Weekly Facts 2003-2004

March 17, 2004 Weekly Facts

March 17, 2004

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

Events on the ELL Calendar for this Week

The events for the week 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.

Mar 17, 2004 4:00 PM

Reaching and Teaching Latino Students

Mar 17, 2004 4:00 PM

ELL Elementary Study Groups

Mar 17, 2004 4:30 PM

Traditional Hmong Ways and Hmong Marriage Ritual

Mar 18, 2004 3:15 PM

Today's Somali Life

Mar 18, 2004 4:30 PM

Basics in TESOL for Paraeducators

Mar 20, 2004 9:00 AM

Basics in TESOL for Paraeducators

Mar 22, 2004 3:30 PM


Mar 23, 2004 4:00 PM

Islamic Culture in Minnesota

Mar 24, 2004

Minnesota Paraprofessional Conference

Mar 24, 2004 4:30 PM

Traditional Hmong Ways and Hmong Marriage Ritual

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.

PARA Pro Test for EAs

EAs who have not met the No Child Left Behind legislation should call Nadine DeMalignon from the HR department at 767-8236 to schedule a date and time to take the PARA Pro Test. Study materials for the test are also available by calling Nadine. By passing this test, it will mean you have met the requirements and may choose not to attend additional college coursework. If you are not sure if you should take this test, please send an email to mai.vang@spps.org and she'll let you know.

ELL EA Recognition - Submission Deadline April 23, 04

ELL EA Recognition

Revised:  3/17/04

 The ELL Department honors bilingual educational assistants who have:

s.                     Achieved excellence in his/her position

s.                     Contributed to the well-being of ELL students

s.                     Displayed leadership to advance parent involvement/education


Candidates are to be nominated under the following categories:

s.                     Delivers competent instructional support

s.                     Makes substantial contributions to the school community

s.                     Develops strong connections with parents and school



s.                     EA position is funded by ELL funding

s.                     EA must work directly with ELL students and ELL families

s.                     EA must be bilingual


Nomination guideline:

s.                     1-2 page, type written letter from nominator explaining why the nominee deserves special recognition

s.                     Include a separate one-page letter of support from an administrator or designee or other supervisors

s.                     OPTIONAL:  Include a 1-2 page personal essay from the nominee.  Include portfolios or pictures if they are available.

s.                     The last page of the nomination packet should contain the following information regarding the nominee and nominator:

s.         Full name

s.         School

s.         Telephone number


Nomination submission deadline:           April 23, 2004

Submissions will be reviewed, scored, and tallied.  The three highest ranking nominations will be selected for a special award during the EA recognition ceremony in June 2004.

Checklist for ELL EA Recognition Nomination Guideline


Nomination and support letters

Letters from nominators should include compelling reasons which capture your belief in the nominee as a deserving candidate and make a case for strong consideration by the selection committee.


Candidates are to be nominated under the following categories:

·        Delivers competent instructional support

·        Makes substantial contributions to the school community

·        Develops strong connections with parents and school


Selection Criteria

·        Helps one or more students make academic gains

·        Establishes bonding relationships with ELL students

·        Works above and beyond the job description

·        Motivates students for learning

·        Seeks professional development

·        Shows leadership

·        Develops and implements an activity in the school

·        Promotes cultural awareness among staff members

·        Is a team member and has rapport with staff, students, and parents

·        Is enthusiastic and has a positive demeanor

·        Helps to resolve a school-wide issue

·        Supports an active PTO/PTA for ELL parents

·        Increase ELL parent attendance at school functions and events

·        Creates a friendly and welcoming environment for parents

·        Provides clear communication to parents

·        Responds and follows through with parent concerns in a timely manner


Optional personal essay can include one or all of the following:

Ö        A list of accomplishments/events for school year

Ö        Reflection on contributions to a successful school event, project, or student learning experience

Ö        Other information deemed appropriate to help selection committee

EAs to Attend 2004 MN ESL, Bilingual & Migrant Education Conference on April 30, 2004

The ELL Department will pay 100 registrations for bilingual EAs to attend the conference on April 30, 2004. Any ELL EAs wishing to attend the conference must first get permission from their building principal then send the registration form to the ELL department via fax (293-5411) by Friday, March 26, 2004. Registration forms were faxed to schools on March 1. Additional forms are available by calling (767-8393) or emailling mai.vang@spps.org.

Memo on MCAs from Minnesota Department of Education

Below is a copy of a memo outlining MCA procedures for ELL students. All senior staff and principals received copies of this memo. Please make sure you are familiar with the information below.

TO: Superintendents

CC: District Assessment Coordinators, ESL Coordinators
FROM: Patricia D. Olson, Ph.D., Assistant Commissioner
DATE: February 27, 2004
RE: Federal policies to help English Language Learners
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced February 19 new policies granting States and districts greater flexibility regarding English Language Learners (ELL).

The announcement addresses factors which affect the Limited English Proficient (LEP) subgroup for purposes of measuring adequate yearly progress (AYP) under No Child Left Behind.

First, all students, including ELL, will continue to take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) in reading, math, and writing without exemptions. The 95% participation in testing requirement will still apply for AYP purposes.

However, the MCA data for ELL who have been in school for less than one year will not be included in the 2004 proficiency calculations for AYP. MDE will operationalize the terms "in school" and "one year" this spring.

Again, all students must take the MCA in 2003-2004.

Second, Minnesota will include in the LEP subgroup for AYP purposes any student who is an ELL or was an ELL in the past one or two years. Including ELL who have been reclassified as non-ELL last year or the year before will increase the size of the LEP subgroup by adding students that have recently become proficient in English.

The federal policy guidance initiating these changes addresses the unique nature of the LEP subgroup, which shifts over time as students are reclassified as non-LEP.

Questions regarding Minnesota's adoption of the new federal policy for calculating the adequate yearly progress of the LEP subgroup can be directed to:

Paul Magnuson;
paul.magnuson@state.mn.us; 651-582-8649

Bounlieng Phommasouvanh; bounlieng.phommasouvanh@state.mn.us; 651-582-8487

Leigh Schleicher;
leigh.schleicher@state.mn.us; 651-582-8326

An announcement from the Center for Victims of Torture for all teachers working with refugee students

The Center for Victims of Torture is compiling a book of writing* and artwork** of refugee students. This book will be used as an education and training tool for other educators, health care providers and community organizations who may encounter war trauma/torture survivors in their work. The book will also be used as a tool during future student therapy groups to stimulate discussion and provide the students with a validation of themselves and their experiences, to inform educators and those training to be educators, and to inform and stimulate discussion among the greater public. Most importantly, this book will afford students an opportunity to express their experiences, thoughts and feelings.

The final works to be published in the book will be chosen by a committee that will include CVT staff, a representative from St. Paul Companies and an adult artist from the refugee community who has survived torture or war trauma.

Students are free to decide which form of expression they wish to choose and they have the choice to either remain anonymous or receive attribution. Parents will be required to submit release forms for students under 18 years of age.

We hope to include work which deals with issues pertaining to:

  • Life in their home countries
  • The transition experience
  • Life in the U. S.
  • *Written work will have a maximum word limit of 1,000 words.
  • **Please note that we will be including photo representations of art work.

Art can be in any medium and may include photography. We will return all artwork at the students request. We thank you for your help with this project. If you have questions or would like more details, please contact ChristineWheeler, MN Schools Project Coordinator at (612) 436-4855, cwheeler@cvt.org . This project is funded by The St. Paul Company.

Link to TEAE Results Graphs - Congratulations on ELL Student Achievement!

Information on the TEAE test results can now be found on the ELL Website under DataCenter

A Trip to the Past! Looking at Today's Somali Life

These sessions will help district staff have deeper perspectives into the history, culture, and civil war experiences of Somali immigrants in Minnesota. A comparative overview of the past and present Somali life will be provided. Sessions will also cover what attracted the Somalis to Minnesota and how they have adapted to their new setting. Video clips and slide presentations will be presented depicting various aspects of Somali life.

For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the A Trip to the Past! Looking at Today's Somali Life page.

Sessions (choose one): March 18

Time: 4:00 - 6:00

Location: 360 Colborne

Presenter: Abdisalam Adam

Audience: All Staff

Stipend: Contractual Workshop Rate

Reaching and Teaching Latino Students

Teachers will:

  • Increase sensitivity and skills for working with Latino students
  • -Learn about various cultural differences between U.S. and Latin American educational systems
  • Identify population trends, reasons for immigration, dropout rates and key terms
  • Understand current issues for Latino students and how to change educational outcomes for Latinos
  • Know specific strategies for how to work effectively with Latino students
  • Apply knowledge through real-life case studies

For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Reaching and Teaching Latino Students page

Session: March 17, 2004
April 12, 2004

February 9. 2004 (Grades 2-3)

Time: 4:00 - 6:00

Location: 360 Colborne


Audience: All Staff

A Clarification of ELL Reporting Procedures

Just to clarify---all ELL teachers are responsible for
reporting on ELL students who qualify for Direct Service (see
2003-04 Elementary ELL Service Guidelines chart for more information). Summary Reports should be co-written by the mainstream teacher and the ELL teacher in all areas where the ELL teacher provides instruction (ie. Reading, math, etc.). In the event that you are NOT able to co-write reports for a few students, ELL teachers should use the Additional Comments page to report student progress. The Additional Comments page can be found at the end of the Summary Report CD. A copy of the Additional Comments page can be made in order to duplicate reports if several must be made.

Also, please remember that all students who are receiving
Direct ELL Service must have a Checklist of State Standards filled
out on ELL Campus three times a year. The final Checklist should
be printed and placed in the student's CUM folder at the end of
the school year.

Spring Pre-LAS testing window is just around the corner

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. Scores are due by 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, 2003

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


Honors and Distinction Proposal

ELL staff, student and parent input is needed on the Honors and Distinction Proposal and whether it will benefit ELL students.

The Honors and Distinction Proposal has been developed by Saint Paul's seven high school principals and school district staff to achieve two goals: (1) encouraging more students to take a highly challenging and focused program and (2) encouraging and empowering teachers to raise the rigor of all high school courses.

All courses would be weighted equally in calculating a student's Grade Point Average (GPA). In the current system, students receive weighted points for taking advanced classes. For example, in an advanced class with weighted grading, an A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, N/F=0. However, in all other classes, an A = 4, B=3, C=2, D=1, N/F = 0. Under the current system, only students taking advanced classes can obtain the highest class ranking. Under the new proposal, all classes would be weighted equally on a four-point system and no official ranking would be given, except for the top two students. Additionally, special honors and distinctions could be awarded and listed on a student's transcript.

If approved by the Saint Paul Board of Education, the proposal would be implemented starting with the Class of 2008, which enters high school in the fall of 2004. Prior to the school board's consideration of the proposal, district staff and high school principals are gathering extensive input and conducting further research.

The district needs to hear from ELL staff, parents and students on this proposal.

Please take a moment to look at the full proposal and to offer your feedback. Discuss this proposal with ELL students and parents and encourage them to provide input via the web-based survey, through a study group, or at an evening input session. Contact info is available at the web site.




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