I am a core content area teacher and I teach ELLs. I am required to earn an SEI Endorsement. Am I also required to participate in WIDA trainings?
State regulations adopted in 2012 require that all core academic teachers assigned to teach ELLs earn the SEI Endorsement within the Department's established timelines. Participation in WIDA trainings is not mandated; however, all teachers of English Language Learners are expected to align their curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices to the WIDA Standards Framework beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.
Such implementation of the WIDA standards requires a working knowledge of the WIDA standards framework as well as deeper understanding of how such components can be used to enhance content area instruction for ELLs. Therefore, content area teachers should consider participating in professional development about the WIDA standards.
I am a content area teacher and I teach English Language Learners. Do I have to incorporate the WIDA standards in my instruction?
Yes. The Massachusetts Board of Education adopted the WIDA ELD standards as the state's English language proficiency standards in June 2012. The WIDA standards framework promotes a comprehensive approach for language development, so the WIDA ELD standards encompass social and instructional language as well as the four core content areas (math, science, English language arts, and social studies). Therefore, content area teachers assigned to teach ELLs must incorporate the WIDA standards into their instruction. These standards provide useful tools for differentiating instruction for ELLs and can be a powerful resource for ensuring ELLs have access to rigorous, grade-level content area instruction that is appropriate for their developmental and linguistic proficiency.
I am an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. Am I required to participate in WIDA trainings?
Participation in WIDA trainings is not mandated; however, all teachers of English Language Learners are expected to align their curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices to the WIDA Standards Framework beginning in the 2012-2013 school year. Such implementation of the WIDA standards requires a working knowledge of the WIDA standards framework as well as deeper understanding of how such components can be used to enhance content area instruction for ELLs. Therefore, ESL teachers will benefit from professional development focused on the components and application of the WIDA ELD standards.
I am a core content area teacher and I just completed the SEI Endorsement Teacher course. Am I required to participate in additional WIDA trainings?
In order to successfully integrate the WIDA ELD standards, educators will need to develop an understanding of the key components of the WIDA framework and how to use them. Although the SEI Endorsement courses will provide basic information about the WIDA standards, educators should engage in additional, in-depth professional development about the components of the WIDA framework and how to integrate them into content area and ESL curriculum. Educators may choose to participate in ESE-sponsored WIDA trainings, learn from other district staff who participated in WIDA Training of Trainers (ToTs), or attend WIDA consortium professional development offerings.
Where can I find information about upcoming WIDA trainings?
The Department regularly sponsors WIDA professional development. Information about these trainings, including training objectives and registration information, is available on OELAAA's Professional Development page. Districts can also coordinate professional development directly with WIDA consortium specialists or send staff to WIDA academies, workshops and institutes. Information about WIDA professional development offerings is available on the WIDA Professional Learning page.
Can Professional Development Points (PDPs) earned from WIDA trainings count towards the 15 SEI PDPs required for licensure renewal as mandated by the new RETELL regulations?
Yes. Educators who earn PDPs from WIDA trainings can use those PDPs to satisfy the 15 Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) or ESL PDPs required for teaching licenses renewed on or after July 1st, 2016 (603 CMR 44.06 (1)(a)).
I am a district and/or school level administrator (e.g., content area supervisor, department head, math or literacy coach, principal, assistant principal). Am I required to participate in WIDA trainings?
District leaders are not required to participate in WIDA trainings. However, district leaders play a crucial role in developing district wide strategies to support the implementation of the new WIDA ELD standards. In order to make effective decisions about how to build educator capacity about the new WIDA ELD standards, support WIDA integration into daily classroom instruction of ELLs, and ensure that they are used to maximize ELL student learning, district administrators will need to being well-versed in the structure, organization, and application of the WIDA framework components. Therefore, district leaders would greatly benefit from attending WIDA trainings and developing their understanding about the new framework.
I participated in a Basic WIDA Training of Trainers (ToT). Does this mean I am a WIDA trainer? Can I offer WIDA professional development to others?
Educators who participate in a Department-sponsored Basic WIDA Training of Trainers are equipped to provide basic professional development about the organization, components, and application of the WIDA standards to staff within their own district. Completing a Basic WIDA ToT does not allow participants to develop and offer WIDA trainings for cost to educators in other districts in Massachusetts or in other states. Only Professionally Certified WIDA trainers vetted by the WIDA consortium can offer for cost professional development to educators from other districts or states. For more information about how to become a certified WIDA trainer, visit WIDA Professional Certification for Trainers website.
I am one of the three ESL teachers in my district. Does this mean I am responsible for rewriting the district's ESL and content area curricula to ensure it integrates the WIDA standards?
No. District leaders are ultimately responsible for local content area and ESL curricula. Therefore, district leaders are expected to develop a strategic plan for integrating WIDA into curricula, and making sure educators incorporate WIDA into ELL instruction. Because ESL teachers have expertise in language acquisition and strategies for teaching ELLs, district leaders should include ESL teachers in the curriculum development process. Moreover, because the WIDA standards encompass the four core content areas, developing curriculum that integrates WIDA standards will also require collaboration between ESL and sheltered content area teachers. District leaders should develop a plan for integrating WIDA with these considerations in mind.
Does participation in WIDA trainings sponsored the Department of Education fulfill the requirements for earning the SEI Endorsement?
No. Participation in WIDA trainings will not fulfill requirements for earning an SEI Endorsement. For more information about the SEI Endorsement and how to earn it, visit Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL) page.
My district already has an ESL curriculum. Do we need to discard it and rewrite a new ESL curriculum integrating WIDA from scratch?*
No. Districts that already have an ESL curriculum in 2012 can use it as a starting place and revise it take sure it is aligned to the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the new WIDA ELD standards. However, districts that did not have an ESL curriculum developed must begin the process of looking at the new MA frameworks and crafting one from square one. For more information, please visit the OELAAA Curriculum & Instruction page.