Weekly Facts 2003-2004

November 12, 2003 Weekly Facts

Can you find the man's head in the picture above?

November 12, 2003


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

Joint Information 

LCD Teachers and EAs

The LCD requirements and the Bi-Annual Report are being reviewed. We are working on being able to pull this information for all LCD reports from distrrict sources.

At this time we are asking LCD teachers and/or EAs to send the LAS Report information only. In the near future, we will also have an on-line place for the recording and history of the Pre-LAS and LAS tests. This final step should eliminate any direct teacher reporting for LCD other than entering the LAS scores on-line.

However, until then, please, send the LAS reporting to the ELL Department (Attention: Maria Alicia Arabbo) by December 12, 2003

Calling all EAs

The next session of EA trainings is scheduled for Friday, November 21, 2003. Please, plan on being there.

  • Place: Junior Achievement 1800 White Bear Avenue Maplewood, MN 55109
  • Time: 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Eid Al-Fitr Celebration

Muslims will be celebrating the end of the Fasting month of Ramadan on November 24th or 25th, depending on sighting of the new moon.

The event is marked by a huge celebration known as Eid Al-Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fast). Muslim students and staff usually take the day off to celebrate with their families. It is therefore advisable for schools to not schedule events involving Muslim families on these days.

Interpreters for Conferences

Please remember to schedule interpreters for conferences 5 working days in advance. Our resources are limited. if you do not schedule in advance, you might not get any person to help out in your building. Also remember that our list of Hmong interpreters is especially limited because many schools request this service. Remember to coordinate this process with your principal. The Translation Department cannot be responsible for setting up conference times.  Please contact Alejandra Bosch in the Translations Department if you have any questions. 

As schools schedule parent-teacher conferences, it may be necessary to take the following issues into considerations: The Muslim Fasting month of Ramadan will continue until November 24 or 25. It will be difficult for Muslim parents to attend conferences in the evening. They usually start eating at sunset. It may therefore be necessary to schedule them late in the evening, preferably after 7:00 PM. Howver, avoid holding any conferences on the 24th and 25th when Muslims will be celebrating Eid Al-Fitr (Feast  of Breaking the Fast). The exact day could not be determined untill the day before it occurs, depending on sighting of the new moon. Generally, students and staff will be absent from school on that day.  

Assistance with Professional Development

The ELL Department has received permission to publish our mainstream professional development opportunities as an email to all staff.   Please look for this email in the near future and encourage your mainstream colleague. 

Scaffolding Strategies to Work With English Language Learners

Sessions: January 29 (Part 1) and February 19 (Part 2) March 8 (Part 1) and April 14 (Part 2)

Develop strategies and practices to support English language learners in content area classes at the secondary level. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Scaffolding Strategies to Work With English Language Learners page. This professional development opportunity is for teachers grades 6-12. Please post and share the flyer with your staff.

Name Change!

The newly renamed Office of Fund Development (formerly the Grants Office) has a new vision and mission. The re-organiztion will better serve the district in the implementation of the Action Plan. These new efforts are showing good results as evidenced in the appromately 5.6 million SPPS has brought in so far this fiscal year. Look for many exciting opportunities in the coming months.

Grant Opportunities

Gates Millennium Scholarships
Perhaps students that you know would be good candidates for this.  It's a great opportunity for any who might meet the criteria.  Nominations are accepted for students we will be college freshmen next school year (2004-2005).  I hope you will pass it on to teachers who might have students they would like to nominate.  The nomination information, criteria and procedure are found at:


A FAFSA, legal immigrant status and a very healthy GPA are required.

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) has put together a list of scholarships for which a social security number is not necessary.  It can be found at: http://www.maldef.org/pdf/Scholarships_072003.pdf 

 You may also wish to share the above information with high school counselors who may be working with students eligible for one of the above. 

 Mary P. Diaz Director, Minnesota Field Office Comprehensive Center - Region VI Hamline University 1536 Hewitt Avenue  MS C1924 St. Paul, MN  55104 Tel: (651) 523-2239 Fax: (651) 523-3047

Letters About Literature

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre-- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic. explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves. The deadline is December 6, 2003.

There are three competition levels: Level I for children in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 - 12. Winners receive cash awards at the national and state levels.

Participation guidelines and other information are available at: http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/letters.html


Elementary Information


Changes in ELL Campus for the Elementary Level

Please remember that we asked you not to use the ELL Campus checklists until we are able to update them. We had expected that they would be updated much earlier. However, the MIS department has been overwhelmed by the "Parent Portal" program. We have discussed the issue with the MIS department and they should have the new checklists ready by Monday. The new checklists will reflect the new state English Language Proficiency Standards. The new checklist will be usable by all staff K-6. The students' grade levels will automatically be entered.

The new checklist will look like the following for each of the areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing (all four areas have two standards - a social and an academic - which each have the same four sections to them as shown below):






1.1 Purpose, Audience & Genre

Communicative Functions

Language Features

Word Knowledge and Use

2.1 Purpose, Audience & Genre

Communicative Functions

Language Features

Word Knowledge and Use


  • B = Beginning
  • I = Intermediate
  • A = Advanced
  • T = Transitional

We have determined that this is the easiest way for you to report the information on-line. If we were to include all of the descriptions of the standards in our checklist, it would be at least 4 or 5 pages for each student. When the form is ready online, we will include a pdf file for you to use while completing the checklist with all of the descriptions. We understand that this a large change and we know that it is late. However, we do have to show that we are in compliance with the state requirements and we have been waiting for the MIS department to effect this change for us.

2003-04 Elementary ELL Service Guidelines -- Important Report Card Information Included!!!

In an effort to help everyone understand the pieces of ELL service for elementary students, we've put together a few guidelines and a graphic. This is not looking at funding but at students who are eligible for ELL service. We can categorize them into two groups: students who receive "ELL Support Services" and those who receive "Direct Service".

The attached 2003-04 Elementary ELL Service Guidelines graphic illustrates the ELL service options and spells out service requirements.


These are the important points to keep in mind when determining placement and service levels for individual ELL students.

Begin by looking at the list of all students with HLQs other than English

Use ELL Service Eligibility Chart 2003-04 to determine if student is eligible for ELL Service

Enter all eligible students on ELL Campus (the deadline was in October - but please enter names you have may not yet have entered).

As a school team, look at the students you have on ELL Campus and determine which need direct service according to language needs and which only need ELL support services

To help distinguish which students are receiving direct service from those students who are receiving ELL support services only, we will be creating a button in the ELL Campus system (see item above) that you can click to indicate level of service. We will notify you when this button is ready. For now, just make sure that you know which students are in each category.

For students who receive ELL support services only, you are responsible for providing the following:

  • Bilingual EA services
  • Lowered class size and/or flexible groupings when appropriate
  • Review of mainstream academic progress
  • Translation/Interpreting services
  • Notification of ELL Services form
  • MN SOLOM assessment (K -12)
  • TEAE assessment (3 -12)
  • Testing accommodations

    For students who receive direct service, you are responsible for providing all of the above and the following:

    • Direct service by the ELL teacher, determined by language needs
    • EA academic tutoring support when appropriate
    • ELL Standards Checklist (3x year; keep in cum folder)
    • Summary Report (3x year; done in collaboration with mainstream teachers)

If you have questions about any of this information, please contact your ELL TOSA.

Language Academy Reminder

This is a reminder to all the Language Academy sites that Nina needs thei site visit schedules as soon as possible. So far she has received the schedules for Vento and Hancock, and for Highwood Hills, Battle Creek and Linwood.

Hmong Students: Cultural, Educational, and Special Education Issues

Sessions on November 19, December 3, January 7 and March 18. Choose one.

Hmong traditional cultural beliefs, values and family structure will be presented. Participants will examine how Hmong parents view the role of schools in educating their children. Hmong perspectives on Special Education will be discussed. This workshop is for K-6 classroom teachers. Please post and share with your staff. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the page. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Hmong Students: Cultural, Educational, and Special Education Issues page.

LCD Pre-LAS Reminder

If you have not sent the LCD Pre-LAS report, please send it to the attention of Maria Alicia Arabbo as soon as possible. The dateline was October 24, 2003. Gracias.

Power of Language--MATH

November 12

Comprehension of word problems in mathematics is more than simply a function of reading skills. Participants will learn what makes story problems difficult for English Language Learners and how to minimize these difficulties in order to make math content accessible. Participants will also be able to adapt the Everyday Mathematics curriculum to better serve the needs of English language learners. This workshop is for K-6 classroom teachers. Please post and share with your staff. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the page. For more information and registration forms, you can go directly to the Power of Language--Math page.

Study Groups for Elementary ELL Teachers

Next meeting: November 12

ELL Elementary Circles are back with a new name: Study Groups for Elementary ELL Teachers.

Participants will be provided with an opportunity to come together to read, share, and discuss professional articles and their implication for teaching in a large urban public school district. Participants will be required to read assigned articles on educational issues prior to the meetings. The dates of the Study Groups are:

  • November 12, 2003
  • January 14, 2004
  • February 19, 2004
  • March 17, 2004
  • April 15, 2004

Participants should plan to attend all sessions and will receive a stipend.

Please register with Mai Vang


Secondary Information

2003-04 Secondary ELL Service Guidelines

The secondary service guidelines have been included here for information purposes only. The secondary students do not require the same reporting of status as the elementary students. This information can be obtained from the students' enrollment records.

Please contact your TOSA if you have questions.




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