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                                                         Learning as a Family                                                               

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Please read the message below from the Assitant Commissioner for the Office of Bilingual Education & World Languages, Ms. Lissette Colon-Collins:

The Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages is pleased and excited to release an English Language Learner (ELL) parent orientation video, titled English Language Learner Programs in New York State (NYS). This lively whiteboard animation, which runs approximately ten minutes, describes the ELL identification process and outlines in detail various program options available to parents. Under CR part 154, prior to an ELL’s placement in a Bilingual Education (BE) or English as a New Language (ENL) program, districts must provide parents (or persons in parental relation) of new ELL entrants with a high-quality orientation session in the parents’/guardians’ indicated preferred language. In order to ensure that districts provide consistent information regarding ELL programs and services, the video should be used at all ELL parent orientation sessions. It is currently available in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, English, French, Haitian, Russian, and Spanish and will soon be available in Bengali and Urdu. In addition, if the video is not available in a parent or guardian’s preferred language, we are making every effort to ensure that a translated script will be provided in that language. Please note that the Comprehensive Guide for Parents of ELLs contains information found in the video and much more.  Topics covered in the video include, but are not limited to:

  • A description of the ELL identification process
  • An explanation of ENL and BE programs, including Transitional Bilingual Education and Dual Language programs
  • ELLs’ basic rights under CR Part 154
  • OBEWL and ELL Parent Hotline contact info


In addition, we have created a number of translated resources specifically for parents, including a Parent Bill of Rights that summarizes critical rights concerning educational access and programming for ELLs and their parents and guardians. The Bill also includes information on how parents, persons in parental relation, and students can contact our ELL Parent Hotline at (800) 469-8224 or OBEWL at 518-474-8775 if they have questions or concerns. To access these resources, visit:, and to access the parent orientation video in all nine languages, visit:


Furthermore, enclosed you will find Guidance Regarding Bilingual Programs and English Language Learner Parent Information Resources in New York State.  The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance to school districts clarifying conditions under which they must open Bilingual Programs under Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (CR Part 154). To access the Field Advisory please visit .


The following resources will help students and families with school work and learning English.

Reading Rockets

Reading Tips for Parents