Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
News School/District Profiles School/District Administration Educator Services Assessment/Accountability Family & Community  
> Administration Finance/Grants PK-16 Program Support Information Services  

Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL)

Enrollment in Upcoming Sheltered English Immersion Administrator Endorsement Courses

To:All Administrators in Cohort 1 and 2 Districts
From:Dr. Jonathan Landman, Assistant Commissioner for Teaching and Learning
Date:June 27, 2013


I am writing to explain how the new Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement requirement may apply to you, and to describe steps you may need to take to earn the SEI Administrator Endorsement.

Our state's top priority in K-12 education is to improve outcomes for all students and ensure that all public high school students graduate college and career ready. English language learners (ELLs) are the state's fastest growing group of students, and, as a group experience the largest proficiency gap when compared to their native English speaking peers. In order to strengthen instruction and better support the academic achievement of ELLs, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted new regulations in June 2012. These new regulations include a requirement that all principals/assistant principals and supervisors/directors1 who serve as evaluators of core academic teachers of ELLs2 earn a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Administrator Endorsement by July 1, 2016, thus ensuring that educational leaders have essential knowledge and skills necessary to support teachers' SEI classroom practices and the academic success of ELLs. If you are not a principal/assistant principal or supervisor/director who supervises or evaluates one or more core academic teachers, or if none of these core academic teachers provide instruction to ELLs, then the SEI Endorsement requirement does not apply to you.

SEI Administrator Endorsement Course

While there are several pathways to the SEI Administrator Endorsement (see below), most administrators will earn it by successfully completing the SEI Administrator Endorsement Course. The course includes five 3-hour face-to-face sessions with homework between sessions. For additional information, see the attachment, Additional Endorsement Course Information.

Between now and August 30, 2016, subject to appropriation, the Department has committed to providing every principal/assistant principal and supervisor/director responsible for core academic teachers of ELLs with a single no-cost opportunity to participate in an SEI Endorsement Course to earn the SEI Endorsement.

Administrators' pathways to SEI Endorsement

  1. Completing the approved SEI Administrator Endorsement course
  2. Earning the SEI Teacher Endorsement (which also fulfills the administrator requirement) by:
    1. Successful completion of an SEI Teacher Endorsement course. There are three different SEI Teacher Endorsement Courses. Refer to the attachment, Additional Endorsement Course Information.
    2. Passing a new SEI endorsement MTEL exam (anticipated spring 2014)
    3. Possession of an ESL/ELL license;
    4. Possessing a bachelor's degree in a major approved by the Department, or other graduate level training approved by the Department.

For any inquiries related to the ESL/ELL license or applicable degrees, please contact the Department's Office of Educator Licensure at 781 338-6600.

NOTE: Administrators who also serve as a core academic teacher of ELLs must earn the SEI Teacher Endorsement. (Examples of a "teaching administrator" would include a department head who evaluates department members but also teaches several class sections each semester, or a special education team leader who runs team meetings but also teaches students for part of each day.) Teaching administrators may wish to audit the SEI Administrator Endorsement Course as well.

Registering for an SEI Endorsement Course: Registration for cohort 1 and 2 districts for all 2013-14 (SY 2014) SEI Endorsement courses will open on August 1, 2013. SEI Endorsement training will continue through the conclusion of SY 2015 in Cohort 1 districts and through the conclusion of SY 2016 in Cohort 2 districts.

Around August 1, 2013 your district will forward you an email from the Department with important information on SY 2014 Endorsement Course registration. Your district leadership may preface the Department's communication with some guidance regarding when they would like you to participate in Endorsement training. All SEI Endorsement courses will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis starting on or shortly after August 1, 2013.

Understanding the significance of your cohort year: When you enroll in an SEI Endorsement Course, the Department will assign you to that RETELL cohort year. For example, if you enroll in the SEI Administrator Endorsement Course for fall 2013, then 2013-14 is your RETELL cohort year. Each cohort year begins on September 1 and ends on August 31 of the following year. Once you are assigned to a cohort year, you must earn the SEI Administrator Endorsement (or if you are a teaching administrator, the SEI Teacher Endorsement) within the time period designated for your cohort year, or you will not be able to advance, renew, or extend your license until you obtain the SEI Endorsement. See 603 CMR 14.07(2)(b):

Educators assigned to a cohort must meet the requirements for an SEI Endorsement within the time period designated for their cohort. Educators who fail to earn an Endorsement by the time designated for their cohort, shall not be eligible to advance or renew their educator license under 603 CMR 7.00 and 603 CMR 44.00 until such educators earn an SEI Endorsement….

Please note that principals/assistant principals and supervisors/directors who serve as evaluators of core academic teachers of ELLs who do not enroll in their districts' first two cohort years3 or in time to participate in their districts' final cohort year, will be directly assigned to that final cohort year by the Department. Educators who do not earn the SEI Endorsement within the time period designated for their cohort will have to earn the SEI Endorsement at their own expense and will not be able to renew or advance their license until they meet the SEI Endorsement requirement. To reiterate, your Department- assigned cohort year is your opportunity to take this training at no cost to you. For further information about the SEI Endorsement requirement, see Frequently Asked Questions at

Hardship Considerations: The Department realizes that some educators may have personal circumstances that make it particularly difficult to participate in the SEI Endorsement Course when assigned to do so. These educators may qualify for a hardship exception to earning the SEI Administrator or Teacher Endorsement at this point in time. For additional information about requesting a hardship exception, go to

We ask for your understanding and flexibility throughout this challenging but also very promising process. We understand that these courses will take time from administrators who will be juggling other important demands. At the same time, we have designed the SEI Endorsement Courses to provide a rich and important learning experience for all educators, and we know that your participation in the SEI Administrator Endorsement Course models attention to the needs of ELLs for teachers.. As we learn to implement the effective practices promoted in these courses, our ELLs' access to academic learning will be transformed.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of the Commonwealth's youth, and for your attention to this important matter.

Attachment: Additional Endorsement Course Information

Administrator Course: In its current form, the SEI Administrator Endorsement Course has four overarching goals:

  1. To enhance administrators' leadership capacity so that they may effectively carry out their responsibility for:
    1. Building school cultures of equity and inclusiveness.
    2. Developing and enhancing appropriate programs and services for all English language learners.
    3. Ensuring a collaborative vision in which all members of the school community share the responsibility for the achievement of English language learners.
  2. To expand administrators' understanding of how language and culture affect English language and content learning, and how children and adolescents learn language in academic settings.
  3. To build administrators' knowledge about:
    1. The English language learner student body within their schools; the heterogeneity of their English language learners.
    2. Laws and regulations affecting the education of English language learners.
    3. Effective program models that engage English language learners in acquiring English while they learn academic content, and
    4. Research-based instructional practice that teachers employ to integrate subject area content, language, and literacy development-per the expectations of the Massachusetts English Language Development (ELD) World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards-and thus to support ELL students' success with standards established for all core academic subjects including the 2011 Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics.
  4. To equip administrators to utilize the new Educator Evaluator system to effectively supervise, evaluate, and support teachers employing Sheltered English Immersion strategies with their English language learners.

Teacher Courses: There are three different SEI Teacher Endorsement Courses. In order to determine which SEI Teacher Endorsement Course you would be eligible to take in lieu of the Administrators' SEI Endorsement Course, you need to review your record of Category Trainings. If you have completed:

  1. No Category Trainings or only one Category Training, you could earn the Administrators' Endorsement by completing the full-length SEI Teacher Endorsement Course.
  2. Category Trainings 1, 2 and 4, you could earn the Administrators' Endorsement by completing the shorter Bridge SEI Teacher Endorsement Course.
  3. Any two of the three Category Trainings from 1, 2 and 4, you could earn the Administrators' Endorsement by completing the longer Bridge SEI Teacher Endorsement Course.

PDPs: Educators will earn PDPs for successful completion of the Endorsement Courses. ESE is pleased to announce that the PDPs earned through successful completion of the Administrator or any version of the SEI Teacher Endorsement Course can be applied to license renewal content area requirements. Further, educators who earn most or all of the PDPs required to renew their license before applying the SEI PDPs will benefit from a new exception to the current licensure renewal policy that expires "surplus" PDPs at the end of the educator's renewal cycle. PDPs earned through the SEI Endorsement Course that are in excess of the required 150 PDPs to renew a license can be carried forward to the next license renewal cycle.

Getting a Jump on the Reading: Our copyright permissions allow us to make course materials available to individuals once they are enrolled in an SEI Endorsement Course. To the extent possible, we intend to make course readings available to participants as soon as they enroll so that individuals who wish to get a jump on the homework by doing some or all of the readings in advance will have the opportunity to do so.

We recognize that some teachers' class rosters will change and that by September some administrators who in August expected to be supervising core academic teachers of ELLs will no longer have teachers with ELLs. We are developing a process to account for these shifts via adjustments to enrollments and cohort year assignments.

Enrollment Calendar

  • August 1: Enrollment opens for all SY 2014 SEI courses
  • September 20: Fall and full-year SEI course enrollments close
  • November 15: Spring course enrollments close


1 See 603 CMR 7.09(3)(b)(5) concerning supervisor/director for the license and roles covered by this requirement.

2 "Core academic teachers" are defined by 603 CMR 7.02 for purposes of sheltered English immersion instruction as early childhood and elementary teachers, teachers of students with moderate disabilities, teachers of students with severe disabilities, and teachers of the following academic subjects: English, reading and language arts, mathematics, science, civics and government, economics, history, and geography. In this memo, the terms "core academic teachers of ELLs" and "SEI teachers" have the same meaning.

3 SY 2014 is the second cohort year for Cohort 1 districts; SY 2015 is the second year for Cohort 2 districts.

Last Updated: August 1, 2013
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE