Elevating Achievement and Equity for English Learners: Quarterly Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

May 2021

Elevating Achievement and Equity for English Learners:
Quarterly Newsletter

El Paso ISD

Elementary students enjoying a robotic lesson, El Paso ISD

Greetings from the Director


Welcome to the English Learner Support Division’s first newsletter of 2021! As our team continues to promote achievement and equity for English learners (ELs) in this great state, expect this newsletter to serve as timely and relevant. The adjustments to hybrid and virtual learning in many places throughout Texas, while challenging at times, have allowed educators to reinvent educational opportunities for all students, especially ELs. This newsletter will spotlight exemplar educators, campus administrators, and local education agencies (LEAs) that go above and beyond, to recognize their tremendous commitments and to share ideas

In addition to recently released guidance, program updates, and links to resources, among other EL-focused information; this newsletter will highlight important topics that increase awareness related to diversity and inclusivity.

Thank you for all that you do to serve ELs!

Julie Lara
English Learner Support Division, Director

Celebrating Educators of English Learners Across Texas


Do you know an outstanding educator of ELs or an LEA (school districts or open-enrollment charters) that you’d like to nominate to be spotlighted in our newsletter? We would love to share instances of teachers, campus administrators, and LEAs that demonstrate commitments to ELs by going above and beyond. Submit this nomination form today!

Educator Spotlight:

Millie Seamands, Wall ISD

Millie Seamands

Wall ISD

Millie is a positive role model and advocate for her students, many whom are English Learners.  She is very hands on and expects the best from her students. She is firm and but also very loving.  Her passion for teaching and helping students is evident in her interactions with families in and out of school.  When COVID-19 shut down schools last year, she could not get a hold of one of her students that had gone to Mexico for spring break. Once she found out that the student was still in Mexico, she immediately started researching different options to communicate with her and provide instruction.  She eventually figured out she could use the WhatsApp application to provide instruction to the student and communicate with the family. She is an inspiration to new and veteran teachers and has been an invaluable resource for Wall ISD.  After 18 years of serving English Learners, she is retiring to prepare for her first grandchild. 

Thank you, Ms. Seamands, for all that you do for ELs!

LEA Spotlights:

McAllen ISD Logo

Leaders at McAllen ISD were flexible and innovative as they planned for EL Summer School last summer.  They used the opportunity to support continued development of students during the summer by getting creative with scheduling in a way that allowed teachers to collaborate and team teach. Their focus was to ensure that all students were able to participate in the summer school program. Additionally, the McAllen ISD team collaborated with students’ families and responded to their needs.  Despite the struggles of the pandemic, a new perspective for EL Summer School emerged – they are now promoting EL Summer School early so even more students can take advantage of this opportunity!

Many thanks to the McAllen ISD team for creating innovation during a difficult time!

Weslaco ISD Logo

Weslaco ISD, in partnership with Gear Up and Dr. ET & Company hosted an empowerment conference, the Modern Quinceañera, for young women as they celebrate their 15th birthdays.  This event was hybrid with several “drive-thru” activities for the young women to engage in. What a great way to foster empowerment of young women and honor a salient cultural tradition while adhering to the COVID-19 health guidelines. 

Many thanks to Weslaco, Gear Up, and Dr. ET for making a tremendous impact in the lives of young women!

2021 Title III Virtual Symposium

Driving English Learner Achievement flyer

Title III Virtual Symposium: Driving English Learner Success: Using a Roadmap as our Guide
We invite all of our Title III funded school districts and charter schools to join us on Thursday, July 22nd and Friday, July 23rd at our virtual Title III Symposium. Do not hesitate and register for this free event! This two-day conference promises to be informative and engaging, featuring dynamic breakout sessions for administrators and teachers  who serve over 1.2 million ELs across the state.

Call for Proposals
Interested in presenting? Submission window is now open until Tuesday, June 1st. Submit your proposal here.

Please continue to visit the Title III Symposium site for more conference details!  Looking forward to seeing you there, virtually! 

Recently Released Guidance

LEAs have been provided with flexibility in fulfilling the 2021 EL Summer School requirements for bilingual education and ESL students entering kindergarten and grade 1. Learn more about what LEAs across the state did this past year. See the 2021 English Learner Summer School Guidance for more information.

Additionally, a To the Administrator Addressed correspondence regarding EL Summer School program requirements and reimbursements was posted on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

LPAC Guidance & Resources

Updated 2020-2021 English Learner Reclassification Criteria and Guidance

Due to continued effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 EL reclassification criteria guidance has been updated to provide additional allowances for LEAs to ensure ELs have the opportunity to demonstrate readiness for reclassification as English proficient.

Updated SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance

This resource of frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) regarding EL programs and LPAC processes for the 2020-2021 school year has been updated as of Thursday, March 11, 2021.

New! 2020-2021 End of Year Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) Checklist

This suggested resource assists LPACs in the reclassification process for students that meet the criteria for program exit from either a bilingual education program or an ESL program and reclassified as English proficient.

For answers to common questions regarding EL programs and LPAC procedures, see our general FAQ for English Learners and LPAC.

Title III Guidance & Resources

SY 20-21 Title III, Part A FAQ page

For frequently asked questions about Title III, Part A, check out our new Title III, Part A FAQ document. For any additional Title III questions. EnglishLearnerSupport@tea.texas.gov.

2021-2022 Title III Funding Amounts
LEAs can access their ESSA planning amounts for SY 2021-2022 in mid-April at Entitlements. Final amounts will be released in late Fall of 2021.

2021-2022 ESSA Consolidated Federal Grant Application
TEA anticipates the launch the ESSA Consolidated Federal Grant Application on Wednesday, May 26th. Program schedules for Title III are PS3106 and PS3114. No changes were made to these schedules from the previous application.

2020-2021 ESSA Compliance Reports
In July 2021, LEAs will be able to begin completing their ESSA compliance reports for Title III, Part A. Program decided not to make any revisions to PR3002 or PR3114 from the previous year. Compliance Report resources and guidance can be found on the Federal Program Compliance webpage.


Supporting English Learners in Texas website screenshot

Newly Enhanced EL Web Portal
In March of 2021, our EL web portal was enhanced with new resources and features. The EL web portal is intended to serve as a hub for resource tools and guidance to equip families of ELs and educators serving our ELs in Texas. We encourage you subscribe to stay up to date with the most current resources to ensure equity for students.

Dual Language Guidance Committee (DLGC)
TEA’s Dual Language Framework is currently being developed with the support of practitioners from the field in Texas schools.  The framework will provide guidance, tools, and resources to LEAs that are implementing dual language immersion (DLI) for the first time or want to enhance their current DLI program.


  1. Develop a framework that can be used state-wide to increase dual language immersion programs.
  2. Increase the effectiveness of dual language immersion implementation.
  3. Impact student achievement by strengthening their cognitive abilities to become bilingual and biliterate in both languages, achieve high academic performance in both languages, and develop biculturalism by intentionally intertwining socio-cultural awareness.

Resources for Families of English Learners

The TEA EL Support Division has released new parent and family newsletters that are coupled with our EL Web Portal to inform families of ELs of educational resources to increase the language proficiency and academic success of their child. March / April

The Process for Serving English Learners screenshot

The Process for Serving English Learners
This video was created to inform families of the steps taken by schools in Texas to ensure the success of students in becoming English proficient. English / Spanish

Visit SSES.tea.texas.gov to learn more about Supplemental Special Education Services and how eligible families of student with significant and complex disabilities can qualify for up to $1,500 per child to purchase special educational resources and services.

Supplemental Special Education Services website screenshot

TEA News & Resources

Project Restore logo

Project Restore Trainings
This online trauma-informed training video series is designed to address educators' extraordinary and unprecedented needs resulting from COVID-19. These videos will connect you to relevant science and strategies that can help you address your own emotional needs as well as the needs of your students and colleagues. This series will help educators create an environment that jumpstarts teaching and learning and drives student achievement.

Did You Know?

20% of the student population in Texas public schools are English Learners. Over 5 million students are enrolled in Texas public schools.

To learn more about statewide data and facts related to ELs, check out our recently released Fact Sheets provided by the English Learner Support Division.

Languages in Texas

We have over 120 languages spoken in our schools. (PEIMS 2019-2020)




Languages in Texas: 90% Spanish, 7.2% Other Languages, 1.6% Vietnamese, 1.2% Arabic

Culture Corner

“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.” - Unknown

Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is often believed to be Mexican Independence Day (which is actually the Dieciséis de Septiembre); however, the day is actually to honor the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla over the French in 1862 under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza. Many cities and communities around the country commemorate the day with festivals and educational activities.

Juneteenth (Emancipation Day) will be observed on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Although slavery was abolished with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, word did not reach Texas until June 19, 1865. A year later the first official observance occurred in Texas. Celebrations of freedom included prayer, speeches, educational events, and festivals.