UPDATED Assessment Newsletter (Volume 8, Issue 21)

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


01-08-21  |  WDE Assessment Updates  |  Volume 8, Issue 21


Formative Assessment

From the state level to the district, school, classroom and student levels, assessments should provide both data about student performance and information that can be used to support student achievement of the Wyoming Content Standards (WYCS).

As shown in the diagram below, assessments at every level must be aligned with the rigorous expectations of the WYCS and must provide educators with the necessary detail needed to take action. Teachers, for example, need on-going data to guide students' immediate learning and should use formative assessments to monitor student learning. Formative assessments provide ongoing feedback that can be used to improve teacher instruction and student learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

  • Help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work.
  • Help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately.

In contrast, state and district policymakers need periodic data at a larger grain size to support their decision making. At the same time, all levels must be pushing in the same direction, toward the same learning goals. 

In the graphic below, the x-axis represents standards-based learning progression and the y-axis represents grain size.


Image Credit: Herman, J. (2010). Coherence: Key to next generation assessment success (AACC Report). Los Angeles, CA: University of California.

For more information, contact Michelle Carroll, WDE Assessment Consultant, at 307-777-3618 or michelle.carroll@wyo.gov.


January 5 - February 22, 2021

The additional materials ordering window for ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is now open through February 22, 2021. During this time, you may order additional testing materials needed via the WIDA AMS Additional Materials functionality. 

  • Your initial shipment of test materials includes extra copies to ensure that additional orders will rarely be required. These materials must be used before any orders for additional materials may be placed.
  • Test Administrators who need additional materials must consult and get approval from the District Test Coordinator to determine whether the district has the material on hand or an order for additional materials is necessary. 

To order additional materials, log into WIDA AMS and select Materials > Additional Materials. Then, select the Administration, District, and the District-Level Additional Orders Only Site. The Add Order button will activate once the district-level ordering site is selected. Once the additional materials order is complete, click Submit

For more information on ordering Additional Materials, please review the Additional Materials Orders tutorial posted in the ACCESS for ELLs training course on the WIDA Secure Portal.

For more information, contact DRC Customer Support with any questions at WIDA@DataRecognitionCorp.com or call 1-855-787-9615 or contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE EL Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or antoinette.hallam@wyo.gov.


wida ell

Delivered January 4-6, 2021

Materials were shipped to the address listed in WIDA AMS under Materials> Materials Ordering. Locate the address by selecting the correct Administration, district filter set to ALL (if ship to district) or school (if ship to school). Click Show Materials. The address will be at the bottom of the Order Materials sub tab. 

All materials shipped are secure and should have been signed for upon delivery. Districts and/or schools should have received the following information in its shipment. 

1. MATERIAL INVENTORY: The district/school should have received the following information in its shipment. These materials are used to inventory materials received for testing. Every school or district will have the responsibility to complete a Security Checklist to verify the secure materials against the checklist.

  • Packing List: Lists all materials shipped to the district or school.
  • Secure Checklist: Lists all secure materials shipped to the district or school (with barcode ranges).
  • School Box Range Sheet: For district sites, the School Box Range Sheet will identify the number of boxes packaged for each school and district. For school sites, the school Box Range Sheet will identify the total number of boxes shipped to the school. 


Any discrepancies found in the secure materials should be noted on the Accountability Form located in WIDA AMS under Materials > Accountability Form. Select the school with the material discrepancy.  At the bottom of the list of materials, there is a space labeled "Record reasons for discrepancies here", record the secure barcode of the material and list the discrepancy.  

For more information, contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE EL Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or antoinette.hallam@wyo.gov.


WY-TOPP logo

January 12 - February 5

The optional WY-TOPP winter interim includes ELA and mathematics assessments for students in grades 3-10. Participants should review the following manuals before, during, and after the interim administration. 

TIDE User Guide

Test Administration Manual

Centralized Reporting System User Guide

Acceptable Use - Modular and Interim Assessment Items

For more information, contact the Wyoming Help Desk at 888-897-8024 or wyohelpdesk@cambiumassessment.com.


check list

WY-ALT January 13 - March 16, 2021

WY-TOPP January 13 - April 27, 2021

All students are expected to participate in the Wyoming summative assessments to the greatest extent possible. Every effort must be made to inform parents, guardians, and students of the testing calendar. On behalf of a student, school administrators may apply for an exemption from participation in the WY-TOPP or WY-ALT for the following criteria:

  • The student is expelled for the entire testing window.
  • The student is an English Learner who has been enrolled in a US school for less than one year. (Exemption from the ELA portion only)
  • The student is placed in an out-of-state facility for the entire testing window.

Administrators can view the SAER site training video to learn how to submit exemption requests. This direct link to the SAER webpage can be used when you are ready to submit an exemption.

To submit an exemption request, you must have a WyEd account. Your WyEd user account will need "SAER User" access. You can request this role from the Roles drop down after you choose your district. For more information regarding your WyEd account, contact Brian Wuerth at 307-777-6748 or brian.wuerth@wyo.gov

For more information, contact Tahnee Hutchinson, WDE Assessment Consultant, at 307-777-5296 or tahnee.hutchinson1@wyo.gov.


wida sis

January 10, 2020

Complete this Google Form for each Test Administrator in your school/district and for each domain testing session. 

The WDE will be visiting districts virtually between January 19 and February 26, during the ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Administration window. Due to COVID-19, school site security and monitoring visits will look different this year. The Statewide Assessment Monitoring and Quality Assurance team will review school/district implementation and compliance with both federal and state laws and regulations. This will include evaluating test security and administration practices related to ACCESS assessments for the 2020-21 school year. During the meeting, additional time will be provided to answer questions you or your school staff may have about the statewide EL assessment.

These visits will help ensure that all eligible students are tested, test security is maintained, school district staff has been properly trained, and assessments are administered consistently and in a uniform manner. Guidance will be provided to districts about what to expect and how to prepare for these visits. You will receive a link to the virtual meeting after your testing schedule has been provided to WDE.

For more information, contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE EL Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or antoinette.hallam@wyo.gov.


  • September 1-June 18: WY-TOPP Modulars.
  • October 5-January 29: Reading Supports for Multilingual Learners WIDA eWorkshop Training Course (6 modules-15 weeks long).
  • January 12-February 5: WY-TOPP Winter Interims.
  • January 19: WY-ALT Test Administration Training (Online).
  • January 19-February 26: ACCESS and ALT ACCESS Assessments.
  • January 21: WY-ALT Test Administration Training (Online).
  • January 29: WY-ALT Test Administration Training (Online).
  • February 2: During Testing: Monitoring Completion for Test Coordinators (Online Webinar).
  • February 3: WY-ALT Test Administration Training (Online).
  • March 2-April 23: WY-ALT Assessments.
  • March 9: ACCESS for ELLs Post-Testing: Data Validation Webinar.
  • March 16: ACCESS for ELLs Post-Testing: Interpreting Score Reports Webinar.
  • April 13-May 7: WY-TOPP Spring K-2 Interims.
  • April 13-May 7: WY-TOPP Summative Assessments.
  • April 19-30: WorkKeys Test Administration Window.