Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DESE Memo on SEI Endorsement Courses

August 25, 2014

TO:      Local Association Presidents K-12
            Board of Directors
            MTA Staff

FR:       Barbara Madeloni, President
            Janet Anderson, Vice President

RE:       DESE Memo on SEI Endorsement Courses

On August 15, 2015, a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education memo concerning SEI Endorsement courses was sent to superintendents, RETELL liaisons and ELL directors. It is assumed that district leaders forwarded this memo to affected educators. However, the MTA wants to ensure that local leaders have the most up-to-date information. This memo contains information on registration deadlines for no-cost SEI Endorsement courses, procedures in case of course cancellations, the awarding of the SEI Endorsement, and additional options for SEI training. The exact text of the memo from Jonathan Landman, DESE’s assistant commissioner for teaching and learning, is below. Additional information from DESE can be found at www.doe.mass.edu/retell.

The MTA is following the rollout of SEI Endorsement courses for fall 2014 closely. Please advise us of any concerns that develop as the rollout continues. Members are also encouraged to check the MTA RETELL Toolkit at www.massteacher.org/retell for more information.

Barbara Madeloni
Janet Anderson

Text of August 15 MEMO from DESE:

Dear Superintendents, RETELL Liaisons and ELL Directors:

We have several RETELL updates for you at this time.

1.       Registration for fall SEI Endorsement courses has been extended until September 17th.

2.       The Department continues to make strenuous efforts to recruit and train qualified SEI Endorsement course facilitators, and we anticipate that facilitators will be identified for several of the courses that are still listed as “TBD” in the registration system. However, starting on September 2nd, the Department will begin to selectively cancel a small number of fall SEI Endorsement courses for which we have been unable to locate course facilitators. We will only cancel courses as a last resort and where practicable, will work with districts to set up a replacement course section in the spring.

When we cancel a course, the Registrar’s office will notify all impacted registrants, course facilitators and RETELL Liaisons. Where possible, these educators are encouraged to enroll into another course section that still has slots. Any educator whose course is canceled by the Department, and who places their name on a course waitlist for an SY 2015 course, and has not gained entry into the course for which they have been waitlisted, will be assigned to the SY 2016 cohort year and, subject to appropriation, will be given a no-cost opportunity to earn the Endorsement in SY 2016. This includes educators in Cohort 1 whose training window would otherwise end in SY 2015.

3.       The week of September 1, 2014 the data from 2013-14 SEI Endorsement courses will be passed into the ELAR system so that all those who successfully completed courses will be awarded the SEI Endorsement.  After that week, educators will be able to log in to ELAR and see their SEI Endorsement displayed. In our next update, we will provide screen shots to show people how to check for their Endorsement.

4.       This fall, five of the state’s collaborative will begin coming on line as DESE-approved for-cost providers of SEI Endorsement courses. Courses offered through these sites will utilize the exact same curricula utilized in Department-sponsored no-cost trainings; their facilitators have been screened and trained by the Department and are expected to deliver trainings at the same high level. Successful completion of these courses will lead to the SEI Endorsement. These courses draw upon a separate pool of course facilitators, and may be of interest to:

·         Districts that would like to train a larger proportion of their teachers than the Department has committed to train;
·         Individuals interested in taking both the SEI Administrator and SEI Teacher Endorsement courses, the second at their own expense;
·         Individuals who do not avail themselves of their no-cost opportunity who choose to complete their training after the conclusion of their district’s training window;
·         Individuals who fail to complete or to earn a passing grade in their no-cost course and who therefore need to pay for training at a later date;
·         Individuals who have been on leave, or who are moving to Massachusetts from other states, who wish to earn the SEI Endorsement in order to improve their chances of finding work in a Massachusetts public school;
·         Individuals who, under regulation, are not entitled to a no-cost opportunity to enroll in an SEI Endorsement course but who wish to take the course to improve their capacity to meet the needs of their ELLs;
·         Core academic teachers who never received the Endorsement training because during the time horizon of Department-sponsored training who subsequently do become teachers of ELLs and therefore require the training.

When these for-cost SEI Endorsement course providers are ready to accept individual registrants into their course sections and book district-sponsored sections, the Department will establish a webpage with information about the providers.

5.        Many of your educators may be interested in extending the learning they began through the SEI Endorsement course. These and others may need to earn SEI-related PDPs for re-licensure. The Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition and Academic Achievement has reviewed and approved a growing list of professional development offerings that your district or educational collaborative may wish to consider offering on a local basis. Check out what is available at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/retell/ under “RETELL/Extending the Learning.”

Thank you for all you do on behalf of our state’s students.

Jonathan Landman
Assistant Commissioner for Teaching and Learning

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