This is not your typical plan. The Portland Plan requires us to work smarter, be more practical, partner across jurisdictions and be ready to have difficult conversations. This is how real progress will be made in Portland. So, how is this plan different?
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Date: June 7, I am writing to provide updates related to the Department's strategy to improve the academic achievement of ELLs. As you may know, the first two components require amendments to the regulations that will be voted by the Board at its June meeting.
The training course leading to the "SEI Endorsement" is one essential component that will give educators a foundation of understanding, knowledge, and skills critical to effective SEI instruction. The Board will vote on June 26th whether to require this endorsement for core academic teachers.
Ongoing professional development will also be required of all licensed educators during each license renewal cycle related to SEI and ESL instruction in order to sustain the focus on effective classroom practice. Beyond this coursework and professional development, SEI experts will provide supports such as coaching and professional learning communities to help teachers apply in their classrooms the knowledge and skills they acquire in these courses and trainings.
Current requirements for earning the ESL License do not reflect the most current research and studies of effective practice. Please note that while these new requirements would only apply to newly licensed ESL teachers, the new requirements should also be considered as more experienced ESL teachers develop and implement their individual professional development strategy implementation report write around portland IPDPs for renewal of their professional level license.
We anticipate that instruction and professional practice in classrooms will improve for ELLs through ongoing supervision, evaluation, and support for SEI teachers, and by the adoption of updated English language development standards and assessments through the WIDA World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment consortium.
WIDA provides a rigorous system of standards and assessments to advance the language development and academic achievement of ELL students. The WIDA English proficiency standards and assessments were developed by national English language experts and are already in use in 27 other states.
The WIDA standards promote academic language development for ELL students in four content areas-language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies-and thereby facilitate students' success in school.
In considering whether Massachusetts should become a member of WIDA, our staff began talking with representatives from other participating states in the spring of and had extensive discussions with Massachusetts educators serving ELLs, especially in urban districts.
We concluded that the WIDA standards, in conjunction with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks in English language arts ELA and mathematics, will enhance the learning of ELLs and provide more opportunity to improve their academic outcomes. As a member of the WIDA consortium, Massachusetts will benefit from an array of instructional and assessment resources for educators, including comprehensive statewide professional development for implementation of the WIDA standards and a new screening test for identifying incoming ELL students.
These workshops will continue this summer and into the coming school year at no charge to districts. Department-sponsored training for the administration of ACCESS for ELLs tests will begin in fall and will consist of an hour-long online session for test administrators, self-administered at their convenience.
School and district testing coordinators will be trained in person this fall at regional half-day sessions.
The Department will make prequalified instructors for the SEI Endorsement Course available to districts beginning in fall Using state funding anticipated for FYthe Department will pay for these course instructors.
Core academic teachers 1 teaching one or more ELLs i. Higher incidence districts will have three consecutive years, and lower-incidence districts two consecutive years, to qualify SEI teachers for the endorsement. We have previously distributed a chart that specifies which districts are located in each cohort.
We will soon distribute an updated chart that specifies the numbers of SEI teachers that need to qualify for the endorsement in each year of the four-year rollout period.
A series of two- and three-day Department-sponsored sessions for district ELL leaders and ESL teachers was conducted in May highlighting the implementation of WIDA standards and formative classroom assessments, and preparing staff to train colleagues.
Additional sessions will be offered during the summer months, and at least quarterly during the coming school year, for urban and low-to-moderate incidence districts. While courses for June are fully enrolled, notification of training opportunities in July and August will be sent shortly to superintendents and ELL directors with information on registration, dates, and locations.
Notification of fall training opportunities will be provided to superintendents in my back-to-school update.
Department staff will also communicate directly with ELL directors and principals by email, providing them with direct links to further information and online registration. Notification of face-to-face and online training opportunities for test coordinators and administrators will be communicated in my back-to-school update and by email directly to ELL directors and principals in early September.
Districts should consider whether to set aside funding to support the engagement of their SEI teachers and administrators in one or more of these important support options. Thank you for your support and leadership of this transformation of ELL teaching and learning. World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment WIDA is a consortium of 28 states including Massachusetts that provides a common set of English language development standards and assessments supporting academic language development for ELL students.
Information on WIDA can be found online at www. Professional development on WIDA standards begins ongoing.
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