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The Observation Protocol for Teachers of English Learners (OPTEL) is an observation protocol that will be designed to meet the requirements of AB 1808.

Observation Protocol for Teachers of English Learners

Assembly Bill 1808

The Observation Protocol for Teachers of English Learners (OPTEL) is an observation protocol that is designed to meet the requirements of California Assembly Bill 1808 External link opens in new window or tab. (Ting et al.) Chapter 32, Statutes of 2018, amending California Education Code (EC) Section 313.3 External link opens in new window or tab. .

Observation Protocol for Teachers of English Learners (OPTEL) General Information

In developing this protocol, the California Department of Education (CDE), in collaboration with WestEd, shall consult with current content area teachers at different grade levels, English Language development teachers, bilingual teachers, and special education teachers, and with experts with demonstrated experience in observing and documenting pupil academic language practices and in developing and administering assessments for English learners. The OPTEL advisory committee (OAC), comprised of 28 educators and ELD experts from across California. As required in statute, the majority of the individuals with whom the CDE consults in the development of the OPTEL, are currently teaching, credentialed teachers who regularly instruct English learners.

A draft of the protocol was prototyped in the spring of 2019. Based on feedback from the OAC and applied revisions to the tool, a pilot test occurred during late summer/early fall of 2019. Subsequently, a 2020 winter field test will take place before finalization of the tool by June 30, 2020.

A validation process shall be conducted to ensure the protocol appropriately assesses the intended target language constructs, demonstrates a meaningful relationship to the performance levels for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) and assessed classroom language use, and reflects student progress toward attaining targeted constructs.

Professional development is needed in order to implement guidance to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools for use of the protocol. There is also a need for a user guide, online training on administering and scoring the OPTEL, parental informational materials, a scoring rubric, and additional training materials.

OAC Members

Teachers currently in the classroom:

Name Assignment Grade Levels School/District Region
1. Ulises Dumas Science 7 Edison Middle School (MS)/Los Angeles Unified School District (USD) Southern
2. Marly Escobar Suarez ELD, Performing Arts 9–12 Performing Arts Community School/Los Angeles USD Southern
3. Carmen Esterman History 6–8 Walter Reed MS, Los Angeles USD Southern
4. Julie Fong Special Education K–6 Elk Grove Elementary School (ES)/Elk Grove USD Northern
5. Catalina Gonzalez Bilingual 2 May Ranch ES/Val Verde USD Southern
6. Valerie D. Johnson Students with Disabilities and Long Term English Learners 7–12 West Hollywood Community Day School/Los Angeles USD Southern
7. Jonathan Juarez English 9–12 Los Angeles Leadership Academy/Los Angeles USD Charter Division Southern
8. Ruth Lindahl ELD, Advanced Placement English 9–12 Hiram Johnson High School (HS)/Sacramento City USD Northern
9. Irene Sanchez ELD, Newcomers Levels 1 and 2 San Pasqual HS/Escondido Union HS District Southern
10. Glenn Singley Social Science 9–12 Hiram Johnson High School/Sacramento City USD Northern
11. Kenneth Smock ELD 9–12 Hemet HS/Hemet USD Southern
12. Iztaccihuatil Soto ELD N/A Edgewater Elementary/Marysville USD Northern
13. Ulises Tellechea ELD 5–8 Live Oak MS/Live Oak USD Northern
14. Nancy Zardeneta Bilingual, Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD), EL 3 Morris K. Hamasaki Medical & Science Elementary Magnet/Los Angeles USD Southern

Teacher education faculty/county office and school district staff developers/classroom language assessment experts

  1. Alison Bailey, Professor, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate School of Education & Information Studies; Faculty Research Partner at the Center for The Study of Evaluation & CRESST
  2. Renee Barton, Categorical Resource Teacher, Los Baños Unified School District
  3. Melanie Bean, English Language Arts (ELA)/ELD Curriculum and Instruction Lead Secondary Training Specialist, Sacramento City USD
  4. Mario Castaneda, Associate Professor, California State University, Los Angeles
  5. Jennifer Cruz, Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), Colton Joint USD
  6. Lizette Diaz, Director of Curriculum & Instruction for ELD, Ontario-Montclair School District
  7. Thea Fabian, TOSA, Fresno Unified School District and Fresno State Faculty
  8. Chelsea Kan, Director of Systems Improvement and Leadership Development for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE)
  9. Natasha Moore, English Learner Curriculum and Instruction Coach, Elk Grove USD
  10. Tony Mora, Director, San Diego COE and Title III County of Education (COE) Lead (Region 9)
  11. Mai Yia Moua, Curriculum and Instruction, ELD, Clovis Unified School District
  12. Alesha Ramirez Morena, ELA/ELD Curriculum Specialist, Tulare COE
  13. Yee Wan, Director, Multilingual & Humanities Education Department, Professional Learning and Instructional Support Division, Santa Clara COE
  14. Jennifer Wiese, ELA/ELD Training Specialist, TK-6, Sacramento City Unified School District

Additional teachers participated in focus groups and the testing of draft versions of the OPTEL.

OAC Meeting Dates and Locations

Meeting # and Purpose Date Location
OAC Introduction Meeting March 8, 2019


3:30–5:30 p.m.

OAC Meeting #1

Review and provide feedback on the first draft of the OPTEL

April 9, 2019


3:30–5:30 p.m.

OAC Meeting #2

Review the results from the pilot testing and provide feedback to inform further refinement of OPTEL

October 8, 2019


WestEd Sacramento Office
1000 G St. Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814

OAC Meeting #3

Review the results from the field testing and provide feedback to inform future refinement of OPTEL

June 4, 2020


WestEd Sacramento Office
1000 G St. Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814

Update on the OPTEL (State Board of Eduction December 2019 Memorandum)(DOCX)
Information that provides an update on the development of the OPTEL. This includes the OPTEL Prototyping Feedback and an OPTEL draft.


Nicole Hamlin | | 916-319-0443

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
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