United in Purpose, Unique in Practice

Team members attended the WIDA 2017 Annual Conference.  It is one of the largest and most prominent conferences dedicated to PreK-Grade 12 EL educators and administrators.  It provided many opportunities to hear expert voices and learn about what other states and districts are doing to meet the needs of ELs.  Presenters shared current information relevant to our teaching practices.  As always, our district team will use the information gathered at the conference to design and facilitate professional learning in our district.

The conference was launched with a keynote speaker that was able to completely awe the 2,000 audience members.  Alberto M. Carvalho serves as Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He is a nationally recognized expert on education transformation, finance, and leadership development.

Learn more at #WIDA2017


The conference offered a broad variety of topics to interest everyone from the classroom teacher to district administrators.

Words to ponder

Bridging the Gap for MI Students

Team members from the EL Department represented Dearborn by showcasing best practices at the MAS/FPS Fall Institute on Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Building Bridges to Understand Our Diverse Students
  • Fostering Academic Language and Literacy for ALL

The sessions had great reviews by participants!

New on Colorin Colorado – A Highlight on Dearborn’s Efforts

The team at Colorin Colorado, a bilingual site for parents and educators of ELs  had been compiling information on how schools are supporting immigrant families over the past 6 months through a series of Q&As. They were interested in learning more about the work our team does with ELs and immigrant students in Dearborn with a focus on our cultural responsiveness work and support for Arab-American and Muslim families in this climate.

Click here to read the interview



Michigan’s Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy

Members of the EL Department and several instructional coaches attended a valuable four day workshop delving into Michigan’s released “Essential Instructional Practices in  Early Literacy: K to 3“.

Michigan educators launched the workshop by making a case for research.  They reminded the audience that just because something is written in a book or article does not make it research-informed.  They strongly encouraged educators to rely on resources for literacy that are deeply informed by research just as the work they did to put together the Essential Instructional Practices.

If you download the document, you will notice that the focus is on classroom-level practices.  Each of these ten practices are research-informed and can have a positive impact on literacy development.  In fact, we were informed that they should be viewed as presenting a ‘minimum standard of care for Michigan’s children. The belief is that the use of these practices in EVERY classroom EVERY day could make a positive difference in Michigan’s literacy achievement.

Special Populations

Members of the EL Department attended the 2-day Special Populations Conference organized by the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Field Services.  Field Services’ primary goal is to support schools in helping all students learn and achieve high standards.  Kellie Bugaski, Ameena Elder and Nadra Shami shared their expertise by facilitating sessions at the conference.  The workshop sessions included: Specially Designed Instruction for Newcomers, Building Bridges to Support Diverse Learners, and Oral Language & Writing Strategies for ELs.  The sessions were very well received.  The team also brought back some great learning!


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Welcoming A New Member to Our EL Department

Jeannine Oynoian is the new face in the EL Department.

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Jeannine filled Maura Sedgeman’s position after Maura retired in July.   Jeannine comes to us from Whitmore Bolles and previously Oakman Elementary where she served as an Instructional Coach.  Her new title is Language and Literacy SIOP Trainer. She is here to serve the department and schools in supporting the needs of ELs.  Her focus will be working with schools in the Dearborn High feeder track.

Jeannine brings with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment.  We are lucky to have her!

Jeanine’s extension is 73126 and email is oynoiaj@dearbornschools.org

Summer Learning at FHS

Fordson teachers paused their summer vacation to review Language and Literacy TIPS for a Language-Rich Interactive Classroom this August in preparation for the new school year.
These TIPS include:
  • Total Particpation of all students
  • Incorporating Academic Language
  • Promoting Academic Literacy and Language
  • Scaffolding for all Literacy Levels.
This dedicated group of educators shared lots of wonderful ideas with each other and had some fun too!!

3D Community

The 3D community which consists of ELD Specialists, Instructional Coaches and Special Education Resource Teachers collaborate together to create interactive lessons consisting of Oral Language Development, Phonics and Word Work, a Reading Strategy and a Structured Writing Tasks.  The theme-based lessons will be available for teachers and students to use for summer school and beyond.

Maura Makes an Impact!

Congratulations to Maura Sedgeman for receiving the 2017 impact award!  Maura was nominated by team members for her unwavering dedication to students and staff and was one of the winners chosen by a panel.  Yay Maura!

The Impact award recognizes staff members who demonstrate the Dearborn Public School District’s Core Values and are consistently professional, personable and polite as they work with students, contribute to the classroom environment, and provide overall customer service in a variety of roles.