CAS Sponsors Conference On PART 154 – The New Bi-Lingual Education Regulation

Part 154 WorkshopOn Tuesday, March 10th, nearly 100 Long Island school administrators responsible for implementing the new Commissioner’s Regulations – Part 154 for Bi-lingual and ELL Programs had the opportunity to spend two hours with Ms. Angelica Infante, New York State Associate Commissioner for Bi-Lingual Education and World Languages. Ms. Infante is the Associate Commissioner of Education charged with overseeing the implementation of these new regulations at the local level when they become effective in September 2015.

Ms. Infante was welcomed to Long Island by CAS President, Tony Laurino, who noted this conference was a follow-up to the CAS Fall Conference on Part 154 that included a panel discussion with local service providers, NYS Regent Roger Tilles and Senator John Flanagan, Chairman of the NYS Senate Education Committee. The program was moderated and facilitated by CAS Treasurer, John Nocero who coordinated questions previously submitted by CAS members on-line.  Ms. Infante presented an overview of the regulations with a recently revised PowerPoint presentation that provided additional information and program guidance for those in attendance. At times she stressed that providing English Language Learners equal access to all school programs and services is a civil rights issue that must be followed in each school district. She spoke passionately spoke about the need for instructional shifts and the need to schedule differently while emphasizing that all teachers are teachers of English Language Learners and therefore equally responsible for their educational growth and development.

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Ms. Infante reviewed the updated “Blueprint for ELL Success” that may be found on the Engage.ny website and briefly reviewed the following tenets of the Part 154 CR’s:

  • New ELL identification process
  • District responsibilities for initial entry, re-entry and exit criteria, using NYSITELL and NYSELAT
  • Identification of ELL students with disabilities
  • Parent notification, information and orientation meetings
  • Student placement and due process for parents
  • New Bilingual and ELL Program Requirements and provision of programs, including Bilingual education or English as a New Language program; impact of enrollments of 20 or more English Language Learners in same grade level and same home language other than English
  • Grade levels and program continuity
  • Support and Transition
  • Professional development of staff
  • District Reporting of English Language Learners enrolled in ELL programs
  • Certification, including bilingual extensions  – additional SED information will be published soon

The program attendees remained concerned about funding, but as the State Education Budget is currently being negotiated, that area was not addressed. Ms. Infante stated that the official release of additional guidelines scheduled for later in March may provide additional guidance and programming suggestions that may be helpful complying fully with these new regulations.

It was apparent from the depth and quality of the questions and the often thoughtful answers provided that many administrators appreciated the opportunity to interact with Ms. Infante and to discuss individual concerns at the conclusion of the program.

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Left to right:  CAS Executive Vice President, Skip Voorneveld; Ms. Angelica Infante, New York State Associate Commissioner for Bi-Lingual Education and World Languages; CAS President, Tony Laurino and CAS Treasurer, John Nocero