English Learners Newsletter

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

English Learners Update Masthead

12-01-2021  |  December 2021 Edition

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


  • WIDA AMS Upgrade at 7 p.m. MST on December 16, 2021.
  • WIDA AMS Security Patch from 10 p.m. MST on Saturday to 10 a.m. MST on Sunday, December 4-5, 2021 and January 1-2, 2022.
  • Updated Supported System Requirements for ACCESS for ELLs Online and WIDA Screener Online have been posted to WIDA AMS. These system requirements are valid for October 2021–February 2022.
  • WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for test sessions from December 1, 2021 to February 25, 2022. In order to participate in WIDA Screener Online, students must be added to WIDA AMS and placed into test sessions. Add students and create test sessions independently, or add students to an existing test session.
  • DRC Customer Service is available from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. MST, Monday-Friday at 855-787-9615 or WIDA@datarecognitioncorp.com. Contact DRC with testing material questions, Central Office Services (COS), and processing paper test materials.
  • The WIDA Client Services Center is available from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. MST, Monday-Thursday and 6 a.m.-4 p.m. MST on Friday. Contact WIDA at help@wida.us or 866-276-7735 with questions on WIDA Secure Portal user accounts, ACCESS for ELLs, WIDA Screener, MODEL, KWAPT, score reports, TA procedures, training, certification, Standards, Can Do Descriptors, and WIDA Early Years.
  • Contact antoinette.hallam@wyo.gov with any updated EL Coordinator’s contact information.


Upcoming ACCESS for ELLs Security Visits

  • January 18-February 25, 2022 - ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Administration and Statewide Assessment Monitoring and Quality Assurance site visits with Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) staff.
  • Testing schedules are due to WDE by December 17, 2021. Enter data in the Google Testing Schedule Form for each domain testing session in your school/district, or request the testing schedule in an Excel format.

Security Requirements of Proctors and Other Personnel

  • Prior to testing, proctors and other personnel assisting in the ACCESS for ELLs test administration must:
    • Sign the Test Administration and Security Agreement and be informed of the test security rules prohibiting any activities that may threaten the integrity of the test.
    • Sign the WIDA Non-Disclosure User Agreement (NDUA) electronically via WIDA Secure Portal or hardcopy.

Test Materials to Arrive January 4-6, 2022

  • Wyoming is a ship-to-district state, however some schools receive shipments directly due to lack of close proximity to the district office.
  • The 10% test materials overage will be packaged by school and shipped to districts via UPS.
  • Unless necessary for materials preparation, TAs are not permitted to view test materials prior to administration. 
  • Before handling test materials (from the district Test Coordinator, Students etc.), you must complete test administrator training.
  • While you have the test materials, store them securely in accordance with the state policy and your district policy.
  • Refer to the ACCESS for ELLs Checklist for more information.

Prepare for the Upcoming ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration

Assessment Best Practices During COVID-19 is a WIDA resource that can be accessed in the WIDA Secure Portal with a valid account. Please note: The guidance in this document reflects WIDA’s analysis of current best practices. It is not medical advice and does not replace or amend guidance provided by the CDC, the state, your county, or your district.

Webinars available from Noon-1 p.m. MST.


The Following Changes are Now Available

  • Accommodation codes for braille now include Braille with Nemeth Code (contracted or uncontracted) and UEB Technical (contracted or uncontracted) for math and science in grades 6-12.
  • In-person human reader accommodations and Extended Test (ET) time within the school day have been removed as an accommodation. Review the Accessibility and Accommodations Manual for more information.
  • The following primary and secondary disability codes have been changed:
    • Serious Emotional Disability (SED) has been removed.
    • Emotional Disturbance (ED) has been added.
  • Paper tier value options have been changed. When ordering ACCESS for ELLs paper tests using the MSU file layout, indicate tier A or tier BC. 

These code changes and instructions on how to use the MSU file layout can be found in WIDA AMS under My Applications → Student Management → Manage Students → Upload Multiple Students

  • For more information, contact DRC Customer Service at (855) 787-9615 or at wida@datarecognitioncorp.com with any questions about the file layout or upload process.


  • WIDA Secure Portal users now have the option to download their entire certification history. Log in to the WIDA Secure Portal, go to:
    • My Profile. Click Export PDF at the top of the Certifications table to see your assessment training history, followed by professional learning course completion.
  • WIDA Secure Portal: new features to the Manage Users function.
    • Account coordinators can export search results as a CSV file from the Search Existing Users tool and Certification Report tool. 
    • Account coordinators can include inactive user profiles in their search, by checking the “Include Inactive” box in the Search Existing Users tool.
    • For more information, contact DRC Customer Service at (855) 787-9615 or at wida@datarecognitioncorp.com.
  • New resources for the ELD Standards Framework, 2020 edition, are now available and include grade-level cluster materials. The six new booklets can be found on the 2020 Edition web page.
  • The 2022 WIDA Annual Conference will take place September 28-30, 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky under the theme "Advancing Learning Together." WIDA invites you to share your expertise as a presenter by submitting a proposal by January 31, 2022.
  • Family Engagement Resources: To further assist schools receiving refugee students and families from other countries, newly translated print resources are available on the WIDA Family Engagement webpage.


New Research Report Released

Motivated by findings of a 2018 WIDA report pointing to large overlap between English Learners (ELs) with Individualized Education Program (IEP) designations and those ELs who could be identified as long-term English learners (LTELs), WIDA conducted a study to further focus on these dual-identified students.

  • Grouping ELs by ever-IEP (those who were assigned an IEP at any point in their longitudinal record) and never-IEP status, English language growth trajectories were compared across time for 24 independent cohorts of ELs starting in grades K-3, throughout 2006-2011.
  • Findings show consistent trends of differential growth and reclassification rates for these two subgroups. Read more about this study in Examining Growth at the Intersection of IEP and (Long-Term) EL Status in the Resource Library of the WIDA website.


  • September 13-December 24: Considerations when Educating Bilingual Learners with Identified Learning Disabilities (Self-Paced eWorkshop).
  • December 1-February 25: WIDA AMS Test Setup Available.
  • December 7: ACCESS Online Managing Test Sessions Webinar.
  • December 14: ACCESS Managing Students in WIDA AMS - (Paper).
  • December 17: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Testing Schedules Due to WDE.
  • January 4-6: ACCESS Test Materials Received in District.
  • January 4: ACCESS Managing Test Materials (Paper) - Q&A Webinar.
  • January 5-February 18: ACCESS Additional Test Material Ordering Window in WIDA AMS.
  • January 6: Technology Troubleshooting Webinar.
  • January 18-February 25: ACCESS & ALT ACCESS Assessment Window.
  • January 27: ACCESS Paper - Returning Materials Webinar.
  • February 1: ACCESS Online - Monitoring Completion for Test Coordinators Webinar.
  • March 1: ACCESS Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC.
  • March 8: ACCESS Post-Testing: Data Validation.
  • March 15: Interpreting Score Reports Webinar.
  • March 18-31: ACCESS Pre-Reporting Data Validation for LEAs in WIDA AMS.
  • May 4: ACCESS Reports and Data Files Available Online in WIDA AMS.
  • May 20-24: ACCESS Printed Reports Available in Districts.
  • June 17: ACCESS Updated Data Posted in WIDA AMS.