Our Partnerships

We are honored to partner with clients to provide technical assistance, professional development, and curriculum and assessment expertise.
Click on a name below to navigate directly to each partnership, learn more about our current or previous work together, and explore project specifics.

Our Technical Assistance Partnerships

American Federation of Teachers

We were part of a U.S. Department of Education investing in innovation (i3)-funded project to support the implementation of teacher evaluation systems that evaluate general education teachers’ effectiveness in instructing ELs. We co-authored a conceptual framework that outlined the initiative. We developed research-based, performance-based standards and teacher evaluation rubrics in conjunction with educators that were piloted in 10 districts in NY and RI. Finally, we designed and delivered inclusive teacher evaluation PD to American Federation of Teachers (AFT) partners.

Colorín, Colorado

We have synthesized research, policy, and best practice related to implementing challenging standards-based instruction for ELs by writing more than 85 blog posts targeted at educators of ELs beginning in 2012.

Illinois State Board of Education

We provided technical assistance in conjunction with American Institutes for Research’s Midwest Comprehensive Center in creating standards for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) for their teacher candidates in the areas of bilingual, English as a Second Language, and general education (K-12). We planned stakeholder meetings to create standards and wrote the first draft of standards supported by a literature review.

Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky

We are working with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) to develop a new EL Master Plan for the district’s growing English Learner population. We are conducting a needs assessment and meeting several times with various stakeholders to develop a plan that will define a clear pathway to ELs’ success in JCPS.

Los Angeles Unified School District

We partnered with the Center for Applied Linguistics to revise Los Angeles Unified School District (LA Unified)’s English Learner/Standard English Learner Master Plan. SupportEd staff helped shape the content of the master plan, leading ad hoc committee meetings in Los Angeles to provide input on the content of the EL Master Plan and provided feedback on drafts of the Master Plan that serves more than 160,000 ELs and SELs.

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

We partnered with the American Institutes for Research on its Study of English Language Learners for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This project included a district-level analysis of EL student demographic, geographic and academic program profiles in Massachusetts to explore the connections between district assessment practices and student outcomes.

New York City Department of Education

In partnership with the Council for Aid to Education, we led the development of 16 Core Standards-aligned formative assessment rubrics for ELs in K-12 for New York City Schools’ content teachers to use with ELs in assessing their progress in speaking and writing. As part of this exciting project, we recruited and collaborated with a cohort of twenty-five New York City educators who informed the creation of the rubrics, administration guides, and subsequent professional development materials.

Peace Corps

We supported a new TEFL certificate by developing professional standards, learning objectives, and built a corresponding assessment for Peace Corps TEFL volunteers. We developed a stand-alone PD package to train observers of TEFL volunteers. In addition, we vetted and developed TEFL accreditation procedures with accrediting agency. We also created a framework for evaluating TEFL certificate pilot in three international posts.

Reading School District, Pennsylvania

We are working with Reading School District (RSD) to develop their first EL Action Plan (or Master Plan) for the district’s rapidly growing English Learner population. First, we are conducting a needs assessment which includes a review of policies and procedures, student data, classroom observations, and interviews with stakeholders, to determine current strengths and needs of the program. Next, we will meet with groups of internal and external stakeholders to solicit additional input for plan development. SupportEd will include the feedback and input from the district on an ongoing basis as the final EL Action Plan is developed. Additionally, SupportEd will be collaboratively working with RSD to review and revise EL program models and the English language development instructional delivery plan, and to develop a professional development plan, a K-12 ESL standards-aligned curriculum, and an ESL Program Handbook.

Stanford University

We applied our expertise in TESOL’s P-12 Professional Teaching Standards to review the TESOL content area edTPA handbook for pre-service ESOL teachers and provided ongoing guidance to the edTPA in English as an Additional Language.

Syracuse City School District

We have worked closely with the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) for the past five years to develop and enhance their programs for ELs, including dual language, bilingual, and English as a New Language programs. One of the primary areas of that work focused on developing support for effectively implementing a co-teaching model to meet current New York state requirements by providing ongoing training for teachers. In addition, we provided support on SCSD’s ENL and Bilingual Three-Year Strategic Plan and ELL/Multilingual Language Learner Program Guidebook.

Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL)

We have provided longstanding service to TESOL International Association beginning in 2006. SupportEd’s president Diane Staehr Fenner served as TESOL’s Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) program coordinator from 2006 until 2016. In that role, she evaluated institutes of higher education’s alignment with the TESOL P-12 Professional Teaching Standards and provided ongoing training and support to volunteer TESOL/CAEP reviewers. We have taken the lead in writing several white papers for TESOL, have developed a six-module online course for TESOL, and served as the lead writers in the revision of the Short-Term Certificate Standards and TESOL P-12 Professional Teaching Standards. We recently led the revision of the TESOL P-12 Professional Teaching Standards.

The United States Department of Education

We are supporting the United States Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) to operate the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA) in partnership with the Manhattan Strategy Group and WestEd. SupportEd is lending EL expertise to lead the EL content development of NCELA’s technical assistance activities for the field and for OELA grantees. In addition, we are contributing to several other project tasks, such as enhancing the NCELA website and disseminating EL tools and resources.

In partnership with the American Institutes for Research and the Office of Career, Adult, and Technical Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education, we developed English language proficiency (ELP) Standards for Adult Education that are aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education. In addition, we developed supporting materials so that educators can use or adapt these standards with their adult ELs.

We also supported a project for the U.S. Department of Education to compile and review state data on the policy and practices of dual language education programs, in partnership with AIR. We collected and analyzed data on such topics as how states define dual language education programs, their funding sources, student eligibility and placement criteria, program assessment and accountability, and teacher training.

We provided assistance on the Quality of English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessments Evaluation of State and Local Implementation of Title III Assessment and Accountability Systems project together with AIR. The purpose of this federally funded study was to evaluate State and Local implementation of Title III assessment and accountability systems and to produce a technical guide to assist State Educational Agencies (SEAs) and other stakeholders to prepare ELP assessment materials for peer review.

Our Professional Development Partnerships

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)

We infused research-based EL methods, strategies, and resources throughout the planning year and first two implementation years of the AMNH MAT Earth Science teacher education program. As part of this project, we scaffolded Common Core-based Earth Science and ELA units for ELs and conducted multiple professional development sessions on scaffolding ELs’ instruction in science. We created an online EL strategies toolkit and an online EL-focused professional learning community for teacher candidates gaining experience in partner NYC public schools.

Berkeley County School District, South Carolina

We facilitated two online book studies for educators in this district based on Diane Staehr Fenner’s book Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators (2014) and Diane Staehr Fenner and Sydney Snyder’s book Unlocking English Learners’ Potential: Strategies for Making Content Accessible (2017). These book studies included facilitated discussions of each book and online PD to support the discussion of content. Both book studies culminated in a final face to face PD session.

Chesterfield County Public Schools, Virginia

We provided a blended PD offering for over 100 educators for Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS). The PD consisted of face-to-face training, online courses designed for teachers of ELs, and an online book study complete with a professional learning community (PLC) delving into the strategies and supports in Unlocking English Learners’ Potential. CCPS sought our targeted professional development in order to support the transition to a more integrated model of instruction for English learners at the middle school and high school levels.

Edmonton Public Schools, Canada

We provided content for a year-long face to face book study based on the main themes in our bestselling book Unlocking English Learners’ Potential. This book study combined face to face meetings hosted in Edmonton and facilitated by local educators, activities for teachers to experience strategies from the book firsthand, and an online platform of materials and resources including video clips of authentic strategies used in classrooms. The book study also included live virtual Q&A sessions with authors Diane Staehr Fenner and Sydney Snyder.

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

We partnered with the University of Massachusetts Boston to design, pilot, and support the implementation of a blended 3 credit graduate/PD course (called Rethinking Equity and Teaching of English Language Learners) to support 25,000 content teachers as they teach ELs. We also designed and evaluated eight online courses for the Massachusetts Licensure Academy for ESL teachers who were working with a waiver.

Multiple School Districts and Organizations

We are providing ongoing professional development on many EL-related topics, including culturally responsive instruction, instructional strategies for supporting ELs in content classrooms, instruction of SLIFE, literacy for ELs, and teacher leadership in support of ELs. We have collaborated with districts and organizations in AR, CA, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MA, MN, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, VT, VA, WV, and WI.

The National Education Association (NEA)

We developed five blended professional development modules on ELs that are being used throughout the United States. We developed PD modules on Advocacy, Standards-Based Instruction, Assessment, Culture and Issues of Equity, and Second Language Acquisition. The services we provided for each of the five modules included: synthesizing research and best practice, developing a storyboard, providing a vision for an online professional learning community, and developing materials for participants and professional development facilitators. We incorporated multiple rounds of feedback on all materials developed from an expert panel of researchers and practitioners as well as the NEA.


We created and provided live professional development webinars on the topic of supporting ELs’ development of academic language at the word, sentence, and discourse level. The webinars where are offered through the Nearpod platform and make use of the unique, interactive online tools Nearpod provides. We also led the content development for a Ready to Run online PD module.

New York City Department of Education

We are on the approved vendor list to provide professional development in ELL and Early Childhood through 2022.

New York Regional Bilingual Resource Networks (RBERNs)

As a New York State certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) provider, we have partnered with several RBERNs for the past few years to provide EL-related face to face, blended, and online professional development. The RBERNs we currently serve are Hudson Valley, Long Island, Mid-West, Mid-State, and Questar III.

School District of Philadelphia (SDP)

In partnership with co-teaching expert Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld, we are working on a three-year project designed to support SDP’s “Together is Better” Initiative to pilot and research effective co-teaching models in grades K – 3 in three city schools. We have conducted classroom walk-throughs, needs assessments, and focus groups followed by multiple trainings for all leadership led by Dr. Honigsfeld and sessions for ESOL and K-3 teachers led by Kent Buckley-Ess.

South Dakota State Education Agency

We provided a blended PD package framed around our book, Unlocking English Learners’ Potential, to content and ESOL educators from across the state. Participants met in three face to face sessions to explore EL instructional strategies, including scaffolding, teaching academic language, and the use of formative assessment with ELs. Following each face to face session, participants had an opportunity to apply their learning in the classroom, reflect on these experiences, and continue their discussions online.

Yonkers Public Schools, New York

SupportEd completed a two-year project on the topic of “Strategies for Supporting ELLs in the Content Areas”. We provided on-site PD at two high schools focusing on a grade-based cohort of students and teachers as part of a Gear Up grant. In conjunction with the face to face PD, SupportEd developed a sustainable job-embedded peer-coaching model and an online PLC with the ultimate goal of supporting language acquisition and development for ELs in the content classes.

Curriculum Development


We provided input and gave feedback on education.com’s new suite of English Language Arts lessons and units geared toward English learners in grades K through 5 so that ELs’ academic language development and appropriate scaffolds are embedded. We collaborated with education.com to create a research-based template for EL pre-lessons and scaffolded content lessons.

New York State Department of Education

We partnered with the American Institutes of Research to create resource guides on scaffolding Common Core curricular units in English language arts and mathematics in grades P-12 for ELs. In partnership with Dr. Diane August, we reviewed curricular modules, provided feedback to curriculum writers on EL scaffolding, created prototypes of effective lessons for ELs, and provided feedback on professional development materials.


We partnered with the American Institutes for Research to develop an exemplar English language arts unit for New York City Schools. The unit includes such scaffolds as mini-lessons on essential background knowledge, a bilingual glossary, and text-dependent questions with sentence frames and word banks.

Vista Higher Learning

We provided input on an EL newcomer series developed by Vista Higher Learning and offered expertise on such aspects as the series content, language, and the teacher edition.