USVI English Learner Project: Supporting EL Program Plan Development and Implementation of Evidence-based Practices
The Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE) has identified the academic achievement of English learners as an important priority, given the growth in their English learner population. In 2019, through a series of virtual and face-to-face coaching sessions, REL Northeast & Islands worked with VIDE staff members who support English learners to identify gaps or needs in existing programs. In 2020, REL Northeast & Islands has been working with VIDE staff in developing professional learning webinars to address those gaps and to build the capacity of educators (including classroom teachers, special education teachers, and English learner teachers) to implement evidence-based practices for English learners across the islands. Four webinars will be offered in Winter/Spring 2021, with each focused on evidence-based practices teachers can utilize in the classroom. Session 1 will focus on integrated and designated English language development; Session 2 will be on academic discussion; Session 3 will focus on scaffolding; and Session 4 will be on formative assessments. Learn more about this work in a blog post.
Training and Technical Support Project: Supporting Connecticut Educators in Determining Special Education Eligibility of English Learner Students
CSDE has prioritized improving the achievement levels of English learner students, particularly those who are identified as having disabilities. REL Northeast & Islands worked with CSDE and other partnership members to explore how districts vary in the processes they use for disability identification and the subsequent provision of services to English learners who may be struggling. This project supported CSDE in generating hypotheses about which practices may be leading to over-identification of English learner students with disabilities and about how identification of a disability shapes the educational experiences of English learner students, as well as about promising practices that may contribute to appropriate identification and quality instruction.
Training Project: Data-Driven Implementation of Tiered Interventions with English Learners: A Series of In-Depth Workshops with Districts
Building off the 2018 webinar series on multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) and English learners, REL Northeast & Islands researchers developed and delivered three in-depth workshops for Connecticut educators on how to use data to distinguish between language-based and other learning challenges faced by English learners and how to implement scientific research-based interventions (SRBI) to meet students’ needs. The workshops provided five district teams of three to seven educators with focused support and the opportunity to interact closely with one another as they delved into the practice and application of data use for SRBI delivery. The teams identified a specific strategy or tool to employ or an activity to conduct between sessions, and each workshop began with reflections on these activities as well as the identification of next steps.
Session 1: November 19–20, 2018
Hamden, CT, and Hartford, CT
Participants reviewed instructional strategies for English learners most appropriate for Tier II interventions and strategized specific steps to implement between Sessions 1 and 2. Key sources for evidence-based practices included the IES Practice Guide, “Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School.”
Session 2: February 25, 2019
Participants focused on instructional strategies for English learners most appropriate for Tier III interventions. Presenters provided additional resources, including Guiding Questions practitioners can use when determining whether Tier III interventions are appropriate.
Webinar Training Series: Data-Driven Implementation of Tiered Interventions with English Learners
This three-part training series provided district teams and educators with specific strategies to guide instruction for English learners using the three tiers of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). Session 1 focused on understanding MTSS and Tier 1 instruction for English learner students; Sessions 2 and 3 focused on MTSS Tiers 2 and 3 for English learners. District teams were encouraged to attend the three webinars together in order to coordinate data-driven instruction among general education, special education, and English learner teachers. View event details and materials.
Training Project: Practitioner Data Use Workshop for English Learner Teachers at Connecticut Technical High Schools (September 13, 2017) New Britain, CT
Using REL Northeast & Islands’ Practitioner Data Use Workshop materials, 20 teachers participated in a daylong workshop where they learned to analyze their own English learner student data to identify appropriate instructional interventions to address academic and language needs. View event details.