RETELL in a Nutshell
“Core academic teachers” who teach English Language Learners (ELLs) are required to obtain a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) Teacher Endorsement under the state’s Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL) initiative.
The impact of this requirement is a mandatory subject of bargaining. The LEA did negotiate an agreement with LPS that reads as follows:
Effective August 29, 2013, the undersigned parties agree that, on a one time only basis, any teacher who successfully completes a RETELL course(s) to renew and/or advance his/her license as required by DESE will be awarded one (1) in-house credit per fifteen (15) hours of instruction up to a maximum of three (3) credits for forty-five (45) hours of instruction.
Districts may not assign ELLs to affected teachers who have not obtained the endorsement by the required deadline. Training to meet the requirement began in 2013 and will continue through the 2015-16 school year. When they have met the requirement, affected teachers will apply for the SEI Endorsement via their ELAR accounts.
Below are highlights of ways teachers can obtain an endorsement:
- Have an ESL or ELL License
- Have Completed Approved Prior Training
- Completion of undergraduate- or graduate-level training in applied linguistics, teaching ESL or other related subjects, if approved by the DESE.
- Complete Certain Category Trainings Plus an Abridged SEI Course
- Completion of a shorter DESE-developed SEI Endorsement course – the Bridge course – for those who have taken two or three of the following Category trainings: 1, 2 and 4.
- Complete DESE-Approved SEI Endorsement Course
- This course is provided by the DESE and offered at the district level on a staggered schedule beginning in the spring of 2013 and ending in the 2015-16 school year. The course is provided at no cost to eligible teachers who complete it by 2015-16. It is equivalent to a three-credit graduate course.
- Complete Educator Preparation Program
- Students who complete an approved educator preparation program for an Initial License after July 1, 2014, must receive SEI instruction that will qualify them for the endorsement.
- Pass DESE-Approved Assessment
- DESE intends to offer an SEI Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure – MTEL. Earning a passing score will qualify teachers for the endorsement. This test is scheduled to be available in 2014.
- Subject to DESE approval, an ESL or SEI Endorsement obtained in another state may also qualify