February 28, 2014

ISBE DELL Newsletter 2014.255 - Prognostications, Planning, and Professional Development

Four weeks of winter have followed prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil. Counting on the arrival of Spring, our newsletter will focus on assessment, comprehensive planning, instruction,  community and family, leadership, and a potpourri of upcoming professional development opportunities. Please contact us at 312-814-3850 if we can provide additional assistance to your district in the service of English language learners (ELLs).

Assessment



ISAT and ELLs: New for 2014
The standard version of the ISAT test booklet will not be published in multiple forms for 2014.  There will be Large Print, Braille, and Linguistically Modified versions available.  There will not be a Form “SF” or numbered forms (e.g., Form 1, Form 2, … Form C ) as in past years.  Therefore, a Reader Script or audio recording accommodation does not require a specific form of the standard ISAT test booklet.  ISAT test booklets will be packaged with the Reader Scripts and audio recordings, but they are identical to, and interchangeable with, the standard ISAT test booklets.  As in the past, Form LM is not compatible with Reader Scripts and audio recordings.

The accommodations table in the ISAT manuals will show the accommodation Student reads aloud to him/herself as available for LEP in reading, math, and science.  This accommodation is commonly listed in IEPs, and the state is interested in the extent to which it is provided, but it is not restricted to students with IEPs.  It can be used by any student getting an individual administration

ISAT results for 2013-14 will not include national norms for any subject area. This applies to the standard ISAT as well as the accommodated versions. For more information contact our Assessment Division at 217-782-4823.

Comprehensive Planning



FY15 Ceiling Calculator
Important reminder! The deadline for completing English learner (EL) data on the Student Information System (SIS) is March 3! DELL has completed approval of all FY15 EL Enrollment Summary and Ceiling Calculators submitted by districts on IWAS.

However, many were approved with concerns regarding the district’s EL data on SIS. The concerns identified were emailed to each district program director.  Districts need to make any corrections on SIS no later than March 3, 2014, after which EL data will be pulled from SIS once for the entire state to determine FY15 TBE/TPI and Title III funding allocations and to pre-populate attendance center enrollment for the second part of the application.

Please contact our Call Center at 217-558-3600 if you have a question about how to change SIS data.  For questions about programmatic issues, please contact the Division of English Language Learning (DELL) at (312) 814-3850.

Proficiency Definition for Identifying English Learners: Notification Pursuant to 23 Illinois Administrative Code 228.25(b)(2)
In order to better align measurements of academic achievement with English language acquisition, the Illinois State Board of Education has adopted a modified definition of English language proficiency for students in Illinois schools. Effective January 1, 2014, a student must obtain an overall composite proficiency level of 5.0 as well as a reading proficiency level of 4.2 and a writing proficiency level of 4.2 on the ACCESS for ELLs to be considered English language proficient. Any student that does not achieve the minimum composite, reading, and writing criteria is considered an English learner (EL) student and remains eligible for TBE/TPI services. Students who meet or exceed these proficiency levels may be transitioned from the TBE/TPI program as allowed under Part 228 of the Illinois Administrative Code.

Transitioning decisions for kindergarten students must only be made using the accountability scores provided on the ACCESS for ELL® English Language Proficiency Test Kindergarten Teacher Report. This would be the first set of domain scores provided on the Kindergarten Teacher Report.

For the initial identification of ELs utilizing the WIDA W-APT or MODEL screeners, the composite literacy level [ 1 ] of 4.2 should be used in lieu of the individual reading and writing, in accordance with the following:

[1] Scores obtained from W-APT or K MODEL are precise enough to provide decimal proficiency level estimates only for composite proficiency levels and not for each individual domain. These tests are shorter than ACCESS and they are reliable for the level of discrimination indicated.

The modified English proficiency definition pertains to all new students who are screened for English proficiency with the WIDA MODEL or the W-APT, and any student participating in the annual ACCESS for ELLs test administration after January 1, 2014. Therefore, students must meet or exceed the modified proficiency levels on their 2014 ACCESS for ELLs test in order to be transitioned from a TBE/TPI program at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

Please note: The modified proficiency levels are not to be applied retroactively and DO NOT apply to students who were transitioned from a TBE/TPI program based on the previous state approved proficiency levels prior to January 1, 2014. Previously transitioned students do not need to be re-tested. Similarly, eligibility/program placement decisions made prior to January
1, 2014 based on the previous state-approved proficiency levels are not to be reversed during this 2013-2014 transition school year.

If you have any questions about these new criteria, please contact the Division of English Language Learning at (312) 814-3850.

Council of Chief State School Officers Examine Home Language Survey across States
The Council of Chief State School Officers has recently produced, “Reprising the Home Language Survey: Summary of a National Working Session on Policies, Practices, and Tools for Identifying Potential English Learners”.  The report examines issues, constructs, considerations, language, and culture that impact a common definition of English Learners (ELs) and the use of a home language survey across many states.  Inquiring minds may wish to see http://www.ccsso.org/Documents/2014/CCSSO%20Common%20EL%20Definition%20Reprising%20the%20Home%20Language%20Survey%2001242014.pdf.

Statewide Job Fair for ESL, Bilingual, Dual Language Teachers, Aides, and Administrators
The Illinois Resource Center is hosting a job fair on Saturday March 15, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the European Crystal Banquet and Conference Center located at 519 Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights, IL, 60005.  Interested individuals  may pre-register for $7.00 (non refundable) and $10.00 on site.  For more information, see  http://www.thecenterweb.org/irc/pages/f_event-job.html or call the Illinois Resource Center at 224-366-8500. Instruction

The Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago is inviting local school districts to nominate candidates for Mexico- US 2014 Teacher Exchange Program.  The purpose of the exchange program is to enhance the knowledge and understanding of Mexican history, culture, values, and national traditions in students of Mexican origin who reside in the United States.  For more information see http://www.consulmexchicago.com or email sraguilar@sre.gob.mex.

Community and Family
The Division of English Language Learning at ISBE is happy to announce the Ninth Annual Statewide Summit for Bilingual Parents on May 3, 2014. This year, the keynote speaker for the Summit will be Angelica Atondo, one of the evening anchors for Noticias Univision Chicago.  Illinois State Senator Iris Y. Martinez (20th District) and House Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (24th District) will also join our Summit to be held at the Oak Brook Hills Resort.  The Summit is an exceptional tool to help families in their critical role to advance students’ academic success.  Delegations composed primarily of families, teachers and administrators from school districts statewide meet to learn about leadership, advocacy and community relations from noted speakers and from each others’ experiences.  More information will be forthcoming soon.

Leadership
The Illinois Principals Association has recently published a blog entitled, “The Common Core Standards and The Looming Linguistic Perfect Storm”.  Influenced by feedback from teachers across the country, the blog addresses issues related to the language needs of ALL children, not just ELs that confront the exploding linguistic demands of the Common Core.  To review the blog see http://connect.ilprincipals.org/blogsmain/blogviewer/?BlogKey=e79cc539-8a99-40e5-b89a-8d86dbe93bce. Professional Development-Date Savers

Additional Illinois State Board of Education sponsored workshops will be offered through the Illinois Resource Center to help teachers meet the needs of English Learners (ELs).  For a preview of the dates below and previously announced workshop locations see http://www.thecenterweb.org/irc  for more information.

In additional to the aforementioned workshops, we are sponsoring several exciting WIDA workshops in April, May, and June.  We will share more details with you including registration information in the upcoming weeks.  Hopefully this information will assist you in planning.

The Standards in Action workshops provide an in-depth opportunity to apply the English Language Development Standards to classroom instruction.  Participants will explore the purpose and process of transforming the model performance indicators (MPIs) and apply these ideas to their specific educational settings.

The Data Analysis workshops are intended for teachers as an introduction to a data analysis process and will allow them to apply this process to their own classroom data. This workshop is designed for teachers who want to gain more experience analyzing data for classroom decision-making from a language lens.

Dates

Topics

Location

April 28-29

2-day Standards in Action: Standards and Lesson Planning (basic)

Downstate

April 28-29

2-day Standards in Action: Lesson Planning (advanced)

Downstate

May 12-13

2-day Standards in Action: Standards and Lesson Planning (basic)

Chicago area

May 19

Data Analysis: Focus on Classrooms

Chicago area

May 21

Data Analysis: Focus on Classrooms

Downstate

June 11-12

2-day Standards in Action: Standards and Lesson Planning (basic)

Downstate

June 11-12

2-day Standards in Action: Lesson Planning (advanced)

Chicago area

Listserv Leverage
We wanted to encourage those of you who have not done so already to sign up for listservs for organizations such as WIDA and NCELA (National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition).  They provide updates about new resources and share announcements about upcoming events.  The latest NCELA listserv, for example, included links to new resources, such as:

Book 1 in the series, Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learner (ELL), provides evidence-based recommendations for policymakers, administrators, and teachers in K-12 settings who seek to make informed decisions about instruction and academic interventions for ELLs. Link to the full report here.

In this post, Looking at the Crystal Ball: Common Core for ELLs in 2014, Dr. Diane Staehr Fenner shares some of the topics to be discussed in 2014, including the relationship of the Common Core to language proficiency standards, the role of ESL teachers in the Common Core, assessment, and instructional strategies for students of varying proficiency levels. Link to the full blog post here.