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)

blue line

The RETELL initiative (Rethinking Equity in the Teaching of English Language Learners) represents a commitment to address the persistent gap in academic proficiency experienced by ELL students. At the heart of this initiative are training and licensure requirements for the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Endorsement, which core academic teachers of ELLs and principals/assistant principals and supervisors/directors who supervise or evaluate such teachers must obtain.

Requirements to obtain the SEI Endorsement

Requirements prior to July 1, 2016 —

Only core academic teachers who were assigned an ELL or administrators who supervise/evaluate core academic teachers who were assigned ELLs during their districts' cohort years are required to obtain the SEI Endorsement prior to July 1, 2016. Under 603 CMR 7.15 and 603 CMR 14.07 those CATs who were assigned an ELL at any point during their districts' cohort years and who fail to earn an SEI Endorsement by the time designated for their cohort, will not be eligible to renew, advance, or extend their educator license when it is due for such action until they earn an SEI Endorsement.

Prior to July 1, 2016 a CAT who was never assigned an ELL during their district's cohort years is not required to earn the Endorsement.

Requirement after July 1, 2016 —

After July 1, 2016, any unendorsed CAT who is assigned an ELL will have 12 months from the time of that assignment to earn the SEI Endorsement.

State-offered, no-cost SEI Endorsement courses

Registration for all state-offered, no-cost 2015–2016 SEI endorsement courses ended on Jan 15, 2016. No late registrations or other exceptions to the deadline can be accommodated. Also, no additional participants will be moved from waitlists into courses.

The DESE plans to offer a limited number of SEI endorsement courses during the 2016–2017 school year for educators who were required to earn the endorsement but, through no fault of their own, were unable to do so. Educators who will be eligible for no-cost, state-offered courses in 2016-2017 are those who were required to earn the endorsement during their districts' cohort windows and who:

  1. enrolled in a course that was subsequently cancelled by the DESE,
  2. placed themselves on a waitlist, but were not offered an open seat in a course, or
  3. applied for and were granted a hardship extension.

Enrollment in these courses will be restricted to only those educators who are eligible. The DESE is compiling a list of these educators and will notify them individually of their eligibility and course registration procedures in the late spring of 2016.

Alternate pathways to earning the SEI Endorsement

For-cost SEI Endorsement courses

Any educator who wishes to earn the SEI endorsement may enroll in an endorsement course for a cost through one of the state-approved vendors. Information about for-cost courses can be found at For-Cost Courses webpage.


Educators who take and pass the SEI MTEL are eligible to receive the SEI Endorsement. Information about the test, including registration procedures and preparation materials, can be found at SEI MTEL Information webpage.

Possession of an ESL license

Educators who possess an ESL license are automatically eligible for the SEI Endorsement and will receive it once they apply. Information about licensing can be found on the webpage for the Office of Educator Licensure.

Transcript review

Educators who have previously completed graduate-level coursework that they believe may qualify them for the SEI Endorsement may request a transcript review from the Licensure Office.

To request a transcript review, an educator must apply for the endorsement and select path 2, which is a transcript review based on a related degree or graduate level training. Instructions for applying for the SEI Endorsement can be found at A Step by Step Guide Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document.

For questions about transcript reviews or other license-related topics, please contact the Office of Educator Licensure at 781-338-6600.

Letters to the Field

View HTML Page
May 26, 2016 Notification to update list of CATs assigned ELLs in 2016
View HTML Page
May 26, 2016 An Important Notice Regarding SEI Endorsement Requirements as of July 1, 2016

For information disseminated prior to 2015, visit the RETELL Archive Page.

Resources for Educators

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
SEI Smart Card
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Overview of SEI Related Requirements Educators by License Type
View HTML Page
RETELL/Extending the Learning
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
How to apply for the SEI Endorsement
View HTML Page
EPIMS contacts by district (for educators who need help in locating their educator ID (MEPID))
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
Frequently Asked Questions
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
The SEI Endorsement: A District Implementation Guide
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
SEI Course Hardship Exception Form
Download PDF Document  Download Powerpoint Presentation
RETELL Changes in Instruction for ELLs
Download MS EXCEL Document
RETELL District Cohorts - (Last Updated 6/16/2014)

SEI Endorsement Course Syllabi

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Full Teacher Endorsement Syllabus
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Admin Syllabus

RETELL/Extending the Learning

View HTML Page
Department-approved Professional Development Offerings Leading to SEI PDPs for Relicensure


For information about the ACCESS for ELLS® annual English language proficiency assessment, visit the Student Assessment webpage.

Last Updated: July 15, 2016
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search · Public Records Requests · Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE