Assessment Newsletter (Volume 8, Issue 2)

Update from the Wyoming Department of Education  |  view online |  website


08-14-20  |  WDE Assessment Updates  |  Volume 8, Issue 02


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Extended Window and Additional Opportunities for ELA & Math Interims

Students in Grades 2-10 can also be tested Off-Grade (1 grade level below)

For Fall Interim testing, the WDE is offering off-grade testing in addition to the regular on-grade testing. Off-grade means your students can take the interim test for the previous grade level so teachers can gain additional information on where students’ gaps may be in the previous year’s curriculum. The Fall Interim testing window has also been extended to allow time for teachers to put measures in place to fill identified gaps before choosing to test on the current grade-level material. 

Note: these interims in isolation are not intended to help you identify all gaps/concerns. As you start this school year, following the gap in opportunity to learn (OTL) due to COVID-19, keep in mind the following:

  • Don’t over-remediate; we don’t want to lose too much time for the OTL current grade-level content.
  • Prioritize your assessments to support instructional actions; make sure it is meaningful; Formative assessments that inform immediate instructional needs may be best for quickly identifying problem areas or instructional needs.
  • Consider waiting to assess students and take time to re-acclimate them to the school setting; focus on all skills, including social-emotional.

For more information, contact Tahnee Hutchinson, WDE Assessment Consultant, at 307-777-5296 or


Dates for National Testing: Sept. 12, 13, 19, and Oct. 10, 17, 24, 25.

Deadline: August 26, 2020

WDE is currently accepting requests for ACT vouchers for Fall 2020 testing on behalf of 2019-20 Juniors, who were unable to take the test last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Vouchers are for use on National Testing dates and must be used at the time the student(s) registers for testing. If you would like to request a voucher for student(s) use, please complete the survey below. Reminder: Fall 2020 ACT testing is not open to incoming Juniors as they will participate in Spring 2021 ACT testing.

For more information, contact Michelle Carroll at 307-777-3618 or




October 12-30, 2020 Free Virtual Learning Event

WIDA is hosting a weekly series of professional development and training opportunities. Each week will have a theme with a multitude of webinars relating to the weekly topic. 

Week 1: The focus will be on the 2020 Standards, with a session that introduces the WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition — as well as sessions about Proficiency Level Descriptors and updated Key Language Uses. 

Week 2: The theme will be Teaching Multilingual Learners and will include a panel discussion with the WIDA Fellows exploring responses to COVID-19, as well as sessions focused on the intentional planning and implementation of instructional practices that support language development and content learning. 

Week 3: The feature will be WIDA Assessments and include webinars about the WIDA Assessment system, WIDA Screener for Kindergarten and WIDA MODEL.

Educators will be able to access the live virtual sessions through the eLearning Center in the WIDA Secure Portal. Webinar recordings and downloadable resources will be available after the event. Additional information will be available in September. 

For more information, contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE EL Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or


wida ell

Tuesday, September 15, Noon-1 p.m. MDT

ThIs webinar will introduce new items in WIDA AMS, in the WIDA training process, and on the WIDA website.

For more information, contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE EL Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or

Click here to join the webinar.

ACCESS for ELLs: UPDATE FOR 2020-21 

Assessment Training: ACCESS for ELLs training courses, training tutorials, and certification quizzes have been updated for 2020-21. 

  • The ACCESS for ELLs tutorials have new screenshots to reflect changes to WIDA AMS navigation. Minor changes have been made to interactions to enhance the user experience. The Additional Materials Order tutorials for online and paper testing have been combined. 
  • The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs test administration tutorial has been updated to match the design for the grades 1-12 tutorials.
  • Certification quizzes now include items related to test security.  

ACCESS for ELLs Manuals: The Test Administrator Manual and Test Coordinator Manual (located under ACCESS for ELLs in the Secure Portal Download Library) have been updated. Please note: some new and updated resources referenced in the “New for the 2020-2021 School Year” section of these manuals will be released in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates. 

Speaking Supplemental Training: This year, the Speaking scoring component of the ACCESS for ELLs Paper Grades 1-12 training course will include resources for both the 19-20 and 20-21 administration years, due to COVID-19 related circumstances. Test Administrators, who will be scoring Speaking for ACCESS for ELLs Paper Grades 1-12, should select the training materials that make the most sense for their situation.

For more information, contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE EL Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or



  • August 13, 18, 26: WY-TOPP and WY-ALT District Test Coordinator Updates.
  • September 1-October 23: WY-TOPP Fall Interim (off grade and on-grade).
  • September 1-June 18: WY-TOPP Modulars.
  • September 15: Welcome Back: What’s New This Year? Webinar.
  • September 17: WIDA MODEL Overview Webinar.
  • September 22, October 6 & 20: State Fall ACT Test Dates for 2019-20 Juniors.
  • September 22: Pre-Testing: ACCESS for ELLs for New Test Administrators Webinar.
  • September 24: Pre-Testing: ACCESS for ELLs for New District Test Coordinators Webinar.