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Preparing Educators

Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement Requirement for Educator Candidates in Preparation Programs

To:Educator Candidates in Preparation Programs
Copy:Educator Preparation Program Contacts
From:Liz Losee, Assistant Director, Educator Policy, Preparation and Leadership
Date:March 6, 2013

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For over a decade, the K-12 achievement of the Commonwealth's English language learners (ELLs) has lagged behind the performance of other students. In July 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) that the state has a duty to mandate preparation and training requirements for educators who provide Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) to ELLs. The Department has initiated RETELL (Rethinking Equity and Achievement for English Language Learners), a major initiative to mandate state standards, provide training to incumbent core academic teachers of ELLs, and address these achievement gaps.

In June 2012, under RETELL, regulations that govern educator licensure, education of English learners, and educator preparation program approval, 603 CMR 7.00, were revised. These regulatory changes impose important new requirements upon you as a candidate for educator licensure. They also require all Massachusetts educator preparation programs to implement changes so that you can meet these requirements.

  • Effective July 1, 2014, an SEI Endorsement will be required to obtain an Initial License as a core academic teacher1 , and for an Initial Administrative License2 leading to supervision and evaluation of core academic teachers.

If you successfully complete a program leading to Initial licensure prior to July 1, 2014, and if you apply for your Initial license prior to July 1, 2014, the SEI Endorsement will not be required. Please note: your eligibility to receive the Initial License is based on both your program completion date and your application date. However, beginning on July 1, 2016, all core academic educators working with one or more ELLs will be required to have the endorsement or earn the endorsement within one year of such assignment.

  • If you are scheduled to complete your program prior to July 1, 2014, but you are for some reason delayed and have not completed all program requirements by that time, the SEI Endorsement will be required in order to receive your Initial License. This is true even for candidates who have applied for their Initial License prior to July 1, 2014.
  • All educator preparation programs in Massachusetts must incorporate new knowledge and professional practice standards into their curricula so that prospective educators are prepared to meet the requirements for an SEI Endorsement upon graduation.
    • Beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year, all candidates prepared as educators in the Commonwealth will engage with children who are ELLs during their field-based experiences. The Pre-service Performance Assessment will be revised for the 2013-14 school year field based experience and will include evaluation of pre-service candidates' SEI skills and knowledge as outlined in the Professional Standards for Teachers.
    • Programs will deliver instruction about these knowledge and professional practice standards through no more than two courses. Programs are required to submit the syllabi for the courses delivering this content to ESE for approval by June 1, 2013. Most programs will implement new course curricula and SEI requirements in the 2013-14 academic year.
  • If you successfully master the required standards, your educator preparation program will endorse you for the SEI Endorsement so that you are eligible to obtain your Initial license.

If you have any questions about what will be required of you in order to earn your SEI endorsement as part of your educator preparation program, about whether you will or will not be able to fulfill those requirements, or about how your program may change in response to these new requirements, please contact your program administrator. You can also learn more about the RETELL initiative by visiting our website, at http://www.doe.mass.edu/retell/.

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1 Core Academic Teachers: For purposes of sheltered English immersion instruction, early childhood and elementary teachers, teachers of students with moderate disabilities, teachers of severe disabilities, and teachers of the following academic subjects: English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, civics and government, economics, history, and geography. 603 CMR 7.02.



Last Updated: March 13, 2013
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