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May 4, 2020

Greetings Educators and Friends!

As we approach the end of this strange and challenging school year, we want to extend our immense gratitude to our teachers, leaders, and community for all that you have done to support the well-being of our immigrant and multilingual families, and to teachers for your consideration of our ELLs' need for differentiation and language support as we abruptly pivoted to distance learning. Your caring and ingenuity is inspiring and gives us hope during such a difficult time. THANK YOU!
As your partners in this work, the ELLMA team is committed to continue learning from and with you and to provide guidance, resources, and supports for distance learning as long as needed. We look forward to reflecting on what we have learned that can be applied regardless of the learning context to better support our ELLs. 
In this issue,  you will find information about ELLMA-hosted webinars, a beautiful video highlighting the important work of Rudsdale Newcomer, resources for families, and finally updates for ELL Ambassadors and anyone else interested in how spring reclassification will work this year.

ELL Instructional Resources 

Helpful resources and recorded webinars can be found on the ELL Page of OUSD Teacher Central Google Site as well as resources such as the Essential Practices adapted for Distance Learning filled with links to aligned resources and examples. 
See below for upcoming webinars. Zoom links will be available closer to the date on OUSD Teacher Central.

In this month's ELLMA Spotlights, we share what Rudsdale Newcomer is doing to provide safe and responsive learning spaces for our newest immigrants.

Check out the video below to see equity in action! 


This May marks the end of the third school year of operation for Rudsdale Newcomer High School, the first continuation program in OUSD focused on newcomers, and one of the first (if not the first) in the state. Rudsdale Newcomer now enrolls 150 students and is at capacity, having grown from just a handful of students who began on the first day of school in August 2017. To mark this occasion and help the OUSD and broader community better understand the school and its students, they’ve produced a short video highlighting the program.

“People always ask, what is the difference between you and Oakland International? We’re trying to really express [in this video] our program and what we are really all about,” said Emma Batten-Bowman, assistant principal in charge of the program. “We’re also trying to help people understand the intense situations that all of our newcomer students, especially unaccompanied minors, are dealing with.”
As a result of the COVID-19 shelter in place orders, many Rudsdale Newcomer students who work in restaurant kitchens and otherwise in the informal economy are in crisis and struggling to meet basic needs. Rudsdale Newcomer is collecting donations to provide financial relief to students:

Please consider donating directly to the school……or pledge all of part of your stimulus check (if you are eligible and able).

Click on the image above for the PDF version of the flyer in English and Spanish

Resources for Families 


We are resharing some resources for families and adding a couple of new ones. Unfortunately, a growing number of families are losing work and struggling to make ends meet. We have also heard reports of threats of evictions despite the city and state moratoriums. Please support us in informing families of their right to protection from eviction during the pandemic.
See the guide in English and Spanish or refer families to these agencies: 
  • Just Cause, Oakland Tenant Services at (510) 836-2687     or 
  • Centro Legal de la Raza (510) 437-1554.


Click on the document shown below for additional resources for our newcomer families complied by ELLMA's student services team.






ELL Ambassadors Corner


Hi ELL Ambassadors! Hope you are taking good care of yourselves during this trying time. Our main update is that we WILL have Spring Contingent Reclassification.

a. Students who meet the RI cutpoint will be eligible for contingent reclassification

As in previous years, students who meet the RI criteria will be approved for reclassification, but contingent on a passing ELPAC score from this spring once we get the results back. We will not know the result of those scores until early June or later.

b. RI Cutpoint lower than previous years for spring contingent reclassification

Because of the challenges of the COVID-19 school closures, and because we are now certain the ELPAC covers all four domains with a high level of rigor, we are reducing the required cut points for spring reclassification on the RI. For spring 2019-20 reclassification, students need only meet the fall RI cutpoint (see Reclassification Overview) on EITHER the fall or midyear benchmark. The F&P/DRA cutpoints for 1st are the same as previously communicated.

 c. Missing ELPAC data for many students

About 60% of students have finished the ELPAC in OUSD, but we may be allowed to finish the tests for those students this fall in the first couple weeks of August. Most of these students are missing the Speaking test. We will include students with incomplete ELPAC data in our Spring 2019-20 Contingent Reclassification with the hope that we will be able to finish their ELPAC in the fall.

d. Reclassification will be online this Spring

The Ell Ambassador will not be printing anything this time. Instead they will either be reviewing documents they get back from teachers, or giving teachers editing rights to the Teacher Forms Google sheet so they can mark their Y or N for contingent reclassification there.

e. ELL Ambassador Zoom on Monday, 5.11.20., 4 to 5PM

Mike Ray will hold a Zoom meeting to explain the procedures, with a Q& A on Monday, 5.11.20. We will record this Zoom in case you can’t make it, and of course there will be emails and documents to explain the process.

Thanks, as always, for your support of ELLs!

Help us spread the word!


ELLMA is recruiting teachers and social workers to support newcomers across OUSD.

Elementary Newcomer Teacher Leaders provide direct support to newcomers in the early grades as well as PD and systems support. Apply here.

Newcomer social workers work across OUSD’s secondary newcomer programs to address obstacles and meet basic needs to support student success in school. Part time and full time postings are available.

In addition to applying at the links above, interested candidates are encouraged to email Tom Felix.
We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Nicole with communications inquiries.
Meet the ELLMA Team!
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