RBERN West Newsletter

October 2021

RECENT NEWS

Extension of Special Administration of the NYSITELL

NYSED has extended the deadline for the special administration of the NYSITELL until October 29, 2021.


See full text on NYSED website.

NYSED OBEWL Sept-Oct Newsletter

In this edition, you can find the following articles:


  • Letter from the Associate Commissioner
  • Classroom Practices for Multilingual Learners
  • ELL Advisory Council and Safe Reopening & Using the American Rescue Plan Funding
  • Science Initiatives
  • Parent Communication Guidance from US Department of Justice
  • World Language Updates

NYS Diploma Requirements: Translated Materials for Families

Translated materials to support students’ and families’ understanding of the NYS Diploma Requirements are now available in the following languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), French, Haitian Creole, Karen, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Uzbek (Latin).

NYSSB Guidance on Exemptions due to COVID-19

Q: Can students who received an exemption from an ELA Regents exam during the COVID-19 pandemic use the exemption as a point toward criterion 1A?

A: Yes. Students who received an exemption from an ELA Regents exam during the COVID-19 pandemic, including June 2020, August 2020, January 2021, June 2021, and August 2021 administrations of the exam, have earned a point toward criterion 1A of the NYSSB. To be eligible to receive these exemptions, students must have been enrolled in and received credit for the course that normally culminates in the corresponding Regents exam.



Q: How are such exemptions noted on the End of Year Data form for reporting purposes?

A: There is no special notation for NYSSB criteria that are met by exemptions. Seal Coordinators will mark the criterion met on the End of Year Data form as normal.


Q: May a student who received an exemption from the ELA Regents Exam (June 2020, August 2020, January 2021, June 2021, or August 2021) under the COVID guidance issued by NYSED use said exemption to earn a point for criterion 1A toward the NYSSB?

A: Yes. Students who received an exemption from the ELA Regents Exam (June 2020, August 2020, January 2021, June 2021, or August 2021) under the COVID guidance issued by NYSED have earned a point for criterion 1A toward the NYSSB. These exemptions follow the student through graduation.


Q: May an ELL who received an exemption from two Regents Exams other than English (June 2020, August 2020, January 2021, June 2021, and/or August 2021) under the COVID guidance issued by NYSED use said exemption to earn a point for criterion 1A toward the NYSSB?

A: Yes. ELLs who received an exemption from two Regents Exams other than English (June 2020, August 2020, January 2021, June 2021, and/or August 2021) under the COVID guidance issued by NYSED have earned a point for criterion 1A toward the NYSSB. These exemptions follow the student through graduation.


Q: May an ELL who received an exemption from the spring 2020 NYSESLAT exam under the COVID guidance issued by NYSED use said exemption to earn a point for criterion 1B toward the NYSSB?

A: Yes. ELLs who, during their 9th-12th grade years, received an exemption from the spring 2020 NYSESLAT exam under the COVID guidance issued by NYSED, have earned a point for criterion 1B toward the NYSSB. This exemption follows the student through graduation.

Provision of Educational Services for Recently Arrived Unaccompanied Children and Youth

As predicted last year, a number of unaccompanied minors who recently immigrated to the United States have begun to enroll in our schools. The Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages wishes to remind you of the attached memo issued by Commissioner Rosa on May 26, 2021. This memo outlines district’s responsibilities in serving our students as required by federal and state laws including the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Our PD calendar, linked above, is updated regularly and has dates throughout the fall. We will alert you when we add new dates and events. We have some placeholders in our calendar so you know what to look forward to in the spring.

Immigration and Education PD Series

The City University of New York - Initiative on Immigration and Education (CUNY-IIE website) is a NYSED funded project that unifies educators, researchers, families, and local leaders to learn about, from, and with immigrant communities, to act in ways that center our shared humanity regardless of legal status, and advocate for equitable policies and opportunities.

FREE and VIRTUAL Professional Development Modules designed to facilitate conversations and hands-on learning activities centered around supporting immigrant and

refugee students, families, and educators at school.

The last day to sign-up for a spot in one of the two CTLE courses offered below is Friday, October 1st.

Introduction to Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education

Dr. H.W. Marshall Three session workshop: 10/21, 10/28, 11/18 Participants will learn how to leverage the cultural worldview of their students in engaging them in online learning. They will examine case studies of students and teachers and analyze them through the lenses of the Intercultural Communication Framework (Marshall, 1994; Marshall & DeCapua, 2013), a foundational theory that guides student-teacher interaction, and the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm® (Marshall, 1994; Marshall, 1998), a culturally responsive and sustaining instructional model that addresses cultural dissonance. Participants will then learn strategies for ensuring incorporation of the 4 E's, Equity, Enrichment, Engagement, and Empowerment, for multilingual learners who are struggling to get their footing in our educational system, particularly in the current climate and learning environment. Finally, using the MALP® Teacher Planning Checklist and the MALP® Implementation Peer Review Rubric (Parris, 2021), participants will prepare and share their lessons and projects with each other to create a collective repository of culturally appropriate learning experiences that they can draw from and adapt to their individual contexts for learning. This professional development is a three part series and consist of six hours of synchronous online and/or in-person sessions and nine hours of asynchronous activities, for a total of 15 hours of coursework.


Please register for this PD opportunity hosted by our partners at the Long Island RBERN.

NYSTESOL 2021 Conference

Have you registered yet for the NYS TESOL 51st Annual Conference? This year's conference will be hybrid, with a virtual day on Thursday, November 4th and in-person days on Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th at the Sonesta White Plains in New York (formerly the Crowne Plaza).


The conference theme is Looking Forward: Educational Empowerment and Transformative Education. They are offering three full days of workshops, plenary speakers, and practical sessions. This year will also have virtual, international site visits, an administrator ENL boot camp focusing on ENL regulations, and speed networking sessions. Plus, be sure to join for the dinner and dance party on Friday night! There is currently a LIMITED NUMBER of seats available so don't delay!


You have the opportunity to earn up to 6 CTLE credits per day of attendance. 2022 NYS TESOL membership is included with ALL conference registrations. Please share this conference information with anyone in your network who may be interested in attending! If you have any questions, please email pres@nystesol.org.


Register here


If you are a current NYS TESOL member, be sure to use the email address associated with your account in order to receive a discounted rate. You can also book your Sonesta Hotel room for a reduced rate using the code here.

RESOURCES

Ups and Downs

Mulu-tsehay Bogale Belete is a well-known educator of English Language Learners in Western New York. She taught for many years at the Buffalo Public School’s Newcomer Academy and at Lafayette International High School. Mulu devoted her unwavering attention on instructing students identified as newcomers. She also served as a Coordinator in the Bilingual Education Technical Assistance Center (BETAC) at Erie 1 BOCES. However, this brief review of her most recent positions doesn’t even scratch the surface on all of her professional accomplishments achieved during her lifetime. Her most recent undertaking is the creation of a bilingual book of poems in Amharic and English entitled: Ups and Downs.


Julie Horn, former Assistant Principal for Lafayette High School writes, “The poet shares the unforgettable and challenging moments she encountered as a black immigrant woman – who persevered. Hard-work, trials, a forward focus and faith made the poet indefatigable and cause her to continue her pursuit for an abundant, thriving life for all mankind. Ups and Downs is a stirring collection of poetry which conveys the struggles of immigrants and refugees navigating the conflicts between reality and expectations, including the linguistic and cultural adaptation process, in order to achieve their dreams.”


In preparing this article, Mulu shared with us the title of one of her poems – “That Immigrant African Woman” located on page 111 of the book. The first stanza in her poem reads,


That immigrant African woman filled with strife

Who never gives up in her life

Makes me happy and smile

Feel strong and agile


The book of poems written by our Ethiopian American colleague was done to help fund Orphaned Ethiopian School Children who need school supplies as they survive the on-going crisis caused by the civil war. We invite you to e-mail the author directly at Unitedwestand1621@gmail.com if you would like to purchase the book. The cost of the book is $20.

Supporting Young English Learners at Home

These family and caregiver activities are designed to provide simple, fun activities families and caregivers can use with young English learner children at home to strengthen language development in either the home language or English. They are available in nine languages: English, Arabic, Chinese (Simplified + Traditional), Haitian Creole, Somali, Vietnamese, Tagalog (coming soon)

SUNY Buffalo BXE Winter Intensive Institute

SUNY Buffalo State has successfully hosted both Summer and Winter Intensive Institutes in Bilingual Special Education. This past summer, they worked with several teachers from Rochester, Buffalo, and East Ramapo!


They will host another Winter intensive institute for teachers to obtain their bilingual extension. The program will be 100% online with a start date of November 1st.

Global Book Hour with SUNY Buffalo State

The Global Book Hour (GBH) integrates geography, vocabulary, music and visual arts into a weekly one-hour session held at the Community Music School of Buffalo.


Each week focuses on a different part of the world, and all activities center on “travel” to this location. Children and their families participate in the weekly activities and continue learning through suggested activities made available at the session and online.


Come join us on Thursdays: 4:00 -5:00 pm

10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4 & 11/18

Community Music School: 217 E Delavan Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14208

http://www.globalliteracy.buffalostate.edu

Afghan Humanitarian Parolees: Benefit Eligibility in New York State

Following the formal withdrawal of American troops and the emerging humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, New York State began welcoming Afghan evacuees. Afghan nationals admitted as refugees, SIVs, and SQ/SI parolees are eligible for the full range of federal benefits administered through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Those who enter the U.S. on a temporary basis under a provision called “humanitarian parole” are eligible for a more limited range of support. The below outlines the most common public benefits available to Afghan nationals residing in New York State, who entered the United States under humanitarian parole.

RBERNing Questions Podcast from Mid-State RBERN

The co-hosts and guests on each episode of "RBERNing Questions" are invited based on their expertise in the field of education and it is our honor to host these conversations with them. Their opinions are their own and do not represent the views or opinions of OCM BOCES or NYSED's Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages.

New NYSED CRSE Resources - Topic Briefs & Roadmap

The six CR-S Framework Briefs are from the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Framework and were designed using commonly asked questions about cultural responsiveness. The purpose of the briefs is to highlight the important concepts of the CR-S Framework as an introduction for educators, administrators, parents/caregivers, community members, and students. These briefs can be used as a professional development resource that encourages the reading of the CR-S Framework in its entirety.

Community Spotlight

Big picture
From left: Tamara Alsace, Dawn Novak, José (Chegui) Rivera, Denise Góñez-Santos, Mike Duffy, Melissa Duquette, Claribel González, & Ruth Casillas

The RBERN Team Reunites!

On October 6 & 7, the full RBERN West team gathered in person for the first time since before the pandemic began. We attended two full days of virtual meetings with our statewide RBERN counterparts and the NYSED Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages. We reviewed many statewide initiatives, task forces, work groups, and other important updates to be able to stay informed to support you all. We decided an updated photo was overdue!

Want to share the story of an unsung hero?

Email us your story and submit a picture so we can honor the contributions of our dedicated WNY educators, administrators, and community members in our monthly newsletter. Send all submissions to Mike Duffy at mjduffy@e1b.org

About Us

The Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network West is part of a statewide system of support, funded by the NYSED Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBE-WL).


Mission: Collaborate with educators, parents, and community members to promote academic excellence and ensure high school graduation for all multilingual learners.


Vision: A community that provides access to an excellent and equitable education for multilingual learners that prepares them to be prosperous participants of a free and democratic society.