Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

OPTEL

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

Introduction to Assembly Bill 1808

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

The bill specifies that the OPTEL be designed for use by all classroom teachers for the following purposes:

  1. Provide evidence that contributes to determining reclassification for English learners.
  2. To be used by teachers to evaluate student use of English while engaging in academic content learning, including interactive language use with peers.
  3. To allow teachers to assess language practices across a range of proficiency levels.
  4. To be used for all English learner students, including those with Individualized Education Plans (IEP).
  5. To be used with ease, by all content area teachers at all grade levels.
  6. To be aligned with the English language development (ELD) standards and the performance levels for the English language development test (ELPAC).

Additionally,

  1. To be used by teachers as a formative assessment tool in order to support student progress toward English proficiency.
  2. To inform discussions with parents of English learners.
  3. To help prepare new teachers.

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 CDE created an OPTEL advisory committee (OAC), comprised of teachers and other experts from across California. The majority of the OAC are credentialed teachers currently in the classroom, most of whom regularly instruct English learners.

A draft of the protocol will be prototyped in the spring of 2019. Based on feedback from the OAC and applied revisions to the tool, a pilot test will occur during late summer/early fall of 2019. Subsequently, a 2019 fall and 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 will take place in order to provide guidance to school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools for use of the protocol. There will also be a user guide, online training on administering and scoring the OPTEL for multiple purposes, parental informational materials, a scoring rubric, and additional training materials.

OPTEL Project Work Plan

Year One

Activities Deliverables Date
Subtask 1.1: The contractor will develop and submit to the COE for approval a two-year plan for developing, refining, and conducting a validation study for the OPTEL. D 1.1 Two-year plan

January 18, 2019: WestEd submits plan

January 25, 2019: CDE approves

April 12, 2019: WestEd submits revised timeline

April 19, 2019: CDE approves
Subtask 1.2: The contractor, in collaboration with COE staff, will establish a process to select the OPTEL Advisory Committee (OAC). D 1.2 Member list and calendar with dates, locations, and access information for each meeting

January 25, 2019: WestEd submits list

February 1, 2019: CDE approves

Approved by CDE 4/5/19
Subtask 1.3: The contractor, in collaboration with COE staff, will review guidance on observing classroom language use by English learners and the CA ELD Standards relative to the ELPAC test blueprint and specifications to identify target language uses optimally assessed through student observation. D 1.3 Examples of target language uses

January 25, 2019: WestEd submits examples

February 1, 2019: CDE approves

Approved by CDE 4/5/19
Subtask 1.4: The contractor, in collaboration with COE staff, will review extant EL-focused student language use observation protocols, tools, and rubrics to inform OPTEL development. D 1.4 First draft of OPTEL

February 15, 2019: WestEd submits 1st draft of OPTEL tool

February 22, 2019: CDE approves

March 19, 2019: WestEd submits revised 1st draft

March 27, 2019: CDE approves

April 2, 2019: WestEd submits final 1st draft

April 2, 2019: CDE sends draft to OAC members

Approved by CDE 4/5/19
Subtask 1.5: The contractor, in collaboration with the COE Contract Monitor, will convene and facilitate OAC Meeting #1. D 1.5.1 Meeting documents (agenda, presentation slides, handouts, draft documents, etc.)

Feb. 22, 2019: WestEd submits meeting documents

March 1, 2019: CDE approves

March 19, 2019: WestEd submits revised 1st draft

March 27, 2019: CDE approves

April 2, 2019: WestEd submits final 1st draft

April 9, 2019: OAC Meeting #1
Subtask 1.5: The contractor, in collaboration with the COE Contract Monitor, will convene and facilitate OAC Meeting #1. D 1.5.2 Summary of OAC discussion and recommendations of edits to OPTEL

April 17, 2019: WestEd submits summary

April 19, 2019: CDE approves

Subtask 1.6: The contractor will revise the OPTEL based on OAC recommendations. The contractor will then train a small group of teachers (up to 10) who will be involved in prototyping the OPTEL by using it in their classrooms and providing feedback via a survey or phone/videoconference interview. D 1.6.1 Final list of teachers to prototype OPTEL

April 16, 2019: WestEd submits list of teachers

April 18, 2019: CDE approves

April 22, 2019: Record OPTEL prototyping training webinar

April 23 – April 30, 2019: Teachers Prototype
Subtask 1.6: The contractor will revise the OPTEL based on OAC recommendations. The contractor will then train a small group of teachers (up to 10) who will be involved in prototyping the OPTEL by using it in their classrooms and providing feedback via a survey or phone/videoconference interview. D 1.6.2 Second draft of OPTEL and summary of the feedback from the prototyping teachers and revisions made based on that feedback

May 14, 2019: WestEd submits second draft of OPTEL and summary

May 17, 2019: CDE approves

June 28, 2019: Final version of revised tool provided to CDE

July 11, 2019: CDE approval date for final version of revised tool for Summer pilot

Subtask 1.7: The contractor will conduct pilot testing, using the second draft of the OPTEL.

D 1.7.1 Detailed plan for spring 2019 Pilot Testing

April 15, 2019: WestEd submits plan

June 21, 2019: CDE approves

Year 2

Activities Deliverables Dates

(From Year One) Subtask 1.7: The contractor will conduct pilot testing, using the second draft of the OPTEL.

D 1.7.2 Report summarizing teacher feedback from the spring 2019 pilot test and recommended edits to OPTEL

August 12-September 4, 2019: Teachers Pilot Test

September 23, 2019: WestEd submits summary and recommended edits

September 27, 2019: CDE approves
Subtask 1.1: The contractor, in collaboration with CDE, will convene and facilitate OAC Meeting #2. D 1.1.1 OAC Meeting documents (agenda, presentation slides, handouts, draft documents, etc.)

September 30, 2019: WestEd submits meeting documents

October 2, 2019: CDE approves

October 8, 2019: OAC Meeting #2
Subtask 1.1: The contractor, in collaboration with CDE, will convene and facilitate OAC Meeting #2. D 1.1.2 Summary of OAC discussion and recommendations of edits to OPTEL

October 15, 2019: WestEd submits summary and recommendations

October 18, 2019: CDE approves
Subtask 1.2: The contractor will develop a plan for field testing (to take place during fall 2019 and spring 2020) and a validation study based on the field test results. D 1.2 Detailed plan for Field Testing and Validation Study

September 23, 2019: WestEd submits plan

October 4, 2019: CDE approves

November 4 – December 2, 2019: Fall Field Testing

February 4 – March 16, 2020: Spring Field Testing
Subtask 1.3: The contractor will revise the OPTEL based on OAC recommendations regarding the pilot testing results. The contractor will conduct field testing. D 1.3.1 Report summarizing teacher feedback from fall 2019 field testing

December 20, 2019: WestEd submits report

January 3, 2020: CDE approves

Subtask 1.3: The contractor will revise the OPTEL based on OAC recommendations regarding the pilot testing results. The contractor will conduct field testing. D 1.3.2 Report summarizing teacher feedback from spring 2020 field testing and recommendations for edits to OPTEL

April 3, 2020: WestEd submits report

April 10, 2020: CDE approves
Subtask 1.4: The contractor will complete analyses on the field test data to determine the extent to which the OPTEL has construct validity and reliability. D 1.4 Interim validation study report (summarizing field test aims, validation study methods, and preliminary findings)

April 30, 2020: WestEd submits report

May 7, 2020: CDE approves
Subtask 1.5: The contractor will convene and facilitate OAC Meeting #3. D 1.5.1 Meeting Documents (agenda, presentation slides, handouts, draft documents, etc.)

May 15, 2020: WestEd submits meeting documents

May 22, 2020: CDE approves

June 4, 2020: OAC Meeting #3
Subtask 1.5: The contractor will convene and facilitate OAC Meeting #3. D 1.5.2 Summary of OAC discussion and recommendations of edits to OPTEL

June 24, 2020: WestEd submits summary and recommendations

June 30, 2020: CDE approves
Subtask 1.6: The contractor will determine recommendations for additional, ongoing validity studies as the OPTEL continues to be implemented in future years and additional longitudinal data become available. The contractor will prepare a final validation study report, including information and findings from the interim validation study report as well as recommendations for next steps, to inform an action item from COE to the SBE. D 1.6 Final validation study report

June 24, 2020: WestEd submits report

June 30, 2020: CDE approves
Subtask 1.7: The contractor will develop a user guide for the OPTEL. In addition, the contractor will develop an online training on administering and scoring the OPTEL for multiple purposes. The contractor will also develop materials describing the OPTEL purposes and results. D 1.7.1 Final guidance, professional development resources, parent informational materials; final OPTEL instrument, scoring rubric, training materials June 30, 2020: WestEd submits final instrument, guidance, and other necessary OPTEL 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. Reginald Grant ELD 6–12 Sacramento County of Education (COE) Northern
7. Valerie D. Johnson Students with Disabilities and Long Term English Learners 7–12 West Hollywood Community Day School/Los Angeles USD Southern
8. Jonathan Juarez English 9–12 Los Angeles Leadership Academy/Los Angeles USD Charter Division Southern
9. Ruth Lindahl ELD, Advanced Placement English 9–12 Hiram Johnson High School (HS)/Sacramento City USD Northern
10. Kim Minugh English 9–12 Encina Preparatory HS/San Juan USD Northern
11. Irene Sanchez ELD, Newcomers Levels 1 and 2 San Pasqual HS/Escondido Union HS District Southern
12. Kenneth Smock ELD 9–12 Hemet HS/Hemet USD Southern
13. Iztaccihuatil Soto ELD N/A Edgewater Elementary/Marysville USD Northern
14. Ulises Tellechea ELD 5–8 Live Oak MS/Live Oak USD Northern
15. 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. Karla Estrada, Director of strategic partnerships and personalized learning for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE)
  8. Thea Fabian, TOSA, Fresno Unified School District and Fresno State Faculty
  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

OAC Meeting Dates and Locations

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

Virtual

3:30–5:30 p.m.

OAC Meeting #1

Review and provide feedback on the first draft of the OPTEL

April 9, 2019

Virtual

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

In-person

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

OAC Meeting #3

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

June 4, 2020

In-person

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

Questions:   Nicole Hamlin | nhamlin@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0443 or Sandra Covarrubias | scovarrubias@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0267
Last Reviewed: Friday, June 21, 2019
Recently Posted in English Learners
  • Title III Immigrant Student Annual Survey (added 01-Aug-2019)
    Letter to Select County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators on the 2018-19 annual survey for Title III-funded activities for immigrant students.
  • EL Title III Annual Survey Letter (added 01-Aug-2019)
    Letter to Select County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators on the 2018-19 annual survey for instruction programs and activities for English Learners.