Superintendent's Memo #131-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 15, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Content & Language Integration as a Means of Bridging Success (CLIMBS) Instructor Institute for the World-Class Instructional Design & Assessment (WIDA) English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards

As part of the Virginia Department of Education’s ongoing effort to ensure compliance with the English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment and standard requirements under Section 1111(b)(7) and Section 3113(b)(2) of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Department of Education is seeking applicants to train as apprentice instructors for the Content and Language Integration as a Means of Bridging Success (CLIMBS) course.  CLIMBS is a professional development course in applying the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards using a scaffolded instructional approach.  A CLIMBS Instructor Institute to train apprentice instructors will be provided in Richmond on August 10-13, 2009.

Participants in the CLIMBS Instructor Institute will

  1. gain a thorough understanding of how to integrate the WIDA ELP Standards and content standards into classroom instruction and assessment;
  2. apply research and best practices to comprehensively scaffold academic content and build language proficiency for English Language Learners (ELLs) through language planning and reflection;
  3. use data from ACCESS for ELLs, state achievement tests, and classroom assessment to inform instruction and develop learner profiles;
  4. complete a portfolio of lesson plans, written reflections, and student work or carry out another relevant project that supports the process and practice of sheltering instruction;
  5. build collaborative relationships with educators of ELLs through face-to-face and online interaction; and
  6. develop and strengthen their skills to help ELLs increase English proficiency according to the WIDA ELP levels.

Enrollment in the CLIMBS Instructor Institute is limited to twenty participants.  Applicants should be ESL, content, classroom, or retired teachers who have knowledge of second language acquisition classroom practices, the WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards, and experience in training other teachers; and who are willing and able to serve as trainers to meet the demand as Virginia begins to implement the WIDA standards.  The Department of Education will cover the expenses for mileage, meals, and lodging related to the CLIMBS Instructor Institute.

An online application is available at: . Interested applicants should complete the application by June 5, 2009.  CLIMBS Instructor Institute participants will be notified of their selection by June 22, 2009.  Priority will be given on the basis of experience in ESL instruction and teacher training; and willingness to train others in content and language integration.  An effort will be made to select applicants based on regional distribution throughout the state.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Stacy Freeman, ESL specialist, at (804) 371-0778 or at

PIW / sf