3. Teacher Evaluation;
  4. Parent Opinion and 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)

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

All other resources can be found in the Reclassification Toolkit 2023-2024

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 or Sukei Lao,  Ed Policy Analyst at the Multilingual Pathways Department.

What are the criteria for reclassification by grade level?

How are English learners reclassified in our school district? 

Three times a year, happening once in the Fall and twice 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 (Fountas & Pinnell, Reading Inventory, or Smarter Balanced ELA). See reclassification criteria (linked above) 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 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. 

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).

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

The reclassification form asks for parent consultation. How is this done?

Parent opinion and consultation is a requirement and the last step of the reclassification process. Here is a guide on how to have this conversation

The talking points during consultation should include 1) the teacher's evaluation and recommendation, 2) evidence of whether the student is ready for reclassification based on recent assessments and/or observations about the student's language use in the classroom. 

Schools vary widely in how they complete this step of the process. Some consult with parent/guardians through parent-teacher conferences while others may ask site support staff to reach the parent by phone, through ELAC meetings, and/or other school events. The intent of parent consultation is to have a meaningful conversation with the parent about the student's English proficiency level and readiness to exit EL services. While parental consent is not necessary for reclassification, it is important to elicit the parent's input and feedback. 

How can I look up if a student is eligible for reclassification?

An Illuminate report, titled "2023-2024 SY Reclassification Tracker," will be shared at the start of each round.

Alternatively, you can look up a student's assessment results and see if they have met the first two criteria to enter the process. 

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.

For more information on Individualized Reclassification view our one-pager.

If a student with an IEP does not meet one or more criteria, can the student still be reclassified? 

Yes, in some cases a student who does not meet one or more standard reclassification criteria due to the impact of the student’s disability can be approved for reclassification by the Multilingual Pathways Department.


When does Individualized Reclassification happen?

Individualized Reclassification happens throughout the academic school year.  As IEP teams hold meetings at various times during the fall and spring semesters students may be recommended by the IEP team upon completion of required documentation (IEP and Individualized Reclassification form). The Multilingual Pathways Department reviews requests and issues determinations of approved or not approved continually throughout the school year.

Recommendations may be submitted to MPD at any time during the school year up to May 17, 2024. Recommendations received after this date will be processed in Fall 2024.

For more information, view our one-pager.

Who initiates the Individualized Reclassification review process for a student with an IEP?

The IEP team and the Special Education case manager initiate the review process. The Special Education case manager is responsible for the following:

  1. ensure English language proficiency & progress towards reclassification are discussed at the IEP meeting
  2. document the discussion about reclassification in the IEP Notes
  3. complete the Individualized Reclassification form & upload it to SEIS as an IEP attachment
  4. notify Multilingual Pathways Department by email that the team is requesting a review

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 ELPAC) 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.

What documents are required for the Individualized Reclassification review process?

  1. Current IEP affirmed in SEIS

IEP Notes page must clearly document the rationale for recommending reclassification. Samples here

  1. Individualized Reclassification Review Form must be uploaded to SEIS as an attachment to current IEP.  Both sides of the form must be completed. 

For more information click here

Does the special education case manager need to send or email any documents or forms to the Multilingual Pathways Department?

The special education case manager must notify the Multilingual Pathways Department via email that the IEP team is recommending reclassification.  Send an email to 

  • subject line:  “Recommendation for Individualized Reclassification” . 
  • body of email:  provide the student’s legal name, school, SEIS ID, grade 

No documents or forms need to be submitted to the Multilingual Pathways Department. The reclassification review form for ELs with IEPs must be uploaded to SEIS as an attachment to the IEP. The review process for individualized reclassification screening is conducted entirely online through SEIS, Illuminate and Synergy. Any soft or hard copies of documents, attachments, forms, grades, report cards, assessments, evaluations, etc. submitted or emailed will not be considered and will be returned.

For more information on how to submit a recommendation click here

How is a student reviewed for Individualized Reclassification?

When the special education case manager notifies MPD of the IEP team recommendation for reclassification this initiates the review process.  The  Multilingual Pathways Department conducts a thorough review & analysis of several factors including:  student's IEP history, progress towards IEP goals, length of time receiving EL services/ELD, impact of disability/ies on English language proficiency & progress and achievement results, recent 3-5 consecutive years of ELPAC data & English basic skills data, along with other other measures depending on the student.

Contact Info & Resources

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

If you have additional questions or need more information about the Individualized Reclassification process, contact: 

Individualized reclassification forms, resources and information:

This page was last updated on January 23, 2024