K-1 ELL Teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary, Winooski, VT
ELL Teachers in WIDA states across the U.S. are busy getting ready to administer the new WIDA ACCESS for ELLS 2.0, a new and improved online version of the annual assessment of English language development for K-12 schools. The testing window has been moved to earlier in the school year – between January and February here in Vermont – meaning educators should receive scores before the end of the school year, and administrators will have access to these scores on the online portal. The online test is being offered to grades 1 through 12. For grades 1 through 3, reading, listening and speaking will be computer-based, while the written portion will still be on paper. The kindergarten interview style test will remain the same. Students will require an iPad or computer with a secure browser and microphone headsets. Accommodations are available to students who need them, and will be worked out on a individual basis with the test Coordinators. The new online portal allows for a central organizing system to create test session and groups, monitor student progress through the test sections, and manage student data. There are training materials and resources available on the WIDA website, and practice tests and sample items here: https://wbte.drcedirect.com/WIDA/portals/wida/. So far in my district (Winooski School District, Vermont) students seem excited to interact with the online system, and teachers are looking forward to this valuable opportunity to see their students’ needs and progress.