RBERN West Newsletter

December 7, 2020


Cancellation of the January 2021 Regents Exams

The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you that the New York State Education Department (NYSED or “the Department”) is cancelling the January 2021 administration of the NYS High School Regents Examination Program in response to the ongoing impact of the COVID–19 pandemic. This cancellation applies to all Regents Examinations that had been scheduled for the January 2021 Regents Examination period. This memorandum also provides information on the adjustments that I will ask the Board of Regents to adopt as emergency regulations with respect to the assessment requirements that students must ordinarily meet in order to earn diplomas, credentials, and endorsements so that the cancellation of these exams will not adversely impact students.

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.

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.

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

December 9, 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 13, 2021 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm

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

CUNY Bridges PD Opportunities

Please visit this link to see flyers for upcoming professional development opportunities offered by the CUNY Bridges Team. Please direct all questions related to their PD to admin@bridges-sifeproject.com

2021 Global Viva Bilingual Conference

From Boston to Miami, and from Dallas to LA, many national nominees are highlighted along with many bilingual schools from Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala with more and more countries joining each day!

Find out more information here!

**This is a paid event, not sponsored by RBERN. Contact the conference organizers directly with any questions.""


Measuring Attendance during COVID-19: Considerations for Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning Environments

NCRERN has been working to develop a viable attendance construct given that districts and schools are currently struggling with how to define and track attendance for remote or blended learning models. When students are not physically present, the typical observe-and-log model of attendance tracking is not an option. However, not tracking attendance is not an option either given the importance of attendance for identifying at-risk students, predicting key student outcomes, and acting during the pandemic as a proxy for the general safety and well-being of students.

Resources from OBEWL and the ELL Leadership Council

The English Language Learner (ELL) Leadership Council is a group of approximately 70 English as a New Language Directors from around New York State (NYS) who meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices related to ELLs. This council has met regularly for the past five years to provide a direct line of communication between the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) and ELL administrators from the districts with the highest enrollment of ELLs in NYS. Within the ELL Leadership Council, five workgroups were created in response to COVID-19 school closures in the spring of 2020 to research and create resources to address the following issues:

  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Compliance Advisory Council
  • Progress Monitoring, Feedback & Engagement Strategies
  • Strengthening ELL Instruction in Response to COVID-19 Closures
  • Adapting ELL Instruction in a post COVID-19 Learning Environment

ELL Leadership Council Professional Development

Review these free workshops, provided to the ELL Leadership Council this fall, on a variety of topics, including:

  • Virtual Engagement
  • Prioritizing Standards to Address Learning Loss
  • Progress Monitoring/NYS Seal of Biliteracy

New workshops will be added to this YouTube channel monthly!

Scholastic Books Read Aloud Permission Policy

"As COVID-19 continues to pose challenges to traditional learning efforts in schools and libraries across the country, Scholastic understands the importance of meeting the needs of children during these challenging times. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we continue to provide support so children can reap the many benefits that literature brings them. As we look ahead to the second half of this school year, we are aware that many institutions will continue to experience remote or hybrid learning models, limiting the opportunity for teachers and their students to connect with books in person. We continue to marvel at the educators, librarians and others across the country who remain committed to bringing the wonders of reading and literature to students by posting readings of books online for students to access--despite the ongoing challenges COVID-19 has thrown in their path. We want to continue supporting these efforts and have decided to extend our Read Aloud Permission Policy to cover the entirety of this school year, and as such will remain in effect through June 30, 2021."

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


Green Card Youth Voices: Upstate New York Book Launch

The upcoming Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories From Upstate New York High Schools is a collection of personal essays written by thirty students coming from sixteen different countries and attending Rochester City School District Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy, Brighton High School, Twelve Corner Middle School, Lafayette International High School and Newcomer Academy. Unique to the book are links to first-person video, a study guide, and a glossary.

Included are Puerto Ricans who fled Hurricane Maria, Yemenis who escaped starvation, and Rohingya refugees forced to leave Myanmar. These young authors’ stories carry resilience, strength, and hope towards the futures of which they dream.

Learn more and sign up to attend the free book launch!

Taking on COVID with Her Sewing Machine

Khin has always had a talent for sewing and quilting. In fact, before she emigrated to the United States, she had owned a clothing shop in her native country of Burma where she would create and sell her own designs. Khin doesn’t speak very much English, but her efforts to help her community speak for themselves. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Western New York area, Khin put her expertise to work. Read the full story here.

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.