RBERN West Newsletter

May 2022

Welcome Elizabeth Kuttesch!

Certified in Social Studies and TESOL, Elizabeth enjoyed co-teaching Global Studies at BPS #207 Lafayette International Community High School before making the transition to the RBERN West team. At Lafayette, Elizabeth focused on student engagement, relationships, and meaningful assessment through co-planning and collaborative project development. Currently, she serves as an adjunct at SUNY Buffalo State teaching a Graduate class called “Teaching and Learning in Diverse Schools” which prepares educators to highlight the assets of all students in culturally responsive and sustaining learning environments. As an RBERN coordinator, Elizabeth hopes to develop professional connections across the region and state to support high quality academic experiences for Multilingual students. When not at work, Elizabeth can be found reading historical fiction on her porch.

RBERN West End-of-Year Celebration

We will be rolling out the red carpet to celebrate the teachers and administrators of English language learners in Western New York on Friday, June 3rd from 3:00pm-6:00pm here at Erie 1 BOCES (Building B). We hope you will register for our End-of-Year Celebration. Teachers and administrators are invited to this special event, which will include a conversation about future planning for the RBERN as well as acknowledging some of our WNY colleagues with a brief awards ceremony. Refreshments will be provided!

RBERN West 2021-2022 End of Year Survey

Please take 5 minutes to complete our end-of-year feedback survey. This survey is designed to collect feedback from educators who received services or support from RBERN West during the 2021-2022 school year. The survey will be used to review the quality of our service and plan for future needs. The content of your survey will remain confidential.

Please complete our survey here.


Updates to the MLS

We have some exciting changes coming to the MLS! These updates are scheduled to go live on May 16, 2022.

We have updated our Spanish reading comprehension test, and math tests in 5 languages. These improvements will increase the range of possible grade placements (to K-9 for reading comprehension and 1-9 for math), provide more specific information about student performance as measured by NGLS standard in the PDF reports, and shorten average testing time.

We will publish a pre-recorded webinar in mid-May describing the changes, and will host two virtual training sessions on May 23 from 2:30-4:00pm and June 9 from 10:00-11:30am. Please fill out this google form to register for a virtual training. Registration is required to receive the zoom link (https://forms.gle/TCx6H3sr4PtsumM77).

Thank you for your continued engagement with the MLS, please feel free to contact us at mls.email.server@gmail.com with any questions.

edTPA Eliminated

April 12, 2020. At its April 2022 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents voted to modify the teacher performance assessment requirement for certification by eliminating the edTPA requirement for certification and, instead, requiring that New York State-registered teacher preparation programs integrate a teacher performance assessment into the candidates’ student teaching, practicum, or similar clinical experience (e.g., residency, mentored in-service component).

The edTPA will no longer be a certification requirement as of April 27, 2022. On that date, the edTPA safety net, edTPA Multiple Measures Review Process (MMRP), and the availability of the Conditional Initial certificate would also end, as these accommodations would no longer be needed.

NYSSB Student Voices Project

The Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages is soliciting short video clips of 2021-22 NYSSB candidates speaking about why they chose to pursue the NYSSB in order to create both statewide and regional videos to program the NYSSB project. We would like to hear more student voices on NYSSB, and hopefully in the near future, we can reach out to other stakeholders' reviews.

OSEP Fast Facts

The New York State Education Department, Office of Special Education is sharing the following newly released resource from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Please be aware that any links and/or websites provided may change. The information provided is true and complete to the best of our knowledge.

The OSEP Fast Facts on students with disabilities who are English learners served under Part B of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act highlights 1.6% of students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools are dually identified as students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B and an English learner. The OSEP Fast Facts also notes the number of students with disabilities who are English learners in the U.S. grew by almost 30% between the 2012 and 2020 school years, according to OSEP’s blog.

OSEP Fast Facts is an ongoing effort to display data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 into graphic, visual representations with the intent to present 618 data quickly and clearly.

Teachers of Tomorrow and The Teachers of Tomorrow Science, Mathematics, Bilingual Education and English as New Language

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has announced a funding opportunity for the Teachers of Tomorrow Program and The Teachers of Tomorrow Science, Mathematics, Bilingual Education, and English as New Language.

The purpose of the Teachers of Tomorrow Program is to provide a variety of incentives that will encourage prospective teachers to teach in a school district experiencing a teacher shortage or subject shortage, especially in districts with low-performing schools. The shortage subject areas for this grant are bilingual education, career, and technical education, English, English to speakers of other languages (ESOL), health education, literacy, mathematics, sciences (biology, computer science, chemistry, earth science, physics), social studies, special education, and world languages other than English.

The grant announcement is posted on http://www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/currentapps.html

A questions and answers summary will be posted by May 13, 2022.

All applications must be postmarked by Monday, May 23, 2022.

Questions regarding this grant must be e-mailed to TOT@nysed.gov by May 6, 2022.

NYSED OBEWL April 2022 Newsletter

Please find attached the April 2022 edition of the OBEWL Newsletter! The following articles can be found in this month’s issue:

  • Letter from the Associate Commissioner

  • New Paltz Scholar earns NYSSB in three languages
  • World Language Teachers: Design your own summer PD
  • Summer 2022 Collaborative Unit Design for Checkpoint A
  • Family Engagement in the Hudson Valley
  • Training for the MLS
  • Count Me In! Poem by Connie Mejia
  • Clinically Rich Intensive Teacher Institutes

You can access the entire archive of newsletters at: http://www.nysed.gov/bilingual-ed/obewl-newsletter-newsletter-archives.


2022 World Language Professional Learning Series Announced

The Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages is proud to announce the first five workshops in the 2022 World Language Professional Learning Series. These online workshops are offered free of charge for world language educators and administrators working or studying in New York State schools, colleges, universities, BOCES/RBERNs, or other educational institutions. All workshops will take place from 4:00-5:00 p.m., so that educators can attend. Participants who attend these workshops via Zoom may earn a certificate of attendance or a certificate documenting CTLE credit. Recordings are made of all large-group workshops. Those who are unable to attend the virtual workshops may earn a certificate, including for CTLE credit, by watching the recording and earning a score of at least 7/10 on a post assessment.

Registration for these workshops is now open. Please note that registration for all workshops closes 48 hours prior to the event. There is no same-day registration. Only pre-registered attendees will be admitted into the workshops. Once the registrant's email address has been verified as being from a New York State educational institution, an email confirming registration will be sent. No registration is necessary to view the recordings of these workshops.

Preparing for Standards-Based Curriculum Planning

May 19, 2022 from 4pm-5pm

Vertical and horizontal curriculum alignment is critical to helping learners make continuous growth in proficiency. Intentional sequencing of rich thematic units creates learning experiences that are relevant to learners’ interests and appropriate to checkpoint proficiency targets. Vertical articulation spirals proficiency development and recycles and reinforces high-frequency vocabulary and grammatical structures. In this session, participants will examine templates to help analyze and sequence thematic units across the checkpoints. Presenters will also demonstrate tools that can be used to assess how well the curriculum addresses the revised NYS Learning Standards for World Languages, their embedded language functions, and NYS World Language themes and topics.

Register here!



Please check back regularly for updates to our year-long PD calendar.

RBERN Reads 2022 Immigrant Experience Book Club

Join colleagues from across the State as we experience student stories of hope, strength, and resilience together. This asynchronous book club will meet virtually through Schoology and will culminate in a virtual panel discussion with student authors. Student panel discussion will take place Tuesday May 31, 2022 4:00-5:00 pm on ZOOM. 10 hours of PD credit will be awarded for the successful completion of the book and related discussions.

Hosted by the Mid-West RBERN. Learn more here.

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Niagara Falls Kalfas Elementary School ENL teacher Mallory Leo interviewed Mrs. Muneer, ENL Associate, about Eid

I'm Your Neighbor Book Awards: Watch the Winners

The awards celebrate the exemplary children’s books that represent the experience of refugee, ayslee, and immigrant families and the generations that follow them.

In sync with the I’m Your Neighbor Books mission, each of the awarded books excel in:

  • Starting conversations on modern immigration
  • Refuting false narratives about communities of color
  • Creating emotional connections to a vast diversity of voices
  • Sharing the joy and strength of immigrant kids and families
  • Building the cultural competency of all readers
  • Laying the groundwork for cross-cultural communication

Enjoy the video celebration
featuring the brilliant books creators and our (oh, so welcoming) board members!

Learn more!


"Ups and Downs" Event on April 26th

On April 26, author and poet Mulu Belete presented to the ELL and Bilingual Education Focus Groups a workshop entitled "Ups and Downs" for teachers of ELL students based on the poetry created by our presenter in her book written to convey the struggle of immigrants and refugees navigating the conflicts between expectations and realities in their new home land to achieve their dream of a peaceful life, be productive citizens and contribute to society. Julie Horn (former assistant principal at Lafayette High School) and Carolyn Wolck (SUNY Buffalo ESL Placement Supervisor) came to the session to congratulate Mulu on her book and celebrate her achievement. The money earned in the sale of the book goes to support the purchase of school supplies for children in Ethiopia that are suffering economic hardship as a result of the current civil strife.

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
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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.