WIDA Alternate ACCESS Update

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ELP Assessment Update August 29, 2018

WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Update for 2018-19 School Year

Welcome to the new school year. In an effort to get things started off on the right foot, OSPI would like to offer this update on WIDA Alternate ACCESS testing. This test is a test of English language proficiency and is administered to English learners (ELs) with significant cognitive disabilities in grades K-12.

2017-18 Score Reports

Score reports for students who tested on the WIDA Alternate ACCESS in spring of 2018 will be delivered to districts at the beginning of September. 

Kindergarten Testers

The WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is designed for testing students in grades 1 to 12. Federal regulations require that all ELs are assessed annually for language proficiency. To meet this requirement, OSPI included kindergarten testers in the grade 1-2 band of testers. Kindergarten students who completed this test will receive scores based on the same grading scale that is used for grades 1 to 12. These score reports will be included with the score reports that districts receive next week. Kindergarten students will continue to test on the Grade 1-2 test for the 2018-19 school year.

WIDA 2018-19 Dates

      Activity                               Window Opens                           Window Closes

     Testing Window                   January 28, 2019                          March 22, 2019

     Pre-ID Window                    Once CEDARS goes live               December 4, 2018

     Test Materials Arrive          mid January                                    N/A

     Additional Materials           January 14, 2019                           March 15, 2019


Testing Window

The testing window for WIDA Alternate ACCESS will be January 28 to March 22. This window is the same for all English language proficiency assessments in Washington. Plan accordingly to address any school holidays that may occur during the testing window.


The typical process for receiving materials to test students in your districts is for district assessment coordinators, or their designee, to identify students in WAMS. The deadline for identifying students for the 2019 testing window is December 4, 2018. You can identify students in WAMS under “Students Receiving Services.”

       Determining WIDA Alternate ACCESS Participation

Only students identified as ELs participate in English language proficiency assessments. For this assessment, a student must also have significant cognitive disabilities. Testing determinations are made by a student’s IEP team following the state-provided guidance. For ELs in kindergarten through grade 2, IEP teams will need to determine whether the student is likely to meet the criteria for WA-AIM participation in later grades. Guidelines for alternate ELP assessment participation align to those for the academic alternate test (WA-AIM) and can be found here. 

Test Materials Arrive in District

WIDA Alternate ACCESS is a paper-based test. All test materials will arrive in district approximately 2 weeks prior to the opening of the test window. Materials will arrive with labels for all individual students who were Pre-identified in the fall. There will be additional “district-specific” labels that can be used if you have a new student who was not pre-identified.

Additional Materials Ordering

If your students to be tested vary from those identified in the fall, it may be necessary for you to order additional materials for testing. Similar to last year, all districts will have one opportunity to order additional materials at no additional costs. All orders after the first additional order will incur shipping and handling charges. Only district assessment coordinators will have designated permissions to order materials through WIDA AMS (on the DRC system). Additional materials can be ordered from January 15 to March 15, one week prior to the close of testing.

Return Materials

Materials will be returned to WIDA following testing. Districts may return materials at any time when they are finished testing, but materials must be shipped by March 29. For some districts, materials return deadlines may occur during spring break. Plan accordingly for timely return of materials. Materials that are not picked up by the deadline will result in delayed return of scores.

TA Training Opportunities

Similar to the ELPA21 screener training process, WIDA Alternate ACCESS will have a recorded training, quiz, and registration for trained TAs. All WIDA Alt ACCESS TAs must complete training annually. Training should be available on Canvas in late fall. OSPI will not hold face-to-face training sessions for the 2019 administration of the WIDA Alternate ACCESS assessment.