English Learners Newsletter

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

English Learners Update Masthead

01-05-2022  |  January 2022 Edition

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


  • WIDA AMS Upgrade at 7 p.m. MST on January 13, 2022.
  • WIDA AMS Security Patch from 10 p.m. MST Saturday to 10 a.m. MST Sunday on February 5-6, 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 through February 2022.
  • WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for test sessions through February 25, 2022. 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 questions about testing material, 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 at help@wida.us or 866-276-7735. Contact WIDA with questions about WIDA Secure Portal user accounts, ACCESS for ELLs, WIDA Screener, MODEL, KWAPT, score reports, TA procedures, training, and certification, as well as Standards and Can Do Descriptors, and WIDA Early Years.
  • Submit updated EL Coordinator contact information to the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) through this link.


ACCESS for ELLs Test Domain Exemptions Due January 14, 2022

Each year there are a small number of ELs with disabilities for whom the disability precludes assessment in one or more domains, as there are no appropriate accommodations for the affected domain(s). Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) the federal government clearly states that all English Learners (ELs) must be assessed annually for English language proficiency in the domains of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. This includes students with disabilities. However, for students whose disabilities preclude participation in a specific language domain, districts may apply for a domain exemption on the ACCESS for ELLs assessment by completing the WDE465 application.

In determining students who might be applicable for a domain exemption, administrators and teachers must ensure the following criteria are applicable:

  • The student has a documented disability or impairment (IEP or 504) applicable to the domain.
  • Even with available accommodations, the student cannot engage with or access the domain.
  • The 504 plan or IEP team, in consultation with the educator(s) supporting student’s English language development have established a need to apply for a domain exemption and the determination must be documented in the student’s IELP and IEP.

The WDE465 Guidebook can be used as a guide for the completion of the WDE465 application. After receiving the WDE465 request, WDE staff will review the submitted application and determine if the student is eligible for exemption. The WDE will contact the request submitter with the results.


These eWorkshops will create an online Professional Learning Community that supports participants’ collaboration and fosters ownership of their learning. Over the course of 15 weeks, participants will engage in 6 modules that each consist of 3 sections: Explore, Make it Work, and Share. More information about each event can be found on the registration link.

Learning Through Two Languages for School Leaders Workshop

  • Self-paced Modules: January-April 2022.
  • Webinar: 3:30-4:30 p.m. MDT on March 30, 2022.
  • Register Here.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Multilingual Learners

  • Self-paced Modules: February-June 2022.
  • Webinar: 3:30-4:30 p.m. MDT on April 25, 2022.
  • Register Here.

Uncovering and Leveraging Students’ Home Literacies in the Classroom ICMEE

  • Self-paced Modules: February-June 2022.
  • Webinar: 3:30-4:30 p.m. MDT on May 5, 2022.
  • Register Here.

Scaffolding Learning Through Language Webinars

These webinars help educators understand how to engage multilingual learners in rigorous content area learning with a balance of challenge and support. Topics that educators will explore are: 1) valuing students' resources for learning, 2) developing a strong community of learners, and 3) engaging students in rigorous curriculum.

  • Time: 3:30-5 p.m. MDT.
  • Webinars will be on February 25, March 4, and March 11, 2022.
  • Register Here.

New WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshop

A new eWorkshop titled Engaging Multilingual Learners in Science: Making Sense of Phenomena has been added to the self-paced eWorkshop packaged for 2021-2022. Co-developed by experts in science and language education, this eWorkshop is designed for both science teachers and language specialists who support science instruction. It provides opportunities for educators to learn how to equitably engage multilingual learners in phenomenon-based three-dimensional science, and to receive multiple classroom-based resources to support their work.

  • The new eWorkshop will be available beginning February 1, 2022.
  • Visit the eLearning webpage for course descriptions, a promotional flyer, a PowerPoint and more. Self-Paced eWorkshops can be found in the redesigned WIDA Secure Portal. From the homepage, select Professional Learning and browse a list of available courses.


Testing Requirement for all English Learners

  • Under ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(G), all Active English Learners (ELs) must participate in an annual ELP assessment that is aligned with the State’s ELP standards. The ESEA requires that those ELP standards be derived from the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing; address the different proficiency levels of ELs; and be aligned with the challenging State academic standards (ESEA 1111(b)(1)(F)). 
  • The annual ELPA requirement applies to all grades K-12 in which there are ELs in schools served by the State (34 CFR § 200.5(a)(2)).
  • In addition, 34 CFR § 200.6(h)(5) requires that a State administers an alternate ELPA for ELs with the most significant cognitive disabilities who cannot participate in the ELPA, even with appropriate accommodations.

Upcoming ACCESS for ELLs Security Visits

  • Assessment Monitoring and Quality Assurance site visits with WDE Consultants will take place January 18–February 25, 2022.

Testing Materials Delivered January 4-6, 2022

Districts and/or schools should have received the following information:

  • MATERIAL INVENTORY: Every school or district has the responsibility to complete a Security Checklist to verify the secure materials against the checklist. These materials are used to inventory materials received for testing:
    • Packing List: Lists all materials shipped to the district or school.
    • 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.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY FORM: 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. 

Additional Materials Ordering Due by February 18, 2022

  • During the additional materials ordering window, 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.

District/School Labels for the ACCESS for ELLs Assessment

  • District/School labels must be kept by the district until the end of the testing window on February 25, 2022.
  • Do not use another school’s District/School labels, as the incorrect information will need to be fixed during Data Validation.
  • Your District Test Coordinator will contact Antoinette Hallam to order additional District/School labels. Before contacting the WDE, ensure all District/School Label overage has been used.

Editing Access Testing Schedules

  • ACCESS Testing Schedules were due on December 17, 2021. If you have not submitted your schedule, please do so ASAP.
  • Changes to testing schedules should be made and reported to the WDE right away. There are two options to edit an ACCESS testing schedule after completing the form.
    • Option 1 is the preferred option. After completing the Google Form, the submitter receives an email From: Google Forms<forms receipt-noreply@google.com. To edit your previous response, open the email and click on the “Edit response.”
    • Option 2 is reserved for submitters who do not have the email from Google Forms. Submitters will notify the EL Consultant, Antoinette Hallam, through email. A link will be sent to make suggested edits on the Google Sheet where responses were collected.

Returning Grades 1-3 Writing Test Materials

  • After testing has begun, we encourage districts to return completed Grades 1-3 Writing Test Booklets as early as possible, which may mean that districts will be sending multiple shipments back to DRC.
  • Districts do not have to wait until the end of the test window to return paper materials to DRC. Returning Writing test booklets to DRC early or on time helps support the quality of ACCESS for ELLs scoring and ensures that score reports are not delayed. 

Student Not Tested Form (SNTF) Due March 8, 2022

  • It is the responsibility of the District Test Coordinator (DTC) to ensure all students complete ACCESS for ELLs or ALT ACCESS for ELLs testing.
  • In the event a student did not complete all, or any portion of the ACCESS or ALT ACCESS domain tests, the DTC must complete and submit this form to the WDE.
  • Districts must wait until the ACCESS testing window has ended to complete the SNTF.


Preparing for Desktop and On-site Monitoring

  • Review Test Security policies, procedures and documentation, to include: security agreements, evidence of staff training, secure material handling, and test irregularities.
  • Ensure students with accommodations and supports have been properly identified and assigned.
  • Prepare, submit, and update testing schedules prior to the assessment window.
  • Review the Quality Assurance Checklist.
  • Districts who are chosen for monitoring will be contacted by a WDE consultant and should respond promptly to emails and phone calls.


The links below include access to additional resources, guidance, and the opportunity to network within the EL community:


  • January 4-6: ACCESS Test Materials Received in District.
  • January 5-February 18: ACCESS Additional Test Material Ordering Window in WIDA AMS.
  • January 6: Technology Troubleshooting Webinar.
  • January 17: Desktop Monitoring Documentation Dueto WDE.
  • January 18-February 25: ACCESS & ALT ACCESS Assessment Window.
  • January 18-February 25: ACCESS Assessment Monitoring and Quality Assurance site visits with WDE staff.
  • 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 Student Not Tested Forms (SNTFs) Due to WDE.
  • 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.