Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES (Herkimer BOCES) provides world language instruction in French and Spanish 7-12 and English as a New Language (ENL) instruction for ELLs/MLLs K-12. We utilize Herkimer BOCES itinerants for 7-12 and PreK-12 for ENL instruction. This assistance will be provided in all formats (live-person, hybrid, or remote).

Support of English language learners (ELLs) will be comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive. If we reopen using in-person or hybrid instruction the district of the student will complete the ELL identification process within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20, as well as all students who enroll during summer of 2020 and during the first 20 school days of the 2020-21 school year. After this 20 day flexibility period, identification of ELLs will resume for all students within the required 10 school days of initial enrollment as required by Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154.

Herkimer BOCES is committed to comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive instruction for ENL students, we will provide the required instructional Units of Study to all ELLs based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction. Further, we will maintain regular communication with the parents/guardians and other family members of ELLs to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process which includes telephone contact, text messages, social media, emails and regular mail in their preferred language. We will provide all communications for parents/guardians of ELLs in their preferred language and mode of communication. We will arrange translation services as needed to assist families in this communication.

Herkimer BOCES will provide professional learning opportunities in collaboration with the Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) that support best practices and equitable instruction for ELLs as well as general education students to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures. Herkimer BOCES has a professional development calendar on the website that gives access to the Professional Learning Catalog to support teachers to assure ENL and world language instruction is personalized and research-based.

In order to assure that students have opportunities to study world languages we are prepared to teach languages live in-person, hybrid, or remote format upon reopening. Herkimer BOCES will provide professional learning opportunities to our district and the region that supports best practices in all three formats of instruction and cover equitable instruction for our ELLs, SWDs, and general education students who are studying world languages such in order to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures.

Herkimer BOCES will work with our component districts to support our students as they work towards earning the New York States Seal of Biliteracy. Herkimer BOCES will support assessment options and provide translators for NYS Seal of Biliteracy presentations, if needed.

In collaboration with our district and BOCES resources, we are well prepared to reopen our schools and serve ELLs, MLLs, and students learning world languages as they expand their skills, knowledge, and facilities with languages.