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A Message from Your Interest Section Leader, Jessica Harmon

August 15th, 2023

Dear Members,

This past July 27th in Lansing, several associations dedicated to the education of English Learners (Michigan Association of Bilingual Education--MABE, Michigan Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages--MITESOL, Michigan Department of Education--MDE, and Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity--LEO) worked together to provide the Newcomer Summit. This summit is dedicated to providing information that will help students and their families receive the services they need.

Jo Napolitano, keynote speaker and author of The School I Deserve: Six Young Refugees and Their Fight for Equality in Trump's America (2022), shared some of the stories from her book. The hall was quiet as they listened to the struggles and triumphs of each refugee, including the story of Jo Napolitano herself. 

There were sessions on how to provide services in low incident districts, family engagement activities, strategies that can be used in the classroom and program evaluations. In the low incident session it was suggested that boxes be prepared for classrooms that can support students in the curriculum. The strategy sessions provided technology support for commonly used curriculum across the state, as well as different points of view on student knowledge. A realization made by one of the attendees, a 6th grade science teacher, was that students can read in one language and respond in another. 

It was wonderful to see administration attend the conference along with the English Learner program staff. We encourage more administration and core curriculum teachers to attend conferences and join discussions focused on supporting English Learners.

Jessica Harmon
K-12 IS Leader, MITESOL
English Language Coordinator, Dearborn Heights District 7


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Professional Development

SIOP Workshop

Don't miss this professional development event on SIOP strategies and tips on writing for elementary! Please Save the Date and be sure to mark your calendars!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Spotlight Resource


Scaffolding writing through the “teaching and learning cycle.”

Spycher, P. (2017).
Scaffolding writing through the “teaching and learning cycle.”
San Francisco, CA: WestEd.


2023 Newcomer Summit Keynote Speaker

MDE Spotlight Newsletter

Professional learning opportunities for Michigan educators can be found by reviewing announcements in the Assessment and Accountability Spotlight Newsletter as well as communications from the Office of Educational Supports.