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March 24, 2021
School Staff Vaccination Program – Letter from Deputy Assistant Secretary Samuel
On March 2, 2021, President Biden challenged all states, territories, and the District of Columbia to ensure every pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade (pre-K through 12) educator and school staff member and every childcare worker can receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot by the end of March. The President also directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) federal pharmacy program to prioritize the vaccination of pre-K through 12 educators and staff and childcare workers. The U.S. Department of Education is partnering with the CDC to help states meet this challenge. 

To reach our goal to get all pre-K through 12 school staff and childcare workers their first vaccine by the end of the month, we need your help. While we will be doing all we can to get the word out to teachers, school staff, and workers in childcare programs, your direct communications to your members, partners, and other stakeholders, letting them know about this presidential directive and how to get vaccinated, will be key. 
For more information, check out these resources:

Save the Date: English Learners in Secondary Schools Webinar
ELs at the secondary level who are approaching high school graduation face unique challenges. Curricular requirements including English language development classes, graduation requirements, and, for some, special education can create complex scheduling challenges and intricate accessibility issues.
Join OELA and the National Research and Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners on April 21, 2021, at 3:30 p.m. ET for a discussion on what research has shown about the academic trajectories of ELs at the secondary level, including the trajectories of newcomers, students who have been labeled long-term ELs, ELs with disabilities, and former ELs. We will explore structural barriers and discuss policies and practices that may potentially reduce these barriers, facilitate students’ full access to content, and promote their successful graduation.
Speakers include:

  • Dr. Karen Thompson, Oregon State University
  • Dr. Ilana Umansky, University of Oregon
  • Aída Walqui, WestEd
A certificate of completion will be available to registered attendees who participate in at least 90% of the webinar time.
NPD Spotlight: WritEL Grant at Eastern Michigan University
Writing Research Intervention for Teaching English Learners (WritEL) is a 5-year, NPD grant-funded project. The main goals of WritEL are to:
  • Goal 1: Provide world-class TESOL training and certification to K–12 teachers in Southeast Michigan. WritEL complements traditional graduate classes with new intensive summer courses, hybrid and online courses, service-learning courses, and an innovative Study Abroad program that allows teachers to earn credits toward their TESOL credentials. By the end of this grant, more than 50 teachers will have received the English as a Second Language Endorsement and Master of Arts in TESOL. Of those who have already completed the program, 95% have evaluated it as effective.
  • Goal 2: Research the effects of C3WP, the College, Career, and Community Writers Program — a nationally recognized argument-writing program from the National Writing Project — on the writing outcomes for ELs in grades 6–12. Of the participating K12 teachers, 24 of those teaching ELs in grades 6–12 have participated in a 2-year, 100-hour professional development program focused on implementing C3WP resources and instruction. Preliminary findings have pointed to statistically significant improvements on argument-writing outcomes for those ELs whose teachers took part in the C3WP professional development.
  • Goal 3: Involve preservice teachers in community-based literacy activities for ELs by assisting with an adult community-based ESL program, an afterschool program for elementary school ELs, and family literacy programs. WritEL capitalized on their connections to local partner organizations and offers exciting opportunities for local ELs and their families, including weekly ESL services to interested adults, family literacy events at local schools, and an opportunity for preservice teachers to develop an afterschool program for ELs at a partner elementary school.
Upcoming Events
Through an engaging online platform, join a global community of English language professionals to build your professional English language teaching network; learn from and interact with thought-provoking keynote speakers; gather research, strategies, and best practices from experts in the field; and visit the Virtual Expo for information on the newest English language teaching products and services.​
Join this American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Share My Lesson keynote session featuring Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona in conversation with AFT President Randi Weingarten. They will discuss the challenges ahead and the urgent priorities facing America’s students, teachers, school staff, and parents. 
March 30 and April 20
Online Conversations
The Center for Applied Linguistics is hosting live, open discussions with policymakers on the status of digital equity in U.S. education. Each episode of the 30-minute webinar series examines education for multilingual learners and culturally diverse populations through the lens of digital equity. Topics range from student assessment to teacher education, students with disabilities, early childhood education, and more.
This showcase will highlight programs that are making a positive impact on bilingual/multilingual learners; build a network of champions for bilingual/multilingual learners; and celebrate and honor student artwork winners and school and district teams.
April 27-29
Hybrid Conference
The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) conference will be structured as a 2-day hybrid conference with a preconference on April 27 and the conference on April 28–29. The theme is “Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, and Shaping the Future.”
Registration is now open for the CARLA summer institutes, which are targeted at elementary through postsecondary foreign/world language educators and language teacher educators. All of the CARLA Summer Institutes will be taught online in Summer 2021 in either an asynchronous or synchronous format.
In the News
The 74
When classes went online in Cleveland due to the pandemic, ELs experienced increased challenges by not having peers and teachers available to help them when they did not understand what teachers said and what was being taught. Even when access to technology issues were addressed, ELs were still falling further behind. In response, Esperanza Inc., a bilingual learning pod, was created to support ELs in a safe, socially distanced setting with Wi-Fi and bilingual staff where ELs could take their online classes. The Refuge Response and the Boys and Girls Club in Cleveland also opened bilingual learning pods to support EL students.
The Daily Free Press
ELs of all ages are struggling with the transition to virtual classes due to technology issues, internet interruptions, and a sense of isolation. Parents of ELs who have limited English proficiency are sometimes unable to help their children with online classes and talk with their teachers. One solution may lie in hiring bilingual staff to engage with families and work with EL students transitioning back to school. 
Project-based learning (PBL) is a hands-on learning strategy that can be effective in supporting multilingual students to use disciplinary language to communicate their ideas and observations while learning science and English. This article provides a few examples of elementary school teachers using PBL to create interactive virtual classrooms that bring together multilingual students’ home and school experiences to develop language skills and science understanding.
Californians Together
This brief, written by Californians Together, a coalition of partners and educators across the state, presents a framework for what an equitable and assets-oriented approach to an accountability system for the state’s ELs could be. The brief starts by examining California’s current accountability system. It then sets aspirational goals for a new system and outlines the steps needed to build a framework to achieve these goals. The framework also provides recommendations for addressing high-priority gaps that currently exist.
Professional Learning
OELA is seeking individuals to serve as peer reviewers for the NPD Program grant competition. The department is interested in peer reviewers with professional expertise in EL programs or services, including current and former pre-K–12 teachers and principals, LEA and state educational agency leaders, college and university educators, educational evaluators, and others with EL education and language acquisition expertise. 
Each year, NCFL enlists the country’s family engagement professionals to present best practices, strategies, and resources to help families succeed in accomplishing their educational and economic goals. NCFL is seeking proposals reflecting highly interactive and engaging presentations that include strategies or materials attendees can use right away in their classrooms or programs.
This program focuses on closing the gap for heritage school teachers and/or native speakers by creating a Personalized Learning Plan to work toward state certification. This teacher training program will support up to 50 prospective teachers in eight targeted STARTALK languages to address the critical need for K–12 language programs in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. 
This program is designed to help early-career language educators succeed in their current assignments and learn the skills to be successful in the long term. Mentors and mentees will be matched by language, level, interest, and location as best as possible. Three mentor programs are available: the traditional program for in-person educators, the distance language-educator program for those who teach online, and a hybrid program for those currently teaching in person and remotely.
Job Opportunities
Diplomatic Language Services
Arlington, VA
Forest Ridge District 142/Hille Middle School
Oak Forest, IL
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Up Next: National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month

April is National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month! Bilingual/multilingual learners are one of the fastest growing student populations in U.S. schools. These students bring multiple assets to schools and add to the rich diversity among students.
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Disclaimer: NCELA Nexus is intended to share information that can be of use to educators, parents, learners, leaders, and other stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that every student, including ELs, is provided with the highest quality education and expanded opportunities to succeed. The information and materials presented on NCELA Nexus do not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by NCELA, the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), or the U.S. Department of Education.