Recent Communication

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August 25, 2022
Bilingual Grant

Bilingual 2021-2022 Annual Evaluation Reports: Prior to applying for this year’s bilingual grant, please complete the AER in the eGMS. It is imperative that this report is completed, as it provides information about the implementation of activities associated with your bilingual program. If your district has already completed the bilingual AER, please disregard this item. 

Bilingual programs and district entitlements: Please see the ‘Mandated Bilingual Programs for SY 2022_23.xlsx’ below. The mandated bilingual programs spreadsheet identifies the programs mandated by school and by language. Each district’s bilingual allocation is loaded into the application on eGMS. 

Program Information by School: This grant application section caused some confusion on last year’s eGMS application for the bilingual grant. For each school in your district that is mandated to provide a bilingual program, please indicate the school, the native language group or groups served in that school, the number of eligible students reported to the CSDE on 10-01-2021 by Language Group in the PSIS, and the program type (Bilingual or Secondary ESL). Note that the 2021 date is not a typo or error; these are the numbers provided that generate the requirement for the current year’s programs, so this is the information that is sought on that grant application page.

Due Date: The due date for the bilingual grant is Friday, September 30, 2022.

Title lll Grants
Title III 2021-2022 Annual Evaluation Reports: The majority of districts have completed and submitted their Title III and Bilingual (if applicable) AER/s in the eGMS. I have attached the communications about the AERs, which also includes instructions for completing it. Prior to applying for this year’s Title III grant, please complete the AER in the eGMS. If your district has completed the AER, no action on this topic is needed. It is imperative that this report is completed, as it provides information about Title III activity implementation and yields data that is provided, in the aggregate, to the US Department of Education. Again, if you have already completed the Title III AER, thank you, and please disregard this item.   
Annual Title III district entitlements: The Title III entitlements are loaded into the eGMS and can be accessed there. Please note that the non-public entitlements are a portion of the public entitlement. For example, if your district entitlement is 12,000 and 2,000 is the non-public portion, the public portion is 10,000. 

Beginning your application: Once you have logged into the eGMS at https://connecticut.egrantsmanagement.com/ and select the Title III grant, the first step is to change the status to ‘Application Started’ on the top of the Sections page. Until the application is started by clicking that button, you will not be able to save nor will you be able to access certain content on the application.

Due Date: The due date for the Title III EL grant is Friday, September 30, 2022. If your district is part of a consortium, it is likely that there will be an earlier deadline to ensure the consortium application can be submitted on time. Please complete the Intent to Participate portion of your Title III grant as soon as possible but by Friday, September 9th at the latest. 

Private Schools: The eGMS system includes the public and non-public amounts for your district. Like last year, this year there continues to be an auto-calculating private schools page in the Title III EL application. Only private schools which have indicated that they have ELs will show up on the list in the Title III EL application. If the private school wishes to participate in Title III, select yes. If not, select no, and the entitlements will auto-recalculate. This page looks and functions the same as the private school page in the Title I grant application with which you may be familiar. Instructions for completing this page in the Title III application are below. These instructions can also be accessed on the eGMS system in the CSDE Library and from the Program Instruction and guidance page. Please note: If you are a district with private schools and are participating in Title III through a consortium, the private school page in the eGMS will be in your fiscal agent’s Title III application in the system. 

eGMS User Guide and training slides: If you would like a refresher on how to use the eGMS system, the User Guide and training slides can be accessed through the ‘CSDE Resources’ tab on the left side of the screen. 

June 13,2022

Bilingual student counts: The counts in the Mandated Bilingual Programs for SY 2022-23 document provide the number of eligible students in each school building that is mandated to provide a bilingual education program for the 2022-2023 school year. As you are aware, these counts are derived from the data that districts provide on the previous year’s October PSIS collection. These student counts are used by our fiscal office to generate the district allocations for the bilingual grant, and the initial work of this process is currently underway. As soon as we have an approved state budget and I receive the bilingual entitlements, I will provide them to all of mandated districts.

Obligations of districts to provide bilingual services: When a district is mandated to provide a bilingual program, the district must offer the program to any eligible students in the school or schools that are mandated. The district must provide native language support to any eligible students whose parents have opted into the program. Although the threshold for mandating a program is 20 speakers of the same, non-English native language in one school building, once a district is mandated to provide a bilingual program, it must provide it to the students whose parents have opted into the program. Thus, even if only one family opts in, native language support would still be required to be provided for that child/children. Any eligible children that opt into the program at a mandated bilingual school must receive native language support. As a reminder, a bilingual certified teacher is a required component of a mandated bilingual program. This teacher can provide ESL to students or the students can receive ESL (in addition to bilingual instruction) via a TESOL certified teacher.

TESOL in lieu of bilingual: I receive several questions annually regarding district obligations for seeking and hiring bilingual certified staff, so I am providing answers to the commonly asked ones here. If your district is mandated to provide one or more bilingual programs and does not have any bilingual certified staff, the district must post for a bilingual certified teacher. If the posting does not result in the hiring of a bilingual certified teacher, the statutory requirement is that the district must request from the Commissioner permission to use a TESOL teacher in lieu of a bilingual teacher.

The TESOL in lieu letter should be attached as a related document in your bilingual grant application in eGMS and should be sent to me at megan.alubicki@ct.gov. Wendy Harwin and I do initial reviews of the letters received and then submit them to management for final review and approval. The letter must state that the district is requesting to use a TESOL teacher in lieu of a bilingual teacher because the job posting for a bilingual teacher did not result in the hiring of a qualified candidate. The letter must include the name/s and EIN/s for any TESOL teacher that will serve in lieu of a bilingual teacher and must explain how the students eligible for bilingual services (whose parents have chosen for them to participate in such program) will receive native language support. The job posting for the bilingual position should be attached. If the issue persists for more than one year, the district must annually follow the process of posting and requesting permission if the post does not yield a certified bilingual teacher.

Extension of time in a transitional bilingual program: As you are aware, districts may request that a student’s time in a transitional bilingual program to be extended beyond 30 months. These requests are made on a student-by-student basis. Requests can be made three times for up to a total of 30 additional school months in a transitional bilingual program. Like last year, there is a COVID-19 batch form that can be completed for these requests. There is also an individual student form, which is now fillable, that can be completed. Like last year, districts may choose between completing the batch form or the individual student form.

May 18, 2022

Education Stakeholders Zoom Meetings: The CSDE will be holding two upcoming Zoom meetings for any and all education stakeholders: educators, students, families, school staff, and others regarding the CSDE’s current and planned investments of federal COVID relief funds. The events are tomorrow, May 19th from 5-6:30 and Thursday, May 26th from 9-10:30. Register here. Please share this information, and of course you are also welcome to attend. Note that there will be a breakout room at each event that will be facilitated in Spanish. Please share this announcement in Spanish to whoever may benefit from this information. English Flyer  Spanish Flyer

Identification Memo: Recently, Abe Krisst sent an English Learner Identification Process memo regarding the identification of MLs/ELs to English Learner Assessment Coordinators (ELACs) and District Administrators (Das) in TIDE. This memo has also been discussed at CAPELL and Regional Roundtable meetings and will be posted on both the English Learners page and the Student Assessment portal. Note that the guidance on identification for MLs/ELs has not changed. Rather, the language has been enhanced for clarity, and additional scenarios were added.

LIFE Training: Join us for an upcoming, FREE, web-based, live training on serving students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) on August 1-5. This training is sponsored through Title III statewide activities funds and is being hosted by Jill Bessette at LEARN. It will be presented by Andrea DeCapua and Helaine Marshall on their MALP framework. We have a growing number of SLIFE students, and we encourage you to attend this fantastic professional learning opportunity! Life Training flyer.

Title III and Bilingual Annual Evaluation Reports: The following information addresses common questions about the report.

Which districts need to complete the Title III annual evaluation report?

All districts that accepted Title III funds during the 2021-2022 school year must complete the Title III AER. Each individual district, regardless of whether you applied independently or as part of a consortium, must complete an AER. RESCs that serve as the fiscal agent for a Title III consortium must complete an AER ONLY if the RESC receives its own Title III allocation (i.e. if the RESC operates a school with ELs enrolled) and should only report on its own Title III activities rather than activities of the consortium member districts. The only districts that should not complete a Title III AER are those that were not eligible to receive or declined their 2021-22 Title III funds.

Where can I find the AER document to complete?

Like last year, the Title III AER is located on the Electronic Grants Management System. Having the AER in the eGMS system creates a permanent and easily accessible record for both the district and the CSDE and will provide enhanced functionality for data analysis, reporting and compilation. The AER can be accessed from the Funding Applications tab by clicking ‘Application Supplements.’  Annual Report instructions 2021-2022, includes screenshots, for detailed information on how to access the AER.

What content has changed in the AER?

This year’s Title III and bilingual AERs remain largely unchanged from last year’s other than updates to the grant period on which you are reporting. However, in the Title III AER, there is the addition of one question pertaining to how your multilingual learners received language instruction regardless of how they accessed school.                                  

What if I don’t have access to the eGMS?

Districts handle eGMS access in different ways. If you do not have access, but your district wishes for you to have it, anyone in your district with user access administrator permissions can add you. If your district restricts access but would like you to complete the AER, screen shots could be given to you, and then you could provide the responses, which could be input by someone with system access. The eGMS User Guide, which can be found on the CSDE resources tab, provides detailed instructions for creating a user in the system in Section VI: User Access Administration.

Useful reminder-Fiscal Year:

Please note that the fiscal year MUST be set to 2022 in the system. Because of the current time of year, the system is autoset to 2023, but in order to access and complete the 2021-22 AER, choose ‘2022’ on the drop down menu.

When is the Title III AER due?

The Title III AER is due by Thursday, June 30th 2022.

July 15, 2021
July 8, 2021

We have fantastic news to share! The bilingual legislation proposed by the CSDE passed! Wendy and I are thrilled to share that it was signed into law yesterday. This is a great step forward in our collective efforts to serve multilingual learners and remove barriers to bilingual certification while maintaining rigorous expectations. 

The Bureau of Educator Standards and Certification is working on guidance which will be forthcoming in the next several weeks. Please allow us some time to develop the procedures that will allow educators to take full advantage of these exciting changes.

June 2, 2021

The Story of Me Summer Learning Challenge: I am thrilled to announce an exciting new summer learning challenge! The Story of Me Summer Learning Challenge is available for all students. This challenge was developed to celebrate the cultural and linguistic diversity of our students, their families and the communities in which they live. Students select an essential question and then choose one language activity, one culture activity and one community activity from each column of the choice board. They then bring it all together through a poster project, artistic representation, poem, essay or story that describes their experience with the activities they chose. The Story of Me program packet, message for families, message for principals, and certificate of completion are linked here and can be accessed on the Summer Learning Hub where information about the various summer challenges is posted.

Also, please note that the program packet, message for families and certificates will be available in Arabic, English, Haitian-Creole, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish! Translations are currently being completed and will be posted early next week. I will also send them out to the listserv. Please encourage your students to take part in this wonderful summer learning challenge that helps to celebrate and acknowledge the rich cultural and linguistic assets of Connecticut’s students, families and communities!

Extension of time in a transitional bilingual program: As you are aware, districts may request for a student’s time in a transitional bilingual program to be extended beyond 30 months. These requests are made on a student-by-student basis. Requests can be made three times for up to a total of 30 additional school months in a transitional bilingual program. Like last year, there is a COVID-19 batch form that can be completed for these requests. There is also an individual student form, which is now fillable, that can be completed. Like last year, districts may choose between completing the batch form or the individual student form.

English learner identification and obtaining screening materials: Please see the document linked below that addresses EL identification and how districts order screening materials. Note that there are multiple embedded documents in the attachment that provide explanations on these processes, as well as flowcharts, the Home Language Survey, optional screening for students at the PreK-4 grade level, etc.

 

Selected Past Communications: While no longer recent, these communications remain on the site because they are still relevant and applicable.