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Office of School Support & Well-Being

Bilingual Assessment Team

The Bilingual Assessment Team (BAT) is a multilingual unit designed to collaborate with schools' Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams to assess and interpret data from English Language Learners who have or are suspected of having an educational disability.

BAT is comprised of bilingual instructional specialists, school psychologists, and speech/language pathologists. The BAT unit office is located at Rocking Horse Road Center.

Staff Directory

Referrals to BAT must be sent via the Bilingual Assessment Team Electronic Referral Form.
PEP Bilingual Assessment Team Electronic Referral Form
Please see detailed instructions on how to complete the form here.

Consider the following factors when determining whether a student may be referred to BAT:

  1. Is the student enrolled in ESOL?
  2. Is the home language of the student one of the five languages serviced by BAT?
  3. Is the student an ESOL Level 3 or 4?
  4. Is the student an ESOL Level 1 or 2 AND is the student's WIDA Listening and Speaking scores below Level 3?


  1. BAT will only complete initial special education evaluations for student(s) whose home language is one of the following: Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Amharic.

  2. BAT will only complete speech and language evaluations for student(s) whose home language is Spanish.

  3. Schools should refer a student for language dominance testing prior to conducting a Screening or a Reevaluation Planning IEP meeting only if their home language is one of the five listed above and the student receives ESOL level 3 or 4 services.

  4. Schools should refer a student who receives ESOL level 1 or 2 services and has WIDA Listening and Speaking scores of 1 or 2 only if their home language is one of the five listed above.

  5. A school should refer a student who receives ESOL level 3 or 4 services for special education evaluations only if their home language is one of the five listed above and the language dominance testing revealed mixed- or home-language dominance.

  6. A school should refer student(s) to BAT for re-evaluation if the student has a disability code of Developmental Delay, the student receives ESOL level 1 or 2 services, the home language is one of the five listed above and the student has WIDA Listening and Speaking scores of 1 or 2.

  7. All other assessments are to be conducted by school personnel with the assistance of an interpreter, when appropriate. Requests for interpreters should be submitted to the Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) using the Language Assistance Request Information System (LARIS). Contact LASU at 240-740-4054 or via email. For questions regarding best practices in conducting special education evaluations with the assistance of an interpreter, please contact the BAT office at 240-740-4420 for assistance.

See the Updated Referral Process to the Bilingual Assessment Team for more detailed information.

What We Do

Members of the BAT unit collaborate with school teams and families to support collaborative problem solving and address the needs of English Language Learners who are suspected of having educational disabilities.

The BAT staff use its members' linguistic and cultural knowledge, skills, and abilities to make complex special education procedures understood by parents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

The BAT staff members use a variety of standardized instruments, informal measures, rating scales, and observations to collect data and make a valid assessment of the student's learning needs.

The BAT unit provides the following services to local school Educational Management Teams (EMT) and IEP teams, as appropriate:

  • Language dominance determinations
  • Psychological assessments
  • Educational assessments
  • Speech-language assessments (Spanish only)

Referrals: Kindergarten–Grade 12

When is a student referred to the BAT?

The EMT staff, including the ESOL teacher, should have implemented systematic interventions and documented their effectiveness before referring an English Language Learner (ELL) to the BAT unit. The appropriate ESOL instructional specialist can provide advice and suggestions during this process. Following the implementation of interventions, students who do not show appropriate progress and students who show evidence of a disability should be referred to the IEP Team. The EMT should request the completion of a language dominance assessment of ESOL level 3 or 4 students before the screening IEP team meeting is held.

Action Steps for ELL students prior to referral for IEP screening:

  • Initiate Collaborative Problem Solving
  • Implement interventions/accommodations with integrity
  • Use data-based decision making to determine if the intervention is successful
  • Return to Collaborative Problem Solving/EMT when interventions are not successful to determine next steps

What happens next?

  • Refer to IEP Team and BAT using the appropriate BAT Referral form.
  • BAT will assign an instructional assessment specialist to determine ESOL level 3 or 4 student's dominant language.

What is a language dominance determination?

The primary purpose of a language dominance determination is to determine the appropriate language(s) for testing if the IEP team recommends evaluation. There are essentially three possible outcomes from language dominance assessment:

  1. First Language Dominant: All testing should be done bilingually. Educational and psychological assessments will be done by the BAT. Speech-language assessments in Spanish will be done by the BAT except in special circumstances dictated by the Speech and Language Programs office. Speech-language assessments in languages other than Spanish will be done by school-based personnel with an interpreter.
  2. English Dominant: All testing will be conducted in English by school-based personnel.
  3. Mixed Dominant: Typically, a student who demonstrates mixed language dominance is more competent academically in English than in their first language, but the student may understand and communicate better in their first language. For this reason, the educational assessment is done by local school personnel in English, but the psychological and speech-language assessments may be completed bilingually or with an interpreter.

What happens after the screening IEP meeting?

  1. If an evaluation has been recommended, testing is assigned to a BAT staff member.
  2. If the school requests BAT complete assessments(s), the school personnel must send a complete BAT referral. Send the correct BAT Referral form and packet with all necessary documents to the BAT unit. Referrals should be sent to the BAT unit as soon as possible after the IEP meeting.
  3. A school representative should contact the BAT unit 3 work days after sending the referral to the BAT unit to confirm its receipt.
  4. After the BAT unit receives the referral, the appropriate personnel will be assigned to conduct the requested assessments.
  5. When needed, school personnel should obtain an interpreter for the Evaluation IEP meeting.
  6. BAT assessments will be reviewed at the Evaluation IEP meeting. As timelines and scheduling permit, the BAT psychologist assigned to a case may attend the Evaluation IEP meeting; otherwise the school IEP team should review assessments.


Call the BAT unit at 240-740-4420.

Other questions can be directed to the BAT instructional assessment specialist assigned to the school.