Essential Practices for ELL Achievement
Essential Practices for ELL Achievement
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Monday October 7, 2019
Greetings Oakland Friends & Family!
For our October newsletter, we are excited to introduce our Essential Practices for ELL Achievement. Research and our own Oakland stories tell us that when these practices are implemented in concert and with quality, we see accelerated outcomes for English Language Learners.  The Essential Practices represent our theory of change and are the foundation of much of ELLMA school site support and tools, such as our ELL Review process many of you are familiar with.  
Each month, we will shine a light on one of the five Essential Practices, starting with Practice #1: Access & Rigor. 
In addition, this newsletter features an ELLMA Student Spotlight, some important Sanctuary news, and updates for our ELL Ambassadors.  Please read on!
-ELLMA Team 


Foundational to any ELL strategy are tasks and texts that are rigorous, compelling, and relevant. While it may be tempting to simplify material, our ELLs (and all students) most benefit from classrooms with high challenge and high support. The goal is to provide grade-level appropriate materials- the rigor- with language scaffolds and supports needed for access. These supports  include: 
  • clarity of task instructions and criteria for success 
  • chunking of task/ text with frequent checks for understanding
  • "message abundancy", or multiple opportunities to understand a concept.
  • structured collaboration and talk
  • language supports including anchor charts, frayer models, pictorial input charts, sentence frames, and word banks.
The key to reaching this goal is through intentional planning with language in mind. We offer two planning tools to "unpack" the language demands of rigorous tasks and complex text to surface the language demands and teaching opportunities! 
Additionally, here are some exemplars and resources we hope are helpful: 

This month's ELLMA Student Spotlight

Meet Alex, an Oakland High Senior and Aspiring Artist

This month, we caught up with Alex Gutierrez who arrived from Mexico only 3 1/2 years ago to pursue educational and career opportunities. Fortunately for him, and for us, he landed in Oakland High's Visual Arts Pathway (VAAMP). Read on to learn more about how Alex is realizing his dreams through access to career pathways. Be sure to check out his beautiful photography gallery .  Click here for the full interview! 

Why don’t you start with an introduction? 

My name is Alexander and I am from Mexico.  The first reason I came here is because I’m born here but my parents are from Mexico, and wanted to go back.  So, when I was 2 years old we went back to Mexico. When I was 14 years old, my uncle asked me, “Well you’re born here and you have all these opportunities to study here and do your dreams. Would you like to come here?”  And so I said,  “Yes, why not?” So I come here because I want to do music and art. 
What inspired you to pursue art and music?

For music, that was my father.  I remember when I was a little kid, he played a lot of music from the 80’s, like rock, and I love that type of music...
For Art, my cousin.  She went to university and now she’s an artist.  She inspired me to do [art] because I think if she can make it, I can too.  

What do you hope to do after high school?

I want to go to college, and maybe start working, and get money so I can start to study what I want, art and music.  I plan to apply to Expression College in Emeryville. It’s where you do animation or music. 

What experiences at Oakland High have inspired you to pursue your dream of being an artist or musician?   

At Oakland High, people here are more open to everything like about what kind of art, music…it’s more open.  The teachers here, some told me that they like my work, and my music. They told me I can do better and better.   They explain me and said if you want to do art, I can give you the techniques or the classes you need to go for your dreams.  Mr. Smith always put me a challenge. For example, he told me draw your hand, you have 10 minutes.  Okay, I do it. Then, he say you have 5 minutes. So, I do it. Then 1 minute, now 30 seconds, 10 seconds. He challenge me to see how far I can go.  And then he [taught] me all the techniques I need for improve my art.  

Sanctuary: Understand Public Charge & Protect the Rights of our Families!

The Public Charge rule, to go in effect on October 15th, is creating confusion and fear in our immigrant community. The rule change greatly expands the definition of who is considered dependent on the government, or a "public charge", and who is therefore ineligible for a visa or green card. Many families have mistakenly understood the rule change to mean they must disenroll in public benefits or face possible deportation. It is critical we put accurate information in front of our families so they can make informed decisions that do not jeopardize their health and well-being or that of their children.  
The three main take-aways we want you all to know and share are:
  • The change in the public charge rule only affects immigrants who plan to apply for a green card or visa. Refugees/ Asylees, asylum seekers, DACA holders, TPS visa holders, Youth with Juvenile Special Immigrant Status are all exempt.
  • Children/Minors may be enrolled in any public program without any penalty to their parents.
  • Families should continue to apply for free and reduced lunch and all school benefits. No school-related benefits count towards "public charge."
Click on the infographic below for multi-lingual versions of family-friendly flyers (Arabic will be added soon!). For more information contact Nicole or Raquel from the Sanctuary Task Force. 

October is Bullying Prevention Month!

To prepare for Bullying Prevention Month in October at your school, we want to share some ideas and resources that you can use to address bullying and help raise awareness:
  • Request free presentations, panels and workshops to promote cultural awareness and address bullying from Islamic Networks Group (ING) to promote inclusive classrooms.
  • Host Restorative Justice Circles focused on student experiences with bullying, and how the community can work together to prevent and stop it.
  • Participate in the Sanctuary Schools Welcome Poster Contest to engage students in discussing how to create safe and welcoming school environments for everyone.
  • Make sure all staff, families, and students are aware of OUSD Bullying Policy and Forms for reporting incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation - also available in the Main Office of each school.
  • Use Not In Our School lesson plans, training, videos, and tools to address bullying and intolerance with students. 

ELL Ambassador Corner
ELL Ambassadors are site-based liaisons who hold the reclassification process and bring an ELL-lens to instruction. 
Greetings wonderful ELL Ambassadors!
First of all, THANK YOU for all that you do to hold this critical work and equity lens at your site!!   We have some important updates for you!
1.Reclassification Reminders!  From now until the extended (S)RI window for ELLs closes on 11/1,  we suggest you focus on ELLs who met the ELPAC 4 last spring but still need to get a passing RI score. You can find the [School Name] Final Spring Reclassification 2018-19 Google Sheet in your Reclassification folder.  Remember that 2nd grade ELLs who scored 4 on ELPAC in spring 2018-19 MUST take the RI by 11/1/19. Consider giving ALL your 2nd grade ELLs the test so it won’t be the first time when they are required to take it during the winter benchmark that counts towards Spring 2019-20 Reclassification.
2. New Dashboard: ELL Progress Monitoring Scatter Plot! (see the example above!) This dashboard gives you a visual of where your ELLs are on the road to reclassification, including those who are missing required tests (“missing data”). For teachers, see Teacher View and for site leaders including ELL Ambassadors, see Leadership View.
3. Certificates & Snapshots!  Reclassification certificates will be available on 10/11/19 and can be delivered to PPL on 10/17/19. Please award in your next assembly!  ELL and RFEP Snapshots #2 will available in school’s Google folders on 11/11. Use them to help students set RI, ELPAC and ELA grade goals!
Contact: Mike, ELD Services Coordinator 
We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Nicole with communications inquiries.
Meet the ELLMA Team!
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