Weekly Facts 2003-2004

April 28, 2004 Weekly Facts


April 28, 2004

| Joint Information | Elementary Information | Secondary Information |
| ELL Calendar |

Events on the ELL Calendar for thisWeek

These events for the next week are listed below are detailed in the ELL calendar. All other ELL events that have been scheduled are also listed in the ELL Calendar in the same location.

Apr 28, 2004 3:15 PM

Islamic Culture in Minnesota

Apr 28, 2004 4:30 PM

Traditional Hmong Ways and Hmong Marriage Ritual

May 5, 2004 4:30 PM

Traditional Hmong Ways and Hmong Marriage Ritual

How Should Teachers Meet the New Clock HourRequirements in Reading?


The Department has been asked by districts for guidance in implementing the new state law requiring all teachers renewing their licenses to include additional reading preparation.

What does the law say must be included?

Teachers must have in-service preparation in scientifically based reading instruction, which the law identifies as: "instruction and practice in phonemic awareness, phonics and other word-recognition skills, and guided oral reading for beginning readers, as well as extensive silent reading, vocabulary instruction, instruction in comprehension, and instruction that fosters understanding and higher-order thinking for readers of all ages and proficiency levels." (MN Statute 122A.06, Subd. 4)

When is the new requirement effective?

The Board of Teaching requires this additional reading preparation "effective for renewal of professional licenses, which expire on June 30, 2004, and after…" (MN Rule 8710.7200, Subp. 2). Thus, all upcoming licensure renewals must show evidence of this additional preparation.

Which professional development activities will meet this requirement?

Workshops, conferences, on-site staff development and/or university courses reflecting comprehensive, scientifically based research in reading instruction, and which may include one or more of the following:
  • Instruction and practice in phonemic awareness
  • Phonics and other word-recognition skills
  • Guided oral reading for beginning readers
  • Vocabulary instruction
  • Instruction in fostering understanding and higher-order thinking for readers of all ages and proficiency levels
  • Reading in the content areas
  • Specific reading strategies to impact comprehension
  • Current research and best practices in reading research and instruction

What is the district's responsibility in implementing this requirement?

Licensure renewal is a process that typically occurs in five-year intervals; local continuing education committee's sign-off that all requirements prescribed in statute and rule have been met. The specific number of clock hours dedicated to reading meeting the elements outlined above may vary, depending upon the teaching assignment. Reading instruction is a responsibility shared by all teachers regardless of level or content. However, the need may be greater for classroom and content area teachers who use a vast amount of text in their instructional delivery. Legislation intentionally provides latitude in this matter to allow local decision-making. District level collaboration in deciding the needs and goals of district employees in the area of reading instruction may include input from administration and staff, as well as input from reading specialists at the state and local level. Districts are charged with determining the requirements which will best support quality reading instructional practices and successfully impact student reading achievement within their district.

How does this requirement relate to the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)?

NCLB requires that states work with school districts to improve their professional development systems for teachers, and places a particular emphasis on the improvement of reading skills in classrooms. The Department is creating additional resources and initiatives to assist districts. In the meantime, implementation of the new continuing education reading requirement is a first step in complying with the federal mandate to improve classroom reading instruction.

Whom may I contact if I have more questions?

Bonnie D. Schwartz, Reading Specialist

Minnesota Department of Education:

Academic Standards and Professional Development

1500 Highway 36 West

Roseville, MN 55113



The above clock-hours requirement in reading can be downloaded as a Word document at:


Upcoming Minnesota International Center Events

(More information is available at: http://www.micglobe.org/)

Paying Interpreters on time

Please make sure interpreters get paid on time for their services. We have received several calls from our interpreters asking when they could expect their checks from schools.



Alejandra Bosch

Translation Services Coordinator, ELL Department

Saint Paul Public School District 625

360 Colborne Street

Saint Paul, MN 55101


Phone 651-767-8334

Fax 651-293-5411

Who are Minnesota's RecentImmigrants?

Friday, May, 21, 2004

The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) presents another awareness and education program focusing on countries in the Middle East. Although geared toward communities of recent immigrants and the professionals who work with them, this fifth listening series is free and open to the public.

* Time: 9:30 A - 1:30 P

* Place: Minnesota History Center, 3M Auditorium, 345 Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul

* Cost: Free (Cost: FREE but advance registration required.)

* To register: Complete Minnesota International Center online pre-registration form


Small World: Urbanization and the Impact of Migration - Town Meeting

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Join MIC on Tuesday, June 22, as Fred De Sam Lazaro convenes a town meeting to screen and discuss the latest installment in the Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) series Small World: Population in Perspective.

Some time around 2007, for the first time in human history, our planet will have more people living in urban areas than rural areas. What is driving this massive movement of people in the developing world? A panel of experts will discuss the economic, social and environmental consequences of urbanization, and the prospect of a new wave of Hmong refugees being resettled in Minnesota.

TPT's Small World series is supported by the World Population Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.

* Time: 5:30 - 7:30 P

* Place: Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Cowles Auditorium, 301 19th Avenue S, University of Minnesota, West Bank.

* Cost:

$5 Member/Students

$10 Non-Member

(TPT and UNA members are eligible for the member rate.)

* To register: Complete Minnesota International Center online pre-registration form


Under the No Child Left Behind Act, teachers must be “highly qualified” to teach core academic subjects.

Paraprofessionals who are assisting in classroom activities must meet the definition of “highly qualified” by January, 2006.

Recent Developments

  • 96% of Saint Paul Public Schools teachers are considered to be highly qualified. The remaining 4% are primarily individuals working out of licensure scope in Special Education assignments or in Math or Science assignments.
  • 56% of Educational Assistants meet the definition of “highly qualified”. 44% of Teaching Assistants meet the definition of “highly qualified”.
  • Began offering state approved test for paraprofessionals who do not meet the definition of “highly qualified” under NCLB.
  • Began offering tutoring and test preparation assistance through Hubbs Center for paraprofessionals who do not meet the definition of “highly qualified”.
  • Purchased Para Pro study guides for paraprofessionals to borrow and review to assist in test preparation.
  • Developed cooperative relationship with St. Paul College and Century College to offer Associates of Arts degrees to current Saint Paul Public Schools paraprofessionals.  The curriculum focuses on Early Childhood education.
  • Continue to offer tutoring and test assistance for Pre- Professional Skills Test through the Federation of Teachers and the Hubbs Center.  Purchased PPST test preparation manuals for individuals to borrow and review.

    Next Steps

  • Ensure that teachers who do not meet “highly qualified” status are pursuing full licensure for their assignment.
  • Continue to offer tutoring and testing for paraprofessionals
  • Continue to work with colleges to offer 2 year degrees for paraprofessionals
  • Research and develop local assessment for paraprofessional employees and applicants.


"A Focus on the Latino Student" &endash; Presentation on April 29th

Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza, will be speaking at a free event, THURSDAY, APRIL 29TH 2004, at the University of St. Thomas. He will be the keynote speaker on Issues Affecting Urban Education, "A Focus on the Latino Student".

6:30-9:00 at Terrence Murphy Hall. Call (651) 962-4455 for a reservation.

FYI - Information on Hmong Refugee Sponsorship for Relatives

Hmong American Partnership, a St. Paul-based mutual assistance association for Hmong and other immigrants, held two public meetings for Hmong residents of the Twin Cities who are interested in sponsoring resettlement of relatives from a camp in Thailand on April 12 and 13 at Arlington High School.

Twin Cities residents who want to sponsor relatives for resettlement from the temple compound can fill out a "refugee interest card" at one of the agencies that assists with refugee resettlement:

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, 612-879-5305, www.lssmn.org

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, 651-222-3001, www.ccspm.org

International Institute of Minnesota, 651-647-0191, www.iimn.org

Minnesota Council of Churches, Refugee Services, 612-870-5660, www.mnchurches.org

Filing the form can help speed the process, advocates say, but those who do should make sure the information they put down is accurate and complete because government agencies will check it thoroughly.

Teaching about Islam in the context of Social Studies and World Religions

On Monday, May 3, we will be offering a professional development opportunity about teaching Islam in the context of social studies and world religions. If you are interested in a registration form or more infomration on this or other opportunities - visit the professional development section.

ELL Eligibility for Placement in EXCEL Program

Several questions have come up recently regarding ELL students' eligibility for the EXCEL program. The EXCEL worksheet states that ELL level 1 and 2 students are not eligible for the EXCEL program. The intention of this criterion is to match a student's specific needs with the programs available. The EXCEL program is meant to be an intervention for students who are struggling in academic areas; it is not designed for students whose primary issue is English language acquisition. Therefore, students who have recently participated in Language Academy or who were eligible for Language Academy but refused these services, are not likely to be good candidates for the EXCEL program. The AIP team should use their professional opinion based on the student's particular needs to determine whether EXCEL would be appropriate.



URGENT - Summer School Language Academy Teachers

There will be two Language Academy teachers at each of the current language academy sites. If you applied for this position make sure you contact your principal to request the language academy assignment. All Language Academy placement must complete and return a job application to ALC-Elementary before they can be hired/placed....Prospective applicants may go to www.alc.elem.spps.org to complete an online application. There is crucial that you complete the aplication and inform your building principal, ALC and Maria Alicia Arabbo by APRIL 29. Sorry for the short notice but this positions were authorized yesterday.

If you have questions contact María Alicia Arabbo at 767-8388.

Spring Pre-LAS scores DUE THIS FRIDAY

Scores are due by April 30. It is critical that we have these scores by April 30 as we use this information for Language Academy placements. This year we will be requiring all kindergarten students that have an HLQ other than English and a fall Pre-LAS level of 1-4 to be tested again this spring. The testing window for the spring is from April 5-April 30. Please use the score sheet (see attachment at bottom of page) to record scores. Send the score sheets via inter-district mail to Al Levin at 360 Colborne--ELL Department.


Fall Window

September 2 - October 10, 200

Due: October 10, 2003


Students entering between October 10 - February 13
should be tested immediately and again in the spring.


Students entering between February 13 - April 5 should be tested immediately.
This will be their spring score.


Spring Window

April 5 - April 30, 2004

Due: April 30, 2004





Statement on ELL Services for ELL students with Special Ed needs:


In the past, students with an HLQ other than English who scored below the 30th percentile on a standardized reading test were placed into ELL classes. Most ELL students advance to the next ELL level each school year. It has come to our attention that many of our students in Level 1 and 2 ELL classes have either been born in this country or started their formal schooling in this country. Clearly the students who have been in this country longer than 3 years who remain in level 1 and 2 classes have needs which deal with more than just language acquisition. Many of these students have special ed needs which cannot be met in the Level 1 and 2 classes. The level 1 and 2 classes are for students who are new to this country and language, and who do not have the academic and social English language skills needed to achieve in our schools.

As of next school year, 2004-2005, the ELL department asks that students who have been in the country more than 3 years not be placed into Level 1 and 2 ELL classes. Students who have been here longer than 3 years and who still qualify for service will have the opportunity to be placed in the Level 3 or 4 classes, but will also need to have a schedule of classes which take into account their special ed needs. We ask that ELL teachers, Special Ed teams and counselors work together at the sites to ensure proper placement for students with a home language other than English and who have special needs as identified in their I.E.P.

Secondary ELL Curriculum Writing

As a follow-up to the secondary ELL teacher meetings held in March we are forming a Secondary Curriculum Task Force to write ELL secondary curriculum and to align courses with the English Language Proficiency Standards and State Academic Standards.

The task force will meet on the following dates:

  • Thursday, May 20th from 3:30 to 5:30pm at 360 Colborne in room D
    • Thursday, June 10th from 8 am to 3 pm in room D
    • Friday, June 11th from 8 am to 3 pm in room 4B (on the fourth floor)

    All participants will receive curriculum-writing pay.

    Interested middle and junior high ELL teachers, please contact Anne Lowe.

    Interested high school ELL teachers, please contact Michael Bowlus


Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625 | 360 Colborne Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55102|651-767-8100|communications@spps.org