Essential Practice #3: Data Driven Decisions
Essential Practice #3: Data Driven Decisions
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Monday January 6, 2020
We hope you are returning to work rested, rejuvenated, and ready for a productive and joyful second semester.

If you've been following our newsletters this year, you know we are focusing each month on one of the OUSD Essential Practices for ELL Achievement. This month, we look at Essential Practice #3, Data-Driven Decisions. 

Quality data is key in making visible the equity gaps we must address across our system and to ensuring that classroom instruction is responsive to the needs of all students. Below, we share some useful dashboards you can access to monitor the progress of your ELLs and Multilingual Learners, as well as sources of qualitative data such as stories of our immigrant students and communities.
For those interested in learning more about the ELPAC, see the ELL Ambassador corner and the new ELL Family corner for some helpful links!


Data Driven Decisions

ELL Scatterplot: Log on to find your class data!
The ELL Progress Monitoring - Scatterplot provides a X-Y visual plotting of where a teacher’s students are in terms of meeting Reclassification requirements. Rolling over each dot on the scatter plot provides comprehensive data and also a link to the student’s ELL Snapshot, featuring a student and family-friendly data summary and a planning template to enlist student, parent and teacher in the co-creation of an action plan. Click here to learn more.
ELL Progress Monitoring: Log on for detailed information on where each ELL is on their journey to reclassification.
Teachers can also use the ELL Progress Monitoring - Distance from Criteria for a list view of their students and what they need to reclassify this spring. 
The ELL Snapshot is a student and family-friendly report that we recommend be used in student-parent conferences. Parent leaders of ELLs have advocated that the ELL Snapshot be used in all schools! Remember you can access this for each student by hovering over individual student data in the dashboards described above. 
The second side of the ELL Snapshot provides students an opportunity to set goals and advocate for the support they need, two crucial soft skills for our language learners!
2018 Recipients of the State Seal of Biliteracy. Our goal is to double the number of students who receive this prestigious certification upon graduation in the next 2 years and quadruple it by 2030!

Expanding our Definition of Success: Using Data to Value and Promote Multilingualism!

Multiple measures in both languages of instruction to assess students' progress toward meeting bilingual and biliteracy goals is a necessary practice for Dual Language schools.  This fall all OUSD Dual Language schools achieved a major milestone in assessment practice by administering the Avant Stamp Spanish assessment to students in grades 3-8.  The Avant Assessment is a computer based, adaptive test that measures proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking in Spanish. It is aligned to the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language (ACTFL) scale and reports results in 3 major levels: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced.  
Based on Avant data, we already have a lot to celebrate.  To date, 128 elementary and middle school students have already met the World Language criteria to earn the Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation, including 74 from MLA, 21 from Esperanza, and 19 from Manzanita SEED. Outstanding work by all ! See the complete state criteria here.  
For a more detailed report, see here

Using Student Stories as Qualitative Data

While we value quantitative data, the most informative and actionable data will almost always be qualitative in nature. This includes analysis of student work and observation of discussion and engagement. Equally as valuable is understanding the historical, cultural and social context of our students' lives. With the continued increase in our newcomer population, this is especially critical to support and advocate for their academic development and emotional well-being.  While we encourage teachers to empower students to tell their own stories, we must do so with caution and sensitivity, keeping in mind that as a sanctuary district, we should never inquire into our students' or families' immigration status. See here for a helpful and short article on Getting to Know Your Students Deeply. 
And below we offer three excellent sources to understand the experiences of our many of our newcomers. Click on the image for a link to more information. 
This beautifully written and powerful book by OUSD's own Lauren Markham tells the story of 2 Salvadoran teens who arrive as unaccompanied minors to Oakland International HS. We are so excited to share there is now a young adult version!
This collection of oral histories chronicles the terrifying experiences that many Central American young people face in seeking refuge in the US from violence and extreme poverty. The stories include those who have settled in Oakland.
The California Sunday Magazine recently interviewed immigrant children about their experience at the border. More than half of the testimonies are from OUSD students taken at the time of enrollment in August.

This month's ELLMA Spotlight revisits last year's post introducing our amazing Data Analyst, Rattana Yeang. We could not do our work without him!

I work for the Department of Research, Assessment and Data as a Data Analyst and I love it. We are RAD. Pun intended. I take data which is often very messy, intimidating and confusing, and turn it into information in the form of reports, dashboards and infographics that I hope are accessible in ways that make it easier for anyone in our community to make more informed, data-driven decisions that empower Oakland Unified kids.
On most days, I know working with ELLMA means I get to help leaders in this community use data to gain insight on how to best support families who have histories and experiences no different from my own. I’m currently entering my 11th academic year in the district and it’s at a time where the public discourse around immigrants and refugees is full of hateful and dangerous rhetoric. In an age of misinformation dominated by lies, alternative facts and fake news, the work of research and data feels essential now more than ever. 
Read the full post here to learn about Rattana's own immigration story and the passion he holds for his work! 

ELL Ambassador Corner

ELL Ambassadors are site-based liaisons who hold the reclassification process and bring an ELL-lens to instruction. 
Happy New Year, ELL Ambassadors! A few important reminders and resources:
  • ALL ELLs 2nd- 12th grade are legally required take the RI (formally SRI) test at least once between Monday, 11/4 and Friday 1/31 so they have an opportunity to meet the reclassification criteria, with multiple attempts encouraged. See more here.
  • See the two-part slide deck called Helping Students be Successful on the ELPAC - 2019-20 for instructional approaches that support ELLs taking the ELPAC. Sites may take use that parts of this presentation that most apply to their needs.
  • ELPAC testing begins on Monday February 3rd. See Testing Office memo here.
  • To understand the ELPAC administration requirements for ELLs with IEPs, see this memo.
For support on the logistics of ELPAC testing, please contact the testing office at For instructional support, reach out to your network aligned ELLMA specialist or contact Mike, ELD Services Coordinator. 


This month, we are excited to launch the ELL Family Corner. ELL Ambassadors, site leaders, and teachers will find resources here to support families as they in turn support their children on the path to academic success. This month we focus on the ELPAC, reclassification and ELL Snapshots with the following family-friendly Google slide resources. For familiarizing parents with the ELPAC we have these English and Spanish slide decks:
For a deeper dive into Reclassification including ELPAC, RI and Snapshots see:
Your Sanctuary Donation comes with a Gift of a Butterfly Shirt or Hoodie!
Start the year out by showing your commitment to welcoming all students and families. Your donation supports Sanctuary building convening and events, Know-Your-Rights workshops, and our emerging student sanctuary ambassador program. 

How do I give? 

1. Visit our donation page or look for the donation link on
2. Be sure to choose your donation gift after donating by filling out this order form! 
3. Arrange to go to 1000 Broadway to pick up your order and to be sure you have the right fit.  (When possible, we will drop off at your site but this is not guaranteed).
We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Nicole with communications inquiries.
Meet the ELLMA Team!
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