Hot List Q & A
SGO Questions

Question - SGOs for less than 10 students:
    The NJTESOL guidelines on developing SGOs states that "SGOs should be developed for 10 students or more. If there are less than 10 students, the district may want to develop a general SGO across grade levels and ELP levels" I work in a district in which the middle school has 8 ELLs and the high school has 4 ELLs. What would be the best way to develop the SGO with such a small population and across 7 grade levels (6-12)?

    For this first year of SGO development, I would use a writing sample and the WIDA writing rubric (which can be used across grades 1-12) It seems to be the least cumbersome to administer across grade levels and proficiency levels.
    If you look at the sample data on the NJTESOL-NJBE guidelines, you will see that students at the lower proficiency levels were able to improve one level in 2 of the 3 criteria (linguistic complexity, language forms and conventions and vocabulary usage) while higher proficiency level students improved one level in 1 of the 3 criteria.
    This reflects what WIDA has found that the lower proficiency level students make greater progress. You can also collect a writing sample in January to see if you are on target then you have an opportunity to adjust your targets at that time.
BJ Franks, NJTESOL/NJBE Socio-Political Representative

Follow-up question:
    My district is working on SGOs this Friday! It seems writing is the preferred way to go. Does anyone have examples of writing prompts they're using at different grade levels? Can I use the same prompt for grades 2 & 3, and high school? I also have a 6th grader...thinking 3 separate prompts to accommodate those different levels. I'm a one-person department and am happy to collaborate with anyone here!
    Thank you.

    I would follow BJ's suggestion of "a writing sample and the WIDA writing rubric (which can be used across grades 1-12)" and then pick a writing prompt that multiple levels/grades can write about such as a personal narrative, persuasive, etc.....Yes you can use the same writing prompt for multiple grade levels.

Question SGO for different levels:
    Can anyone share the SGO for 2 different levels? I am still a bit confused about what I should focus on. Which skill/which level: I chose Beginning Level and Bridging Level. Can anyone advise/share? I teach ESL K-5 and all of my groups are less than 10.

    The secondary teacher in my district is in the same situation so she grouped her students according to levels based on their ACCESS scores and developed 1 SGO for her beginners and 1 for her intermediate students.

Question: SGO for Kindergarten:
    Thank you for all the information about SGOs but I am wondering what to do with my Kindergarten ELLs. I use the WIDA MODEL for screening kindergarten students so should I use that information? Would I just focus on Listening or Speaking since we do not test Reading & Writing in the fall? Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Thank you for your help!

    You know what you are doing. Using the MODEL for placement will give you a good indication as to where your students are and how much you can expect them to grow. Yes, use that information as you focus on Listening and Speaking. Use the WIDA Speaking rubric to guide your assessment. Remember that you will see higher gains in students with the least language. Take a look at the guidelines from NJTESOL/NJBE to help you further.
    I hope this helps.

Follow-up question:
    Thank you for answering my question so quickly. I do have one more though about the SGOs. At the end of the year, do I give the Kindergarten students the same Listening & Speaking assessment? Or do I need to make my own? Any help you could give me would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Yes, you have to administer the same assessment that is why I am making my own based on the WIDA Speaking Rubric and the kinds of questions that are on the MODEL. If you use the same assessment, the MODEL, it is not valid because the kids have already done it. So you can either create a simpler assessment altogether or do something that is almost like the MODEL for the end of the year. Remember that you have pre and post assessment, which means that you should use the same measure and tool to see growth. That is one of the reasons why the ACCESS would not work because you would not be able to see your post assessment results until September.
    I hope this helps.

Question: SGO pre-post assessments and portfolios use of rubrics:
    I have a couple of questions and i would be ever so grateful for some assistance. My 1st question is do we need a pre/post assessment if we are going to have the students create portfolios of their work? Also, do we need a rubric? We found WIDA's speaking and writing rubric, but does that mean we need to put more of that sort of documentation in their portfolio? I appreciate any information anyone can help me out with! Thanks again!
    Thank you.

    My understanding is that you need a pre and post assessment because you need a baseline to measure your growth. You would set a baseline in order to find an area of improvement for your students -the growth objective- and set that objective to be measured in the Spring. You would have a chance to check to see how your students are performing in February so you can figure out if your target score is being achieved. If you are creating your own assessment, you should use the WIDA Speaking and/or Writing Rubric. These rubrics would give you an indication of how your students are progressing in the language continuum based on the three criteria that we all use to measure growth. Yes, the rubrics go with your documentation and I hope you use the WIDA rubrics. A portfolio is a wonderful tool to assess growth throughout the year and yes, you would need a rubric to assess it.
    Monica Schnee, River Edge School District, SIG PreK-Kindergarten Representative

Question DRA 2:
    Seeking some assistance with an SGO question. We are a group of middle school ESL teachers who are also Language Arts replacement. We are using the DRA2 for the first time this year and in the process of administering the pre-assessment. We will be using the DRA2 to write an LAL SGO. Does anyone have any experiences/information using the DRA2 specifically with ELLs that would help us determine what kind of growth we might expect to see in 5 months time, across the proficiency and/or grade levels?

    I do, I teach 6-8 ESL In Egg Harbor Twp. in Atlantic County. I wrote my SGO using the DRA-2 My SGO is: 70% of my 6-8 graders will increase by one DRA level. I have used the DRA in the past and one level should be the minimum for 70% of the students enrolled. I have all levels on the ACCESS from Newcomer to Advanced. I look forward to reading how well your students do. It might be fun to look at the growth and collect our own NJTESOL data from the DRA.

Fall 2013