'Tis the season to make data-driven decisions for ELLs
'Tis the season to make data-driven decisions for ELLs
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December 7, 2020

Data-Driven Decisions for ELLs

For our December newsletter, we are focused on Essential Practice 3 of our Essential Practices for ELLs during Distance Learning: Data-Driven Decisions.
For teachers of ELLs, it's vital to use information like ELPAC levels and home language in planning instruction for students. Here, we walk you through some different ways to get that information, including OUSD's Data Dashboards and our ELL Snapshots.
There are also a number of valuable digital tools that can be used to check for understanding and monitor content and language learning. We highlight some of our favorites below.
Read on to find out how one middle school teacher used a multilingual culminating project to gather authentic student data and build students' sense of community (despite being socially distant). Learn how OUSD is being lifted up as an exemplar by the state of California for its efforts around equity for ELLs. Like every month, don't miss our Multilingual, ELL Ambassador, and Sanctuary Corners for important resources and information.

OUSD Data Tools to Support ELL Instruction

Teachers can use the ELL Progress Monitoring - Distance from Criteria for a list view of their ELLs, the students' most recent ELPAC scores, and what they need to do to reclassify this spring. Log on for detailed information on where each ELL is on their journey to reclassification. By clicking on a student's name, a teacher can also pull up the ELL Snapshot for this student.
ELLMA produces ELL Snapshots over the course of the year, in partnership with the Research, Assessment and Data department. These student-level reports allow teachers, parents, and students themselves to see where they stand with regard to reclassification and are a tool for reflection and goal setting. In community engagements, families have repeatedly named the snapshots as a priority strategy for family engagement. We encourage schools to make use of ELL Snapshots in parent/report card conferences and other family engagements. Site leaders and ELL Ambassadors can find their snapshots in the ELLMA Materials folder of the OUSD Knowledge Center. Teachers can pull up the snapshot for any of their students on the ELL Progress Monitoring dashboard for teachers by clicking on the student name. (Tutorial video on dashboard also available.)

California Dept of Ed
Highlights OUSD's ELL Efforts    

Every ten years, the California Department of Education publishes a book to highlight best practices for ELLs in use at schools across the state. In the 2020 publication, OUSD is highlighted for our efforts to improve systems for ELL equity. We invite you to read more about the work of OUSD and other highlighted districts.

ELLMA Spotlight

Language Teacher in Focus: Sydney Morgan

Middle school teacher Sydney Morgan was looking for an authentic way to gather data on her newcomers' English language skills, while also uplifting student voice and building community, despite being socially distant. The resulting project had students create school tour videos, which required written and spoken English production. Ms. Morgan shares more about the project below.
Middle School Humanities and Spanish/English Language Development Teacher
Melrose Leadership Academy
What were the goals/outcomes you were hoping for with this project?
There were a few things I was trying to get the kids to work on. We were working on phrases like "there is/there are," parts of the school, introducing themselves, and sequencing words. I was trying to bring all those things together through a culminating project that had meaning. We are using it for virtual school tours. We wanted it to be a tool that newcomers could use as they came in. We did it in Spanish or English, and some of them did it in another language. I wanted them to feel like they had a voice, and they were able contribute in a meaningful way.
What data did this project provide around your newcomers' English and academic development?
We first wrote out a script, and that was really helpful to see where they were at in terms of their written language, and speaking [the script] helped me see where they’re at in their spoken language. I wanted them to have the chance to speak more and interview each other, and listen to each other. It helped me see their speaking, their writing, and their comprehension, because they had to make questions for the script for it, as well as their vocabulary.
What is the value in having authentic language tasks as culminating projects, rather than a test, for example?
I can tell they put in a lot of effort and did their best work because they knew it was going to be shared with the community. When they’re trying their hardest and doing their best, what are they able to produce? It's valuable because, first, they feel like they’re part of the community, which is hard right now because we’re so separate. And second, they really have something to share that helps our community and makes our community better.
Read the full interview to learn more about Ms. Morgan's project and see videos of her students' completed projects! E-mail her if you want to learn more.

Sanctuary Corner

Resources and tools to ensure all families are welcome, safe, and empowered in our schools and community! 
Two recent court cases have uplifted the rights of our immigrant students, staff and community members around DACA and "public charge." Please share this news with your community!
On Dec. 4, 2020, Judge Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York restored DACA to the terms that were in place in 2012, when the program was first created, according to the National Immigrant Law Center. The government now must accept first-time requests for DACA, renewal requests regardless of expiration date, and advance parole requests. The government also must post a public notice explaining that it is accepting these applications by today. The court’s order also extends work permits that were issued for one year to two years.
As of Dec. 2, 2020, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security is blocked from enforcing the recently enacted "public charge" rule in 18 states—including California—and D.C., according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. The rule makes it potentially more difficult for certain immigrants to obtain green cards, visas, or U.S. entrance based on whether they are deemed likely to become dependent on certain government benefits in the future. Additionally, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that getting testing and treatment for COVID-19 (including a vaccine if one becomes available) will not trigger public charge.

Multilingual Corner

A regular section for our Dual Language and bilingual educators!
OUSD’s Data Dashboards feature tools that support Dual Language and Bilingual schools.
The Avant, DRA & EDL Dashboard has been added now, allowing teachers to look at English and Spanish literacy data and support differentiated instruction. Go to the English Language Learner & Multilingual Achievement section, and click on "Avant, DRA & EDL."
Also check out the TK-2 Literacy Dashboard. It includes letter name, letter sounds, and DIBELS/IDEL in both English and Spanish to support early literacy instruction and intervention. You can look at a class summary to find trends, or the Student Data Wall to support differentiated instruction. Go to the Assessments section, and click on "TK-2 Literacy."
Is your school using the Benchmark Adelante/Advance curriculum? We would like to hear from you! Please fill this survey in order to let us know your experience with this curriculum.

ELL Ambassadors Corner

While addressed to our amazing ELL Ambassadors, this section has important information for the whole school community about our ELLs' civil rights and procedures and policies in place to secure these rights. 
Winter Reclassification is underway and this week is a window for additional teacher input before student reclassification lists are finalized. ELL Ambassadors will be reaching out to teachers with students eligible for reclassification to make them aware and provide opportunities to provide additional input. Because of a slow trickle of ELPAC scores from the state, this reclassification cycle will come in two “waves” and continue into January.
As we celebrate the achievement of these students, it is a great moment for school teams to review ELL data and make plans to continue to support students on their journey to reclassification. Please call upon your ELLMA specialist for support.
Meet the ELLMA Team!
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