On November 2, SECC project staff Heidi Goertzen and Ramona Chauvin cofacilitated the MDE EL Advisory Panel meeting in Jackson, Mississippi, with the MDE Title III director. The director began the meeting with a review of the work completed during the prior panel meeting and explained how that work would segue into the rest of the day’s activities. SECC staff then led the panel members through an instructional task analysis for determining language demands for a particular lesson activity. The materials they used were developed by the ELPA 21 consortium as part of their online tools and resources for implementing the ELPA 21 standards. During these activities, the panel members were able to review and discuss an instructional task analysis, observe teachers online who were proceeding through the task analysis steps,
and practice the process in grade band teams.
During the second part of the activity, SECC staff walked panel members through the process of identifying the state and ELPA 21 standards that align with the instructional tasks presented in the modules. SECC then led the panel through a reflective activity to discuss their thinking about the ELPA 21 standards implementation processes. The panel’s next steps were to consider the kinds of resources teachers would need to effectively teach the standards, identify potential benefits of the ELPA 21 Standards, and determine whether the standards would need to be augmented to better align with the state’s EL student context. The Title III director requested that the panel members provide feedback to these questions at the next meeting which is slated for late January 2017. SECC staff sent three EL related resources throughout the month to the MDE Title III director. The first included a webinar titled Supporting English Language Learners with Close Reading: Acquiring Vocabulary, sponsored by the Center for English Language Learners at AIR; the second were resources on ELL newcomer centers developed by CSAI; and the third included a REL Northeast and Islands bridge event webinar titled “How Long Before English Learner Students Take to Reach English Proficiency?”