RBERN West Newsletter

November 2, 2020

Recent News


The New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) has compiled the following answers to questions collected from the field regarding English Language Learners (ELLs) and other multilingual learners (MLs), including World Languages students, heritage speakers of World Languages, and students who were once ELLs but have since exited ELL status. This FAQ, available on the Reopening Page of the NYSED Coronavirus Guidance Website, provides additional clarification on the topics addressed in the School Reopening Guidance: Recovering, Rebuilding and Renewing the Spirit of New York’s Schools released in July 2020, including:

• ELL Identification

• Instruction and Units of Study

• Progress Monitoring

• ELL Students with Disabilities (SWD)

• New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB)

• Parent/Family Communication

• Accountability/English Language Proficiency (ELP)

• Reporting

• Virtual and Remote Learning

• Resources for Reference

NYSITELL Parent Waiver

NYSITELL Parent Waiver for Remote Learning Students

Because the NYSITELL must be administered in person, parents whose children have been provisionally identified as ELLs who are receiving entirely remote instruction may use the attached file to submit a temporary waiver of the NYSITELL. Such students will remain provisionally identified pursuant to the Home Language Questionnaire and individual interview, both of which may be conducted remotely until they cease to receive fully remote instruction because of their parent or district switches to an in-person or hybrid setting. Students who are provisionally identified may receive ELL services in accordance with NYSED’s previous guidance and progress monitoring, but may not be reported as ELLs.

This waiver must be submitted directly from the parent(s) to the school and must be maintained in the student’s record for a minimum of three years. The waiver is currently available in English and other ten languages. Additional translations will be posted on this page as soon as possible.

Units of Study Guidance

Units of Study guidance

As per Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154, English Language Learners (ELLs) must be provided the required instructional Units of Study in their English as a New Language (ENL) or Bilingual Education (BE) program based on their most recent English language proficiency level as determined by the most current NYSESLAT or NYSITELL assessment. Each district shall provide continuity of programs such that all students designated as ELLs can continue to receive the program type, i.e., Bilingual Education (BE) or English as a New Language (ENL), in which they were initially enrolled.

This guidance clarifies the type of instructional experiences districts may provide ELLs.

Wearing Masks

Responding to the Challenges of Learning in a Masked Environment

Proper use of masks is essential to minimizing the spread of COVID-19 even though wearing a mask for an extended length of time can be physically uncomfortable and lead to changes in mood and behavior. Inevitably, there will be students who do not wear a mask for a variety of reasons and, in order to respond thoughtfully and with compassion, it’s important that educators and administrators attempt to determine the student’s reasons before responding.

This document provides resources for schools to support students in wearing masks.

Parent Data Dashboard

NYSED Parent Data Dashboard

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is committed to making data available and easy to use. This site provides a first step so families can be better informed as they work to advance student achievement.

Parents are encouraged to provide feedback via this survey.

Professional Development

ELL/Bilingual Education Focus Group Series

4:00pm - 5:30pm

CTLE credits: 1.5 per session

This monthly series is an opportunity to learn, network, and share experiences common to teachers of English Language Learners.

November topics: Participants will receive updates regarding NYSED Data, Disinformation & Fact Checking for multilingual families.

Future topics: TBA based on survey results.

November 16, 2020

December 14, 2020

January 11, 2021

February 8, 2021

March 8, 2021

April 12, 2021

May 10, 2021

June 14, 2021

NYSITELL Training (repeated sessions)

4:00pm - 5:00pm

CTLE credits: 3 per session

In this hybrid course, you will learn everything you need to know to successfully administer the NYSITELL from intake, to testing, to placement. In this course, you will learn everything you need to know to successfully administer the NYSITELL from intake, to testing, to placement. This course will take approximately 3 hours. Course work of the Pear Deck Presentation and Quiz must be completed prior to the Zoom Q&A session.

December 1, 2020

January 12, 2021

February 9, 2021

March 9, 2021

June 8, 2021

Multilingual Matters Book Club

A monthly educator book club to discuss rich topics related to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

CTLE credits: 1 per session

November 18, 2020 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm

November's book is Childhood Interrupted: Raising Kids During a Pandemic by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

December 16, 2020 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm

December's book is A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration In The 21st Century by Jason DeParle.

January 20, 2021 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm

January's book is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Book Study: Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Practices in US Classrooms by Sonia Nieto

November 23, 2020, December 7, 2020, January 25, 2021, & February 22, 2021 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Participants will receive the book, Finding Joy in Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds: Culturally Responsive and Socially Just Practices in US Classrooms, by Sonia Nieto. It is expected that participants will read an assigned portion of the book prior to meeting, including completion of asynchronous work in Google Classroom. Our meetings will be spent reflecting on the content and connecting it to practice. Reading will be required prior to first meeting. Instructions will be emailed to you by November 13th. By registering, you are committing to attending all four sessions. No partial CTLE credit will be granted.

CTLE credits: 12

Estrategias a través de libros infantiles en español: Leer en voz alta con conexión estratégica

21 de noviembre, 19 de diciembre, 16 de enero, 13 de febrero de 9:30 a 10:30 AM

En este curso, los participantes recibirán una copia gratuita de “El libro de estrategias de lectura” escrito por Jennifer Serravallo. Aplicaremos estrategias utilizando libros infantiles en español. Se espera que los participantes lean una parte asignada del libro antes de la reunión. Al registrarse, se compromete a asistir a las cuatro sesiones. No se otorgará crédito CTLE parcial.

Créditos CTLE: 7

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Tech Tools to Support ELLs in Remote Instruction

Greg's Top 50 Tech Tools to Remotely Support ELLs

Check out this interactive page made by our colleague Greg Bailey at Hudson Valley RBERN that shares tools for:

  • Creating Presentations
  • Communication & Translation
  • Accessibility
  • Interactivity

School Away from School


Dive into the School Year with a Wide Mix of Ideas & Resources!

created by the Buffalo State College School of Education


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Words of Encouragement

Amy Proctor is a MS/HS ESOL teacher in Depew union free school district.

"The biggest thing I learned during this is make sure you have people to help support you. I was able to find a community via the refugee certification class I took with the Carey Institute for Global Good and they ended up helping me through the craziness of remote learning... because we are in this together."

Amy is also the WNY Summit Gift Card Winner! She was able to purchase world flags to share with colleagues and create a welcoming environment for her students.

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.