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Some Frequently Asked Questions about CCELL. 

​Q. Who created the CCELL? 

A. The CCELL was created by New York State Education Law in 2009 as one of several parent and community advisory boards to the NYC Department of Education (NYC DOE).

Q. What do the initials CCELL stand for?

A. CCELL stands for Citywide Council on English Language Learners (ELLs).

Q.  What is the purpose of the CCELL?

A.  The CCELL is an advisory body.  We advise the NYC DOE on matters affecting NYC public school transitional bilingual, dual language, and ENL programs and services. 

Q.  What is the mission of the CCELL? 

A.  Our mission is to promote new language learning by advocating on behalf of NYC public school students in bilingual, dual language, and ENL programs.  We also encourage parent engagement in their children’s ENL, dual language, and/or bilingual learning by providing information about public school ELL programs and services and by providing a forum for parent and community concerns about these programs and services.

Q.  Is the CCELL’s mission different from its purpose?

A.  Not at all.  The CCELL’s purpose is defined in State Education Law and describes what the Council is supposed to do (to advise).  Our mission describes how we do it.

Q. Is CCELL part of DOE?

A. Citywide Education Councils and Community Education Council are independent bodies and are not beholden to the DOE, however they are still a part of the greater educational system in NY.

Q.  Who serves on the Council?

A. Members come from several different language backgrounds and represent the diversity of NYC’s languages, cultures, and communities. 

NY State Education Law Article 52-A. Section 2590-b.  5(b)(ii). Established the Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL) to be composed of 11 voting members and one (1) non-voting high school senior appointed through the DOE who is or has been a bilingual or ENL student.  Two (2) members are appointed by the NYC Public Advocate from the public with expertise in bilingual and ENL program education and nine (9) members are parents of children in NYC public school bilingual and ENL programs within the past two years who are elected by parent leaders. 

Q.  How can I find out more information about the Council?

A. The best source is the Council’s own website at:  You may also e-mail staff at or connect with us on Facebook at CCELL

Q.  What sort of questions or concerns can I bring to the attention of the CCELL?

A.  The CCELL can only address questions or concerns about NYC public school bilingual, dual language, and ENL programs and services. 

Q.  What sort of action can the CCELL take when parents, educators, and/or community members bring proposals to its attention?

A.  The CCELL does not approve or disapprove proposals directly or provide a remedy for concerns.  However, NYC DOE personnel are present at CCELL public meetings.  This provides an opportunity for members of the public to bring their proposals or concerns directly to the attention of appropriate NYC DOE staff. 

Q.  What if the Council cannot address my question or concern?

A.  Council members and/or staff will attempt to refer you to an appropriate NYC DOE office or other agency.

Q. How can I bring my concerns to the attention of the CCELL?

A. You can: 

  1. E-mail the office (see number 7, above). 

  2. E-mail the office and ask about upcoming meetings. The CCELL secretary will contact Executive officers who decide about agenda items. 

Q.  What if I do not write or speak English?

A.  You do not need to write or speak English.  The current CCELL secretary is bilingual English/Spanish.  For other languages, the secretary will attempt to access NYC DOE translation services for written communications.  The NYC DOE also provides oral translation services at Council meetings for parents and members of the community whose questions, concerns, or proposals are on the agenda.  NYC DOE translation services cover the following languages:  Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.  Interpreters may also be available in other languages. 

Q.  Can I attend a Council meeting even if I do not have a question or concern?

A.  Absolutely.  The Council meets monthly, and all meetings are open to the public. Council meeting schedules and locations are published on the website at:

Q.  Can I raise a question or concern at a meeting even if it is not on the agenda?

A.  There is always a public comment section for anyone to make a comment on the agenda.

Q. How can I become a member of the CCELL?

A.  The Council encourages parents of children in bilingual or ENL programs within the past two years to become members.  The Council has nine (9) parent members selected by parents of children in these programs. 

Q. How can I help the CCELL to promote bilingual, dual language, and/or ENL programs and services in the NYC public schools?

A.  You can help in several ways.  You can become a Council member.  You can join a Council Committee.  You can help distribute Council literature at parent and community meetings.  For more information, please email

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