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Job Opening: PT Administrative Assistant

Provide administrative assistance support to staff and MATSOL volunteers to carry out MATSOL's programs and activities.

REPORTS TO: Executive Director

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2016 Seal of Biliteracy Awards

The first Seal of Biliteracy Awards were presented in Massachusetts in the spring of 2016 by schools and school districts participating in the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project.

300+ Award Recipients

  • 19      Platinum Seal of Biliteracy (Advanced-Low)
  • 55       Gold Seal of Biliteracy (Intermediate-High)
  • 208   Silver Seal of Biliteracy (Intermediate-Mid)
  • 32      Biliteracy Attainment Award (Intermediate-Low)

8 School Districts

  • Andover, Arlington, Boston, Falmouth, Framingham, Melrose, Wilmington, and Winchester, Massachusetts

11 Language Learning Programs

  • Middle and high school World Language programs.
  • Elementary and middle school Two-Way Immersion (TWI) and Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs.

Data collected by the Language Opportunity Coalition.

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Updated Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit now available!

The updated Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Awards TOOLKIT is now available! The revisions were made as a result of the feedback from the Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project. The Seal of Biliteracy Workgroup will consider revisions of the current draft in February 2017 and at the end of the Year 2 Pilot during Summer 2017.

The TOOLKT can be viewed and downloaded on the Language Opportunity Coalition website

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Dual Language Special Education Network

MATSOL is pleased to announce a new collaboration between MATSOL, Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education (MABE), and Massachusetts Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC). The Dual Language Special Education Network is for educators who support bilingual students who receive special education (or students who are bilingual and receive special education), including special educators, dual language teachers, ESL/ELL teachers and administrators. 

Purpose of Network
  1. Networking and mutual support for educators who support students who are bilingual and receive special education, including Special Education, Dual Language, and ESL/ELL teachers and administrators. 
  2. Supporting the growth of effective practices for dual language learners in the field of Special Education
  3. Providing professional development needs for special education teachers, staff, and administrators working with dual language learners
  4. Sharing research and field related program and instructional information regarding special education and dual language learners

The target audience includes Special Educators, School Psychologist, Speech and Language Pathologist, and other educational leaders interested in Special Education Issues (e.g., Moderate Special Needs, Director of Special Education, Institutes of Higher Education, Literacy and Instructional Coaches, Interventionists)

Meetings and eventsare open to MABE, MATSOL AND CEC members in good standing
  • October 6, 2016 - Creating Inclusive Trauma Sensitive Schools, Dr. Susan F. Cole - Register via MCEC website
  • November 16, 2016  -  Topic in Practice: Writing Assessment Reports of bilingual students to determine eligibility for special education services - Register via MABE website
  • December 1, 2016 - A Voice for Social Identity Formation and Self Expression, Dr. Rupal Patel, Founder & CEO, VocaliD  - Register via MCEC website
  • January 5, 2017 - Senses and Sensabilities: An Inside View on Autistic Sensory Issues, Dr. Stephen Shore, Professor, Adelphi University  - Register via MCEC website
  • January, 25, 2017  -  Topic in Practice: A dialogue with health care professionals on assessments of dual language learners - Register via MABE website

LOOK Bill passes House and Senate

We are writing with an update on the LOOK bill and Seal of Biliteracy bill. The formal session of the Massachusetts state legislature ended at midnight on July 31st, and we are happy to report that both the Senate and House took action on the LOOK Bill!

The Massachusetts state Senate passed the LOOK Bill on July 7th unanimously with bipartisan support.  This bill gives school districts the flexibility to offer bilingual programming without the need for waivers, and establishes a state Seal of Biliteracy. During the debate, both Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr voiced their support of the bill – it is quite notable to have two people in leadership on both the Democratic and Republican side speak in favor of a bill on the floor. Just a few weeks later, on July 31, in the flurry of last minute activity, the House passed their version of the LOOK bill.

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Flexibility needed in educating English language learners

An op-ed in CommonWealth Magazine by Sen Sonia Chang-Diaz and Sen Sal DiDomenico explaining why we need to pass the LOOK bill in Massachusetts.

Guidance for Defining and Implementing Two-Way Immersion and Transitional Bilingual Education Programs

New from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Guidance for Defining and Implementing Two-Way Immersion and Transitional Bilingual Education Programs

  • Overview: Defining TWI and TBE Programs
  • Defining and Designing a Two-Way Immersion Program
  • Defining and Designing a Transitional Bilingual Education Program

View guidance document...

Mass Senate unanimously passes the LOOK Bill

On July 7, 2016 the Massachusetts Senate passed S.2395 An Act for language opportunity for our kids – the “LOOK bill” – by a unanimous vote.

The LOOK bill gives school districts the flexibility to choose high-quality, research-based programs to meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) and establishes the State Seal of Biliteracy to recognize high school graduates who speak, read, and write in two languages, a valuable asset in the 21st century global economy. View the LOOK Bill Fact Sheet …

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The Growing Need for Bilingual Workers in Massachusetts’ Economy 


Partnership for a New American Economy, a national bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders, has released a new research brief, Language Diversity and the Workforce: The Growing Need for Bilingual Workers in Massachusetts’ Economy. The report finds that in the past five years, demand for bilingual workers in Massachusetts has more than doubled. The group also calls for the creation of a state Seal of Biliteracy to help meet this need.

LOOK Bill to be heard in Senate

 On June 30, the the Senate Ways and Means Committee favorably reported out the LOOK bill. The bill has been placed in the Orders of the Day to be heard in the next Senate session on July 7th.

If you have not done so already, please contact your State Senator to urge support for the LOOK Bill!

  1. Find contact information for your State Senator.
  2. Contact your Senator by phone or email. Suggested language for your message: 
    My name is [NAME] from [ADDRESS]. Please support S2288 An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids (the LOOK Bill).Now is the time for the Massachusetts legislature to advance language education that foster bilingualism and biliteracy. Approving An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK Bill) S2288 would ensure the academic success of English Language Learners (ELLs) by giving school districts the flexibility to establish language education programs that reflect the true educational needs of our ELLs students. ELLs are a diverse group of students with complex educational needs that cannot be met under the current “one-size-fits-all” program mandate. This bill will remove the current barriers to selecting the best programs for our students, and includes a state Seal of Biliteracy to recognize students who speak, listen, read and write proficiently in another language in addition to English. Thank you in advance for supporting S2288. We hope we can count on you to stand up for language learning programs that will help our students acquire skills to be competitive in the 21st century global job market.

LOOK & Seal of Biliteracy Bills Reported Out Favorably

The LOOK bill and Seal of Biliteracy Bill were both referred out favorably by the Mass Legislature's Joint Committee on Education, and are moving ahead in the legislative process. 

MA Joint Committee on Education Unanimously Votes Out ELL Bill

An Act for Language Opportunity for Our Kids includes key reforms in English language education and dual language learning.

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Boston Globe articles on language education policy

The Boston Globe published several articles and letters to the editor recently about language education policy in Massachusetts: 


Interactions Matter: Impact learning through student, classroom, family and community partnerships

Seats are still available for Harness the Power of Partnerships for Student Engagement and Achievement on May 4, presented by Dr. Debbie Zacarian. Read the article below for more information about the topic. Register now!

Interactions Matter: Impact learning through student, classroom, family and community partnerships

Debbie Zacarian and Michael Silverstone

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Rights of Students

Rights of Students

Here is important information that you may wish to share with your colleagues and other educators, to protect legal, civil and human rights of students and their families, under law.  

With recent raids aimed to legally deport families in Massachusetts, attention to the needs and the status of students and families is heightened, for those directly targeted and for those who are not. Therefore it is critical that schools remain vigilant about maintaining and protecting the rights of students regardless of their immigration status.

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Mass SLIFE Guidance Document Released

The Department of Elementary and Secondary education has released new guidance on SLIFE students: "Massachusetts Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) Definition and Guidance."

  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Definition of SLIFE
  • Part 1: Initial Identification of SLIFE
  • Part 1.1: Identification of SLIFE Currently Enrolled in Massachusetts Schools 
  • Part 2: SLIFE Programming Guiding Principles 
  • Part 3: Programming Considerations 
  • Part 4: Redesignation Criteria for SLIFE into Non-SLIFE Status 
  • Appendix A: Sample SLIFE Pre-Screener 
  • Appendix B: Sample SLIFE Interview
  • Appendix C: Sample Individualized Learning Plan
  • Appendix D: Glossary of Key Terms