RBERN West Newsletter

November 2022

Welcome Anastasiya Titarenko to the RBERN West Team

Before becoming an RBERN Coordinator, Anastasiya served as an English as a New Language Teacher and Coordinator at the Elementary School Level. As a former ELL and first-generation Ukrainian-American, she is passionate about education as the practice of freedom and is guided by equity and justice in her work. She is eager to support educators across the region and state in advocating and strengthening educational experiences for multilingual learners. Anastasiya is a graduate of Canisius College with a Masters in Urban Education and Specialization in Childhood Education and TESOL, and lives with her partner in Buffalo.

Recent News

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A NYSABE Presidential Affair

The New York State Association of Bilingual Education (NYSABE) inaugurated Priscilla Zárate as the 2022-2023 President on Saturday, October 22 at the East Wind Hotel in Long Island, NY. Ms. Zárate is an award-winning educator who previously served as the Executive Director for the Division of English Language Learners and Student Support at the New York City Department of Education. Currently, she serves as Director of ENL PreK - 12 for the Port Washington Union Free School District. Educators from Western New York extend a warm welcome to the new President of NYSABE!

At this inaugural ceremony, the newly elected President and out-going President Eva Garcia on behalf of NYSABE took time to recognize the achievements of past President Alicia E. Báez by presenting her with a plaque. She served with distinction for two years as NYSABE President during the worldwide pandemic. In March 2020, the statewide conference that Alicia was to preside over was canceled the week before the event as the nation came to grips with the impending health emergency. As a result, Alicia served for two full years helping keep the organization together by providing opportunities for members to thrive and survive a difficult moment in time through a series of support activities. We are proud of our WNY hometown hero Alicia E. Báez and wish to thank her for her outstanding service.

Mark your calendars! The East Wind Hotel in Long Island, New York https://eastwindlongisland.com/ will serve as the site for the NYSABE Conference, March 16-18, 2023. This conference will be the first in-person event since 2019 and will be a great location to reconnect physically, mentally, and spiritually as we share our mutual work on behalf of ELL students state-wide.

Computer-Based Testing - Mathematics

There are five alternate languages available for the operational CBT math tests. Principals will have the opportunity to indicate quantities during test ordering through the NYSED online examination request system. The following five alternate languages are available for math CBT:

· Chinese (Simplified)

· Haitian Creole

· Korean

· Russian

· Spanish

Test Coordinators will be able to select the alternate language math CBT in Nextera Admin on a student-by-student basis. The test platform (Nextera Test Delivery System/Questar Secure Browser) will be translated into the alternate language.

As a best practice, we recommend that students practice the CBT translated tests in the Question Sampler prior to taking the operational math tests on computer. The Question Sampler has three sessions for every grade level available in the five alternative languages.

Schools that order alternate language tests and have the students test on computer will receive paper copies of English editions of the tests in the same test form to provide as a testing accommodation to English Language Learners making use of an alternative language edition CBT.

There is no CBT component for students who require an oral translation of a lower incidence language. These students will still test on paper. Schools will need to request “Test Read” copies in the online examination request system for these students.


OBEWL October Newsletter

Linked here is the October 2022 edition of the OBEWL Newsletter. In addition to the Letter from the Associate Commissioner, the following articles can be found in this month’s issue:

  • NYS Commissioner Rosa Honored for Her Leadership
  • Schenectady City School District Kicks off School Year with Celebration
  • Mid-West RBERN Hosts First Large In-Person Event
  • 4+1 Pathway Assessments in Additional Languages Approved
  • World Language Professional Learning Series for 2022 Continues
  • Creating Thematic Unit Plans for Checkpoint A
  • Countdown to the Launch of the Revised NYS Learning Standards for World Languages
  • Rubrics for NYS Learning Standards for World Languages
  • Preview of 2021-22 NYSSB Report
  • Celebrating Diversity in Our Learning Communities
  • Top 5 Data-Driven Strategies to Support English Language Learners (ELLs)
  • Beliefs and Actions for Equity: Resource Allocation for ENL Programs
  • Supporting Newly Arrived Students
  • News from Other NYSED Offices

Delay in the Transition of New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) to Computer-Based Testing

  • In June 2022, NYSED announced that the Spring 2023 Grades 2-12 New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) field tests would be administered on a computer, followed by the implementation of required operational computer-based testing for those grades in Spring 2024.
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, the contract for this work was substantially delayed and was only awarded and executed earlier this month.
  • As a result, the Department will not implement the computer-based NYSESLAT field tests during the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Additional guidance regarding the implementation of computer-based NYSESLAT and NYSITELL will be forthcoming.
  • Questions about computer-based testing should be directed to the Office of State Assessment via email at CBTsupport@nysed.gov or by calling (518) 474-8220.
See the memo for more information.

Professional Development

Please check back monthly as we add events and update any sections that say "TBD"!

Professional Learning Circle for Teachers of Ukrainian Students

The first Professional Learning Circle for Teachers of Ukrainian Students will take place online via Zoom on Wednesday, November 9th from 4:00pm-5:30pm. Meetings will be held on a bi-monthly basis. This PLC is being hosted by Nicole Bell of the Mid-West RBERN, with collaboration by Anastasiya Titarenko of RBERN West. To sign up for the November 9th session, visit this link to register: https://www.mylearningplan.com/WebReg/ActivityProfile.asp?D=18636&I=4282330

Bridges - Resources for Supporting SIFE Students


The Orientation to Bridges Programs series is designed to introduce new teachers and administrators to Bridges curricular offerings, resources, and courses, and help guide questions around implementation. View the videos and handouts below for an in-depth tour of the program. If you are interested in earning 2 hours of CTLE credit for the formal orientation process please contact admin@bridges-sifeproject.com.

Developing Responsive Classroom Communities for SIFE & Newcomer Learners | Nov 2022-Jan 2023

The course is free and open to New York State educators of SIFE and newcomer learners.

Regional SIFE Taskforce

Join the MidWest RBERN Regional SIFE Taskforce

So you have identified student(s) as SIFE, now what? This taskforce is recruiting members with an interest and/or expertise in working with SIFE. Our aim is to provide support for educators who are currently working with SIFE by creative problem solving and highlighting the best practices of identification, placement, programming, and resources to ensure Students with Interrupted Formal Education have equitable access to schooling. Our bi-monthly meetings will be held on the following dates virtually over ZOOM from 4:00-5:30 pm.

December 14, 2022

February 8, 2023

April 12, 2023

June 7, 2023

Please click HERE to register


NYSESLAT and NYSITELL Conversion Charts

This document provides the scale score ranges for the 2022 New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT), along with guidance and information concerning the interpretation of the scale scores.

Similarly, this folder contains NYSITELL raw score conversion charts.

Resources for Ukrainian Parents and Students

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden indicated that the United States would be receiving more than 100,000 refugees from the Ukraine. It is anticipated that significant number Ukrainian refugee students would be entering New York State public schools. To assist districts and schools, the Statewide Language RBERN has compiled a list of translated materials for your use. Each of the documents are hyperlinked for ease of access.

NYS Statewide Language RBERN Team

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America

Western New York Branch (UCCA-WNY) will be coordinating our refugee relief efforts. UCCA-WNY includes Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. To learn more about the Ukrainian Parolee process visit Ukrainians of Buffalo, https://ukrainiansofbuffalo.com/refugee.html

NYS Next Generation Math Glossaries

NYS Next Generation Math Glossaries are now available:

    • NYS Next Generation Math Learning Standards

Chinese | English | Spanish

    • NYS Next Generation Math Learning Standards - One-to-one translation of terms only

Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | Haitian | Russian | Spanish | Urdu

    • Glossary of Verbs Associated with the New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards

Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | Haitian | Russian | Spanish | Urdu

Community Spotlight

Global Book Hour - SUNY Buffalo State

The Global Book Hour integrates geography, vocabulary, music, visual arts, and healthy eating into a weekly, one-hour, session held at local businesses/community centers.

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 with the book received, and through suggested activities made available at the session and online.

Buffalo State undergraduate and graduate students facilitate the GBH program. A clinically-rich field experience, the GBH allows teacher candidates from a variety of disciplines to work together to lead this university-business-community partnership.

The GBH began in spring 2010 as a partnership between the Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership Department and Wegmans on Amherst Street.

Sessions are held at the Community Music School and at Wegmans on Amherst Street. On Thursday, November 10th from 4-5:00 at Wegmans on Amherst Street, Buffalo State President Conway-Turner will be visiting us!

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Niagara Falls Family Orientation

Niagara Falls hosted their district wide Family Orientation for families of English Language Learners on October 26, 2022. Families were welcomed by the sounds of the NF Music Department and the scents of local food vendors. While families toured the school enjoying food from Pujabi Hut, Mami House, Goodfellas, La Galera, and Fuji Grill they could also learn about community programs through Jewish Family Services and Niagara University. RBERN West executive director, Mike Duffy, presented on Supporting the Education of English Language Learners to a captive audience of adults while kids enjoyed crafts and read alouds from Niagara University students. RBERN West resource specialist Melissa Duquette was also in attendance and helped with preparations for the event.

Careers in Ed Conference

On October 18, over 150 students from a variety of WNY High Schools gathered at the University of Buffalo to learn about careers in education. They listened to panels of local educators, networked with area colleges and universities, and learned about career paths that they might pursue. When surveyed, students indicated that this event helped them become familiar with what opportunities are available and their interest in launching a career in an education field grew.

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.