Filtered by category: K-12 Clear Filter

Regional Family Engagement Focus Groups

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) are working collaboratively to create a comprehensive Birth-Grade 12 Family Engagement Framework for use in home visiting programs, early intervention services, childcare centers, public school settings, and more.

The Family Engagement Focus Groups will bring together members of the cross agency team, national partners, and stakeholders from a variety of fields to provide insight, guidance, and feedback on the work currently underway to draft the Framework.

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Public Comment on LOOK Act Regulations

Proposed LOOK Act Regulations are now available online and will be open for public comment:

  • Presented to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for initial review and vote to solicit public comment: March 27, 2018
  • Period of public comment: through May 18, 2018
  • Final action by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education anticipated: June 26, 2018

Link to proposed regulations:
Link to submit comments:

WIDA Needs your Input!

In 2019, WIDA will introduce a standards-based instructional framework for the English Language Development Standards. Throughout 2018-2021, educators across the consortium will be invited to engage in a three-year implementation process. 

  • Who: All stakeholders involved in language learner education.
  • What: Provide input on the draft WIDA Instructional Framework (see survey link below).
  • When: March 22 – April 20, 2018
  • Why: To make sure this work meets your needs and those of your students!
Suggested action: Review the discipline and grade-level draft that is most closely tied to your experience (e.g., Grade 1 Social Studies). You only need to review one and it’s better to review one closely than glance at many of them! 
Link to review & submit feedback: 

Lasell Course Offer to MATSOL Members

Are your students Bilingual/English Learners with Disabilities?  Lasell College offers a 100% online certificate to prepare teachers with strategies to ensure equitable outcomes for English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities.  The Bilingual/English Learners with Disabilities Certificate (ELL/SPED) is comprised of four 6-week online courses.  MATSOL members receive a discount for PDPs. Next class begins October 25. To take advantage of the discount: 1) Sign up at the MATSOL website to verify membership and qualify for the discount; and 2) visit the Lasell website to learn more about the course and register.

Advocate for a Dual Language Educator Endorsement

Advocate for the addition of a new Dual Language Educator endorsement in Massachusetts -- Deadline May 1

  • Support creation of a new Dual Language Educator Endorsement for educators in dual language program models
  • Continue the current endorsement for Transitional Bilingual Learning for grades PK-6 and 5-12 in CMR 7:06section (9)(b)

A Dual Language Educator endorsement is necessary to meet the needs of the increasing number of dual language programs in Massachusetts, to establish equitable requirements for highly qualified teachers working in dual language programs, and to promote high standards for dual language education.  (For a detailed discussion, see MABE's position statement on the DL endorsement, which is supported by MATSOL.)

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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

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...

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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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

Education Department Releases Resource Guide on Supporting Undocumented Students in High School and College

In an effort to ensure that all students have access to a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers, the U.S. Department of Education released a resource guide today to help educators, school leaders and community organizations better support undocumented youth, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

“Our nation’s public schools should be welcoming, safe, and supportive places where all students, regardless of their zip code or where they were born, are given the opportunity to succeed. We know undocumented youth face unique challenges and we also know that educators and other caring adults in schools and colleges can play a major role in helping all students, including undocumented students, to achieve at the highest levels,” said John King, senior advisor delegated the duties of deputy secretary of education. “This guide provides actionable information and resources that educators and school and campus leaders can use to help improve outcomes for high school and college students.”

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Condition of Education in the Commonwealth 2015

This report from The Rennie Center identifies and measures state-level indicators linked to outcomes to inform decision-making among Massachusetts education leaders. These indicators focus on critical stages in learning and development from school readiness and early learning to the emergence of a strong and productive workforce. It identifies three areas in which statewide action can build on existing, effective practice to generate significant improvements in student outcomes. 

The Rennie Center identified three areas in which statewide action can build on existing, effective practice to generate significant improvements in student outcomes.

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Contact your state legislators!

MATSOL is proud to join the Language Opportunity Coalition in announcing that through our efforts assisting our state legislators, two exciting bills have been filed for the 2015-2016 Massachusetts legislative session. One bill establishes a State Seal of Biliteracy.  The second bill, the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill, addresses language acquisition programs, and also includes the (identical) text as the Seal of Biliteracy bill, giving us two opportunities to seek the seal’s passage. We are asking for your help today to secure co-sponsors for both bills.

Contact your state legislators and ask them to co-sponsor two important bills! The deadline for co-sponsorship is Friday, January 30. Take action now!

English Learner Toolkit

From the US Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition: English Learner Tool Kit – Chapter 1: “Tools and Resources for Identifying All English Learners”

This is the first chapter of the English Learner Tool Kit, which is intended to help state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) in meeting their obligations to English Learners (ELs). This tool kit should be read in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice’s joint guidance, “English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents,” which outlines SEAs’ and LEAs’ legal obligations to EL students under civil rights laws and other federal requirements.

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Educators needed for WIDA/CAL online Bias, Sensitivity, and Content Review

WIDA and CAL are currently in the process of developing ACCESS 2.0 (Series 401, 2016-17) writing folders and would like to recruit educators for an online Bias, Sensitivity, and Content Review. We would like your assistance with identifying educators for this opportunity. Nominated educators should have experience teaching ELLs. It would be great if they also had Language Arts or Social Studies content background. Due to the format of the meetings being online, it would also be helpful for educators to have participated in Bias, Sensitivity, and Content reviews in the past.

Participants will take part in two online webinars, the first webinar scheduled on January 12, 2015 (4:30-5:30pm EST) and the second webinar scheduled the week of January 19th.

I have attached a memo outlining details of the review process. Please feel free to forward this email and memo to your interested educators. Nominations are due to Pakou Vang ([email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>) by January 2nd, 2015. You may either send in the nominations or have the educator email me directly.

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Multilingual Literacy Resources for Parents

November 2014 is Massachusetts Family Literacy Month! Across the state, many schools, libraries, adult learning centers, parent support programs, social service agencies, and local businesses provide organized activities for families during Family Literacy Month. Many of these events involve hands-on literacy activities for parents and children that demonstrate how parents can engage with their children at home. Storytelling, family math nights, readings by authors and community leaders, interactive sing-a-longs, and creating books and bookmarks are examples of family learning activities. 

Parents can help their children develop literacy -- and a love of reading -- by reading to them in their native language. Research shows that teaching children to read in their first language also promotes higher levels of reading achievement in English (Goldenberg 2008). In honor of Family Literacy Month, MATSOL has created a list of Multilingual Literacy Resources for Parents, with links to resources in over 50 languages, including:
    • Reading tips sheets, guides and videos
    • Online digital children's books
See the DESE's Family Literacy Consortium web page for more events and information.

MATSOL Meets Up at Fitchburg Art Museum

MATSOL Members got together on September 21 at a MATSOL Meet-Up at the Fitchburg Art Museum to celebrate opening of the exhibits ONE LANGUAGE IS NEVER ENOUGH: Latino Artists in Southern New England / UN IDIOMA NUNCA ES SUFICIENTE: Artistas Latinos en el Sur de Nueva Inglaterra and MARIO QUIROZ: Mis Vecinos, Portraits of Fitchburg’s Latino Communities. Both exhibits will be on display until January (and Mis Vecinos until September 2015). The museum welcomes school groups, so if you are interested it seeing the exhibit with your class, please contact them:

New Program to Certify Dual Language Teachers

Boston College announcement: The Lynch School of Education will launch a program in September to certify bilingual education teachers who work in schools offering dual-language immersion classes where English- and Spanish-speaking students develop fluency in both languages across their academic subjects.

The Teaching Dual Language Learners (TDLL) Certificate Program is the first to be offered in Massachusetts and builds on the Lynch School’s strengths in bilingual education. The school already offers a certificate in Teaching English Language Learners (TELL) for educators in programs that offer English-only “sheltered” immersion instruction to students. View full article...

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Dual Language at Dever School, Boston

MATSOL opposes the state's plan to dismantle the Dual Language program at the Dever School in Boston, despite promising academic improvements and strong community support. 

Boston Globe
Teachers, parents protest end of bilingual program: State to stop Dever dual-language instruction

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