GCSD 2020-21 Reopening Plan: Bilingual Education and World Languages

Back to Reopening Plan HomepageInitial Identification of Potential English Language Learners | Required Instructional Units of Study |Communication with Families of English Language Learners and Language Access

Initial Identification of Potential English Language Learners

All English Language Learners (ELLs) who enrolled at Guilderland during COVID-related closure over the summer of 2020, or within the first 20 days of school opening, will be screened within 30 days of the start of school. After the 20-day flexibility period, potential ELLs will be screened within 10 days of enrollment. While the registrar’s office will continue to conduct the registration process, in accordance with the “Provision of Services to ELLs and World Language Students” memo from May 13, 2020, any in-person screening for new entrants will follow the district’s safety protocols to ensure compliance with the Governor’s Executive Orders and Center for Disease Control (CDC) health and safety guidelines after the commencement of regional reopening.

To address the potential influx of students to be screened, we await guidance from the State Education Department to confirm that Title III/Immigrant funds can be used to hire staff to assist with the screening process. In the interim, our plan is to provide coverage for ENL teachers to complete assessments.

We plan to screen new entrants at our five elementary buildings during the weeks of August 10, 17 and 24. Students who arrive new to the district after September 1 will be screened at their school buildings within 10 days.

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Required Instructional Units of Study

  • All English Language Learners (ELLs) will be provided the required instructional Units of Study in their English as a New Language (ENL) program based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level as evidenced in their most recent NYSESLAT or their NYSITELL assessment during in-person or hybrid learning. Former ELLs at the Commanding level of proficiency within two years of exiting ELL status will continue receiving Former ELL services in the form of Integrated ENL during in-person or hybrid learning. The English proficiency level of students who are entering their third year as a Former ELL at the Commanding level of proficiency in 2020-21 will be provided with supplemental Former ELLs services as necessary.
  • Priority for daily in-person learning will be considered for those ELLs who were not engaged during remote learning during the spring (based on the monitoring of contact time), those with low attendance rates during on-site learning, Students with Interrupted Formal Education, Entering- and Emerging-level ELLs, and Twice-Exceptional ELLs with IEPs. Twice-Exceptional ELLs will be scheduled for every day, onsite learning based upon their IEP and at the determination of the appropriate ENL and SPED teachers and administrators.
  • In alignment with Principle 1 of the NYS Blueprint for ELL/MLL Success (“All teachers are teachers of English Language Learners”), ENL teachers will work alongside their content-area co-teachers to support ELLs. ELLs will receive both integrated and stand-alone instruction based on the Units of Study to the extent possible.
  • Schools have the flexibility to provide additional units of study if they deem necessary based on student need. This flexibility could take the form of additional ENL programming to address oral language development, writing and reading skills, and academic vocabulary development to provide more access to content.
  • Establish protocols that promote coordination among English as a New Language (ENL) and content area teachers for the delivery of remote and hybrid learning.
  • Prioritize common planning time for ENL and content-area/general education teachers when scheduling; shared access to, and guidelines for collaborative use of, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, and common materials and lesson plans in a platform that allows for virtual collaboration; online synchronous and asynchronous collaboration.
  • Potential extension/adaptation of ENL grading policy (especially for newcomers).

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Communication with Families of English Language Learners and Language Access

  • In alignment with Principle 5 of the NYS Blueprint for ELL/MLL Success (“Districts and schools value all parents and families of ELLs/MLLs as partners in education and effectively involve them in the education of their children by… engaging parents as active participants”), the district will maintain regular communication with the parents/guardians and other family members of ELLs to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process. All communication for parents/guardians of ELLs will be in their preferred language and mode of communication. We are making a more dedicated effort to ensure that all district communication regarding safety protocols and/or potential closings will be sent to individual families in their preferred language, and will be posted on the district website in the top ten languages spoken in the district.
  • Interpretation and translation by a qualified interpreter/translator will continue to be provided for all ELLs and their families when needed, to include, but not limited to: online or on-site parent-teacher meetings, Language Proficiency Team meetings, ENL parent orientation, etc.
  • Actively engage students on a regular basis to assess their need for Social Emotional Well Being supports that address the unique experiences of ELLs and are delivered in or interpreted into students’ home languages during remote or hybrid learning.
  • Links to NYSED informational videos, including the Parents’ Bill of Rights, will be shared with all families of ELLs.
  • Our annual Fall ENL Parent Open Houses will be held either virtually or onsite in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Orders and Center for Disease Control (CDC) health and safety guidelines. Whether virtual or on-site, interpreters, family liaisons and multilingual staff – including Guilderland Parent Volunteer Interpreters – will be provided for all families as requested.

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