2021 Fall Archive

December 6: TELL Benchmark—Now Open

TELL Benchmark 3 is now open until December 16. Here is the TELL Quick Guide to help with your setup, troubleshooting, and calendaring.


  • Check your rosters at least one day before testing. Contact Joann Phillips or Camila Kcomt to make changes.

  • Contact coordinators if you need additional headphones (remember they are not consumable and need to be saved between TELL assessments).

  • Use the TELL Quick Guide if you have questions first.

How to print testing tickets:

November 17: Why Try?

As the end of the semester draws near and we begin preparing for ELPAC testing (state testing window opens February 1) , this might be a good time to start the conversation with students about their road to reclassification. In order to help you with this conversation, we'd like to share a few resources.

All students will receive a Why Try? digital handout with their specific reclassification data via email this week.

They can search for an email with the subject line: Do you want to reclassify? Also EL coordinators have access to all the digital handouts.

If you are interested in using these with your current ALD class, we have created both a 4-minute informational video (also included in the email to each student) and a slide deck (linked below) that you can share with students. Additionally, we have added the assignment we created a few years ago that you can use in your current classes.

Why Try? Sample.pdf
"Why Try" DBQ

November 1: dELD310 in Schoology

Thank you for working with your site teams to choose the learning option that BEST meets your needs. All options for dELD310 will be organized in a SGY course for equity across options. All required submissions will be the same no matter which option is chosen. The biggest difference is the way you choose to engage in the learning.

We will be doing a live run through to gage and adjust timing of each learning chunk with the in-person group on November 4. Therefore, the SGY will be accessible to all on Thursday afternoon. We look forward to connecting with you across the option. See you in SGY!

October 25: dELD310—Reimagined

Designated ELD 310 has been reimagined to best GROW your expertise as well as give you the option to find the BEST learning path to fit your needs.

Following in-person implementation of dELD curriculum and the second TELL benchmark, teams need an opportunity to evaluate TELL data and its implications on dELD instruction, to reflect on dELD units they have implemented and plan their next steps, and to strengthen their instructional options for dELD. There are standard topics all teachers will complete (4 hours) as well as a choice board (1-6 hours) for teachers to develop their own learning path. For a more in-depth look at the learning, review the dELD 310: Options & Choice Board (right).

You will pick one of the following options to complete this professional learning from November 1-December 10. Please talk with your site team to determine the best fit for you. We will be sending out a form Wednesday for you to share your learning path.

dELD 310: Options & Choice Board

October 18: TELL Benchmark—Now Open

TELL Benchmark 2 is now open until October 29. Here is the TELL Quick Guide to help with your setup, troubleshooting, and calendaring.


  • Check your rosters at least one day before testing. Contact Joann Phillips or Camila Kcomt to make changes.

  • Contact coordinators if you need additional headphones (remember they are not consumable and need to be saved between TELL assessments).

  • Use the TELL Quick Guide if you have questions first.

How to print testing tickets:

October 11: Professional Learning Reimagined & TELL Benchmark Window Opening

Due to the current difficulty scheduling substitutes, we have chosen to reimagine the mandatory ALD professional learning. The in-person, November 4 training has been cancelled. We will still have a mandatory learning; however, we are working to reimagine the format. Stay tuned.

Additionally, the TELL Benchmark 2 testing window will be opening October 18. This benchmark is a progress monitoring so the assessment should take less time. However, since this is our first administration of this form of the assessment, you may wish to plan the same amount of time. We are currently working with ETS on a few items that must be in place before the window opens. Based on this:

  • TELL benchmark 2 testing window shifted to October 18-29.

  • Here is the TELL Quick Guide to help with your setup, troubleshooting, and calendaring.

  • Group rosters will be updated by Wednesday. Please check your rosters ahead of testing.

October 4: A Guide for Observing Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15-October 15

This guide for San Diego County Office of Education is a teacher resource. Page 9 and 10 offers classroom resources that could be used in ALD (or content area courses). To open the complete guide, click the link on the image.

September 27: Newcomer Initial Meeting on Site

The district dELD teacher team has been excitedly connecting with their newcomer caseload via email after contacting them last week. Now it is time to reach out in person for introductions. Beginning this week, Jacki Byler and Garibaldi Terrones Sanchez will be reaching out to you and scheduling time within the next 2 weeks to come into ALD courses to hold brief one-on-one introductions with each newcomer they will be supporting. Their goal is to briefly call each newcomer outside for a basic introduction (about 3 minutes) and will work to avoid being a class disruption. It is important for each newcomer to be able to put a face to a name (or email) of their language support provider since they will be this additional layer of language support.

September 20: Additional Support for Newcomers

We are excited to begin providing an additional layer of language acquisition support for all newcomers at sites. Any student who entered US schools on or after January 1, 2020 will receive this additional support. Jacki Byler and Garibaldi Terrones Sanchez, our district dELD teacher team, will begin setting up in-person meetings and will be connecting with your as ALD teachers to set up times for brief individual introductions. They are currently reaching out to these students, families, teachers, and coordinators with the following introductory email below. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Hello Students, Families, and Teachers,

My name is << >> and I will be << >>’s language support provider this year. I am here to support you and << >> with language goals to accelerate English language learning. Here is how I can help:


  • Offer additional language support in school

  • Build academic language skills to navigate school

  • Monitor grades by emailing weekly progress reports

  • Connect << >> to school resources to support success


  • Connect families to teachers and school staff to build relationships

  • Communicate << >>’s progress


  • Observe << >>’s progress towards language goals in classes

My goal is to have open and honest communication so please feel free to contact me with questions, comments, or concerns. You know << >>'s needs and learning style best and communicating those will allow me to offer better support.

September 13: Communicating with Families

Talking Points is coming soon!

This new resource is a family communication tool. Much like the Remind app that some sites use, Talking Points connects teachers to families digitally. Teachers will be able to send messages to individuals or groups of families, and the message will be translated to the language of each family's choice (English, Spanish, Arabic...etc.). In addition, it offers 2-way communication with families, so families whose primary language is one other than English can respond in a language they are most comfortable using and the message will be translated for the teacher. Click here for more info. To register for the teacher training on September 23 from 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm, click here.

September 7: The TELL is done...Now DO tell

With this being our first full administration of the TELL at all sites, unexpected software updates, not to mention just trying to make sense of our new “normal,” giving the TELL has been quite the rollercoaster for us all. Thank you so much for your patience, flexibility, and openness.

With the TELL sessions now complete (for most), we would like to hear about your experience, bumps in the road and all, as well as your discoveries. Please take a few minutes to empty your cup on the form below. Your answers will be shared on the blog on this post.

August 30: Lexia in ALD

As Benchmark 1 of TELL testing draws to an end this week, we begin to look at the structure of the ALD course. Many of you attended Lexia training last week, and we wanted to follow up with questions many have been asking: Where does Lexia fit in ALD? How much time should I plan on using for this? Do I have to use Lexia?

First, Lexia is an additional resource that can help serve students in growing their foundational literacy skills through an individualized learning platform. If you would like to use it, we can roster your courses for you, just fill out this 2-question form. We will begin rostering this Wednesday.

In terms of the ALD courses, we recommended in dELD 110 that you plan on using this program 1 day each week, should you choose to include it in your ALD instruction, devoting the other time to ALD units (2-days) and Academic Language Support (2-days). The priority is still implementing ALD units. Please focus on incorporating a unit first.

August 27: TELL Benchmark 1 Session Extended

With our the first full-scale administration underway, we have had a number of bumps in the road. We have extended the deadline at all sites to next Friday, September 3. Thank you all for your patience and diligence in completing this benchmark. If you run into any problems, please email Joann. Be as specific as possible so that we can accelerate troubleshooting.

Additionally, based on your feedback, we will be moving the weekly blog updates to Monday. Look forward to more on Lexia this coming Monday, August 30.

August 19: TELL Testing Updates

With the TELL testing window opening this week, we are excited to share the TELL Goal Setting Mini Unit, now posted on the ALD Curriculum page. This two-day mini-unit has been designed as a repeating mini-unit to be used with the TELL benchmark assessments. The unit will guide students in goal setting and progress tracking along their language acquisition journey throughout the school year.

Frequently Asked Questions about TELL:

  • Are headphones available?
    Yes, we will be delivering headphones to ALL site early next week as soon as the shipment arrives. If you are unable to complete testing within the current window, please reach out to Joann so that she can extend your session.

  • How can I add a student to my list?
    Email Joann, jphillips@guhsd.net, with the period and ID of the student, and she will update your list.

  • How do I print out testing tickets?
    Follow the same guidelines as you did last year, printing tickets from the Session tab, UNLESS you are El Cajon Valley, Grossmont, or Valhalla. These sites need to follow the special instructions set in an email Wednesday, August 18.