RBERN West Newsletter

May 2021


General Education and Diploma Requirements

General Education and Diploma Requirements

NYSED updated two resources pertaining to diploma requirements to include information about assessment exemptions due to COVID-19 cancellations. Both the chart and the Diploma/Credential Requirements Summary have been updated.

This memo provides over-age students the opportunity to attend summer school or return to school in the 2021-2022 school year to earn their high school diploma.

Implementation Extension: NYS Next Generation Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics and NYS P-12 Science Learning Standards

Implementation Extension: NYS Next Generation Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics and NYS P-12 Science Learning Standards

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, implementation timelines for the Next Generation Learning Standards in ELA and Mathematics and the NYS P-12 Science Learning Standards have been updated to allow one additional year for professional learning and curriculum development prior to implementation.

2020 Enrollment and 2020 ELL Data Reports Released

The 2020 Enrollment Report and the 2020 English Language Learner (ELL) Data Report is publicly available on https://data.nysed.gov/. The reports contain enrollment data collected as part of NYSED's Student Information Repository System (SIRS) each year on the first Wednesday in October, also known as "BEDS Day."

OBEWL April Newsletter

This month’s issue includes articles on:

  • The adoption of the revised Learning Standards for LOTE;
  • The 2021 Professional Learning Series for World Languages
  • Write On, NY!
  • An update on the Spring 2021 NYSESLAT
  • Classroom Practices for MLs & ELLs and the Next Generation Learning Standards;
  • The RBERN West @ Erie 1 BOCES
  • Korean and the Seal of Biliteracy at Francis Lewis High School
  • News from other NYSED Offices

New York State Board of Regents Launches an Initiative to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in New York Schools

The Board of Regents released a draft framework that outlines a comprehensive approach to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in New York’s school including highlighting:

  • the dangers in teaching courses of study through only one perspective;
  • the impact of systemic racism on students and society;
  • the importance of looking beyond the data to discover and address the root causes of societal issues;
  • the myriad benefits that accrue from providing students with school environments that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive;
  • the role of the Board of Regents, the Department, and local schools and districts in promoting greater diversity, equity and inclusion; and
  • the suggested elements of a district’s diversity, equity and inclusion policy.

Through this framework, the Board of Regents is expressing its expectation that all school districts will develop policies that advance diversity, equity and inclusion – and that they implement such policies with fidelity and urgency.

Click here for the full text of the Board’s Framework for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in New York Schools.

Interested in Piloting the Seal of Civic Readiness during 2021-2022 School Year?

NYSED is now accepting applications from all high schools interested in piloting the Seal of Civic Readiness during the 2021-2022 school year. Applications will be accepted until May 1st. Interested high schools should review all information and materials provided on our Civic Readiness page and then begin the application process. Questions related to this can be directed to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction via email to emscurric@nysed.gov.

Seal of Biliteracy Panel Member Volunteers Needed

The RBERNs are seeking community members who are proficient in a variety of languages to support schools by serving as panel members for NYS Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) Presentations. Ideal volunteers would be teachers of the target language or native speakers of the language. Panel Members for all languages are needed, including low incidence languages.

Participating on a Seal of Biliteracy panel is a great opportunity for college faculty, language teachers and community members to learn more about the NYS Seal of Biliteracy while supporting multilingual learners in earning this distinction.

The main task of a volunteer would be to view a high school student's live presentation, interact with the student in the target language, and share feedback using a rubric provided by the school. An online, asynchronous training opportunity will be available for you to learn more about the Seal of Biliteracy and the presentation process. The approximate time commitment is 30 minutes for training and 30 minutes for a student presentation.

To volunteer as a panel member, please submit this form.

With questions, please email:


RBERN West Spring 2021 PD Calendar will be updated regularly. Please check back for new events and registration links.

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners Series

Guest Presenters: Dr. Diane Staehr Fenner & Dr. Sydney Snyder, SupportEd

May 12, 2021 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm: Advocating for Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners

CTLE credits: 1

In this one-hour webinar participants will:

  • Discuss the role of advocacy in fostering a culturally responsive climate for MLs
  • Explore a five-step advocacy process to strengthen culturally responsive teaching for multilingual learners
  • Set goals for strengthening CRT in their classrooms and schools

June 10, 2021 from 4:00pm - 7:00pm: Five Principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching for Multilingual Learners: Tools for Equity

CTLE credits: 3

In this three-hour interactive session, participants will incorporate the five guiding principles of CRT for MLs into their practice by:

  • Discussing strategies for applying an assets-based framework to their work with MLs
  • Exploring and applying instructional strategies and tools for creating a culturally responsive school climate for MLs
  • Examining and applying tools and strategies for uniting schools, families, and communities in support of MLs
  • Applying culturally responsive tools and strategies to plan for their class and school communities

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.

June 14, 2021 - Survey Day

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.

May 11, 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

May 12, 2021 from 5pm - 6pm

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

June 9, 2021 from 5pm - 6pm

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Emerging Multilingual Learners in Pre-K

This session will discuss the Emerging Multilingual Learner (EMLs) Language Profile for prekindergarten students and considerations for identification, instructional planning and programming. This session is open to Pre-K educators of emerging multilingual learners and program directors.

This is a repeated event.

CTLE credits: 1

May 18, 2021 from 10:00am - 11:00am

May 18, 2021 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm

HLQ and ELL Identification Process

This synchronous session will review the ELL Identification Process and the completion of the Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ). This session is open to registration staff, ENL program directors and coordinators, and ENL teachers

This is a repeated event.

CTLE credits: 1

June 1, 2021 from 10:00am - 11:00am

June 1, 2021 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Region VI Nominations and Professional Development Meeting

Educators and advocates of Bilingual Education, come join us on Tuesday May 11th, 2021 from 4:30pm-5:30pm for a dynamic VIRTUAL session on “Meditation & Mindfulness for a Post-pandemic World: Emerging Stronger and Ready to Embrace 2022!” by Dr. Raquel Schmidt, SUNY Buffalo State. Additionally, nominations for the positions of Delegate and Parent at-large will be held during this meeting.

NYSABE 2021 Conference

The New York State Association for Bilingual Education

cordially invites you to the


Fostering Collaborative Instructional Leadership

in Bilingual Education: Equity in Action

May 20-22, 2021

Pre-Conference Events on May 15-19, 2021


The conference fees will cover attendance at the full conference and participation in pre-conference sessions.

Professionals: $ 75.00. It includes annual membership fee

Students: $30.00. Students must provide proof of college/university enrollment at the time of registration.

Parents: No charge. This complementary registration is for parents who have children participating in bilingual/ENL programs and who are not professionals, i.e. educators, researchers, administrators, or elected officials.

To register please visit NYSABE’s website, www.nysabe.net

Join educators, parents, students, community leaders, and elected officials at this conference which will focus on collaborative instructional leadership and educational equity for English language learners (ELLs)/multilingual learners. Sessions will offer a broad range of research-based innovative instructional strategies and pedagogical frameworks that will inspire and energize participants to strive for equitable and quality bilingual education. Sessions will also address current policy, effective planning and implementation strategies, and meaningful resources for bilingual education program models, including dual language. Other topics will include bilingual special education, culturally and linguistically responsive/sustaining education, pre-k education for ELLs/multilingual learners, and much more!

The conference program will include an exciting Leadership Strand that will offer inspiring direction for present and future educational leaders, researchers, parents/family members, and other stakeholders involved in the education of ELL/multilingual learners.

For additional information regarding the conference, please visit NYSABE’s website, nysabe.net

See you at the conference!

Alicia Báez-Barinas

NYSABE President

WNY Multilingual Teacher Summit - Summer 2021

WNY Multilingual Teacher Summit - Call for Proposals

We invite you to submit a proposal for our second annual ELL Summer Conference - we are holding it virtually again this year!

This year, we will be scheduling presentations August 17-19, 2021 in 45 minute time slots, conducted via Zoom. You will be partnered with an RBERN Resource Specialist during the presentation to facilitate and provide technical support.

Please submit a proposal and help us support the region as we continue to face new challenges advocating for and supporting English language learners.

Proposals must be submitted no later than May 7, 2021.

LIU Online Advanced Certificate Program

US Census Bureau 2021 Data Summit Series

U.S Census Bureau will be hosting two data summits for educators, administrators, and District Data Specialists.

  1. Statistics in Schools, May 19, 2021 3-4:30pm Statistics in Schools (SIS) provides engaging resources and activities in social studies, math, English, geography, and sociology using real-world Census Bureau statistics. These resources are designed by teachers, easy to use, and provide valuable 21st Century lessons on data-literacy.
  2. Data use for school administrators, district data specialists, CIOs, and educational researchers , June 17, 2021 3-4:30pm School Administrators require data on their student population and the surrounding neighborhoods to complete state and federal reports. Learn the variety of tools available to locate student and family data by zip code, tract, and district boundaries.

U.S. Census Bureau 2021 Data Summit Series Catalog


NYS TESOL State Seal of Biliteracy Scholarship

Nominations are being accepted for NYS TESOL State Seal of Biliteracy Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior who is an ELL/former ELL that has earned the State Seal of Biliteracy and has been accepted to college.

COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy

These videos explain that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. Get your vaccination as soon as you are eligible. Protect yourself, your family, and your community by getting vaccinated!

New American Neighbors (NAN) provides multilingual and multicultural videos with actionable information to assist refugee and immigrant families along multiple integration pathways. NAN videos are produced in: Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, French, Karen, Nepali, Pashto, Somali, Spanish, and Tigrinya.

Translated Vaccination Information

Sesame Street Resources on Racial Literacy

Spanish Is My Superpower | #ComingTogether

Two Opportunities for Educators and Administrators of Refugee/Immigrant Learners from the Carey Institute for Global Good

  • Refugee Educators Foundations of Practice Course: Professional learning focused on inclusive, equitable, and responsive pedagogy designed to build in-district capacity for supporting students of refugee and immigrant backgrounds in the areas of academic growth, social and emotional well-being, and English language development.
  • Refugee Educator Foundations of Practice Summer Institute: Designed by and for educators, the REFP Summer Institute is a two-part practice-based online course embedded within a supportive virtual community of practice that will provide you with rich learning opportunities and immediately useful resources and methods to support refugee/immigrant learners.

See flyers below for more information:

What to Expect from an Interpreter from National Accreditation of Educational Translators and Interpreters of Spoken Languages (NAETISL)

What to Expect from an Interpreter from National Accreditation of Educational Translators and Interpreters of Spoken Languages (NAETISL)

These documents describe the basic knowledge and skills that families should expect from professional interpreters/translators in education, and a list of useful phrases that families can use during a meeting involving an interpreter and are available in 13 languages.

Not Even Water - Stories of Ramadan

Not Even Water — Stories of Ramadan

Author and teacher Sara K. Ahmed shares personal experiences and interviews about Ramadan on the Heinemann Blog.

Gates-Chili Students Share Ramadan Traditions

This video was created by Lisa Taylor & Amanda Whitford, Gates-Chili Middle School ESL Teachers with Iva Petrosino, Director of Communications:
Gates Chili MS: Students share Ramadan traditions

Language Brochures from the National African Language Resource Center

Language Brochures from the National African Language Resource Center

The African Languages brochures are brief but informative reference materials based on the speakers of the language, their history, culture, and geography for 85 languages.

NYSABE Bilingual Times

Check out the newest issue of the NYSABE Bilingual Times, which includes the following articles:
  • Collaborative Leadership: The Key to Progress in Bilingual Special Education - Carmen Díaz, RBE-RN Questar III BOCES
  • More Culturally and Linguistically Responsive-Sustaining Education: The Lessons I Learned About Educational Equity in 2020 - David E. Kirkland, PhD, NYU Metro Center
  • Todo El Mundo Sonríe en el Mismo Idioma. The Whole World Smiles in the Same Language - Analy Cruz-Phommany & Michele Hewitt, Rochester City School District


The 2021 Virtual ODMAC

The 2021 Virtual One Day Mini Area Conference (ODMAC) brought together 80 educators from all over WNY on Saturday, May 1st. Dorina Sackman-Ebuwa engaged participants in deep conversation about Transformative Emotional Intelligence (TEI) and the positive impact it has on teacher resilience and mental health. Research/evidence-based strategies were presented that focused on TEI and academic language literacy. Participants left feeling inspired and rejuvenated, “Great PD! Felt heard and seen! Such great ideas to use and look more into!” wrote Deborah Smith, an ENL teacher at Frederick Law Olmstead PS #64 . Claribel González, ODMAC Chairperson was thrilled by the turnout on Saturday morning and encourages participants to stay healthy by focusing on their personal mental and physical wellness.

If you would like to learn more about Dorina Sackman-Ebuwa, please visit dorinasackman.com

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Green Card Voices Statewide Book Study - Student Panel Event

The RBERN West and Mid-West RBERN partnered to lead a statewide book study of the recently released Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from Upstate New York, which features 29 student authors from the Buffalo and Rochester areas. The culmination of this book study was a live event on April 29th which featured a student panel, representing several of the authors of the book. Educators in the book study had asked hundreds of questions which were narrowed down to some common themes such as: how does your family feel about you being a published author, what advice do you have for teachers or students, and how can we better support newly arriving students? Students articulated heartfelt and insightful responses that left our audience in tears!

We'd like to give a special thank you to two teachers - Kristen Hallagan from Brighton CSD and Kelly Cooper from Buffalo Public Schools. These teachers in particular have worked tirelessly on this book and have continued to support the students' journeys since publication. We truly appreciate the extra efforts made by these teachers!

To learn more about the students and this book:

Mid-West RBERN Director Lourdes Roa recognized by Rochester Chamber of Commerce

Lourdes Roa, Executive Director of the Mid-West Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) at Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 35th Annual ATHENA International Award®. This award recognizes women for their outstanding professional achievements, contributions to the community and active assistance to other women in attaining professional excellence. Lourdes was recognized on April 22 via a virtual awards ceremony. The ATHENA Award is sponsored by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. We want to extend our sincere CONGRATULATIONS to Lourdes. She is an outstanding bilingual educator and is well known for her collaboration, dedication, and tireless commitment to the education of English language learners in the Greater Rochester area.

More information about the Athena International Award Event

Monroe 2 BOCES article about the event

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.