Sonoma County Office of Education

EL Leadership Conference 2018

English Learner Leadership Conference

All materials from the 2018 English Learner Leadership Conference can be found below as they are made available. Files are in PDF format unless indicated otherwise. For information or questions, contact Jenn Guerrero, EL Coordinator, at

Morning Session

Morning Keynote

Addressing the Needs of English Learners in a New Era
Laurie Olsen, Ph.D. | Director of the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) initiative
English Learners have been in our schools for a long time, and the responsibility of schools to address their needs (to learn English, to access the curriculum) was established close to half a century ago. And yet in many ways, this is a whole new era for English Learner education. Certainly the ELA/ELD Framework is part of what is shaping this new era. But in the past year we have seen the release of the National Academies of Sciences groundbreaking new research report on English Learners, and the astonishing passage of Proposition 58 (the EdGe Initiative) by the vast majority of voters in November 2018, and the unanimous adoption by the State Board of Education of what is being hailed as an “historic and revolutionary” English Learner Roadmap policy for California superseding the old Proposition 227 policy. This keynote address will frame all of these changes and explore what they mean for efforts to serve English as our schools face major shifts in understanding and practices.

Afternoon Session

Afternoon Keynote


Breakout Sessions

Secondary Focus

Integrating Multilingual Learners’ Everyday Uses of Language and Subject Matter Uses of Language in Secondary Classrooms (ELA, History, Math, Science)
Kerry A. Enright, Ph.D. | Associate Professor, UC Davis School of Education, Emphasis Area in Language, Literacy, and Culture)
Area in Language, Literacy, and Culture
Each school subject has unique ways of using language and literacy to develop learners’ content knowledge. Adolescents and their multilingual communities also have unique ways of using language and literacy for learning outside of school. This session will prepare secondary teachers to design instruction that takes advantage of the relationship between secondary students’ everyday uses of language (English and native language) and their engagement in school-based uses of language and literacy.

Elementary Focus

Supporting English Learners Through Intentionally Designed Content Objectives, Language Frames, and Vocabulary Exploration in Math
Megan Story | Student Support Coordinator, Rincon Valley Union Schools/Madrone Elementary
Lisa Christopherson | Classroom Teacher/Former District Consulting Teacher (Math), Rincon Valley Union Schools
Learn how to view a lesson through the perspective of an English Language Learner, considering practical vocabulary within the lesson and throughout instruction, to increase student engagement and support comprehension. Understand simple ways to enhance lessons, which give all students, but especially English Language Learners, access to participate more readily in academic conversations. Practice constructing content and language objectives and leveled sentence frames to support integrated ELD, specifically in Math, but applicable across content areas.

Elementary Focus

Creating Meaningful Connections with EL Families through Writing and Bookmaking
Jennifer Medina | Educational Consultant & EL Coordinator for Humboldt Unified School District - Arizona
Connect and engage your EL students and their parents using literature and creative writing. Participants will engage in a writing and bookmaking project that can be used with students, parent education workshops and adult ESL classes. This project promotes meaningful connections between teacher and students, and between students and parents. Bring your pen and creative juices. Leave with a finished book and writing activities to share with your students and their families

TK-12 Focus

Big Picture Learning
Susan Nystrom | Principal, North Bay Met Academy/Windsor Oaks Academy, Windsor Unified School District
Dana Jones | teacher and Internship coordinator

In 2015, the Windsor Unified School District approved Big Picture Learning philosophy and structure for the continuation school. This approval allowed staff to embrace a new way of approaching both academics and career exploration and preparation. The direct instruction model was abandoned for the interest based and project based models of instruction. "Leaving to learn" is an important part of Big Picture Learning with students spending as many as 12 hours per week (2 school days) in interest based internships. There is an emphasis on students leading their education and staff supporting their journey. Windsor Oaks Academy is the only continuation school in Windsor and has a high percentage of Latino students many of whom are or were EL classified. Windsor Oaks Academy is the first Big Picture Learning school in the North Bay area.

TK-12 Focus

Building Community for Language Development
Betha MacClain |Principal, Jack London Elementary School, Piner Olivet Union School District
Kathy Harris | Teacher On Special Assignment/Instructional Coach, Piner Olivet Union School District

This presentation will provide attendees with resources for developing personalized learning communities that reflect the assets and needs of all students and strengthen the quality of language instruction. We will share the tools and methods we have used to build teacher capacity, facilitate equity-focused conversations, and strengthen teacher collaboration in support of English Learners. Participants will take the first steps toward building a plan that fits their site and context.

TK-12 Focus

Communication with Families of English Learners: Connecting families, cultures, and languages
Graciela García-Torres | Title III Region 3 Lead, English Learners Programs and Accountability, Sacramento County Office of Education
Communication is a critical factor in building relationships. The families of English learners need explicit and clear information that builds a bridge between the home and school cultures. Participants will explore mandates, responsibilities, and rights of working with diverse families; best practices for interpretation and translation services including IEPs, formal and informal meetings; and resources available for families and districts.

TK-12 Focus

Supporting Sonoma County's Immigrant Children
Alegría De La Cruz | Chief Deputy County Counsel, Sonoma County Counsel's Office
Rafael Vasquez, Faculty and EOPS Coordinator, Santa Rosa Junior College

Learn how local institutions address the specific needs of immigrant families due to increased federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Nicole Rosaschi, SCOE Administrative Operations Specialist, Human Resources
"I love that the people I work with are passionate about their work, passionate about our students getting the best possible education, and passionate about Sonoma County. " - Nicole Rosaschi, SCOE Administrative Operations Specialist, Human Resources