English Learners Newsletter

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

English Learners Update Masthead

02/02/2022  |  February 2022 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 February 10, 2022.
  • WIDA AMS Security Patch from 10 p.m. MST on Saturday to 10 a.m. MST on Sunday, 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 for October 2021–February 2022.
  • WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for test sessions are open until 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 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 at help@wida.us or 866-276-7735. Contact WIDA with questions on 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.




Becca Velikaneye, M.Ed., M.A., is an Assessment Consultant for at-risk populations in the Standards and Assessment Division for the WDE.

Prior to joining the team in January of 2022, she taught eighth grade English for 10 years in Wheatland and Cheyenne. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Secondary English Education, a Master’s of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Wyoming, and a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on Instructional Technology, from Chadron State College.

Becca is excited to help educators across the state use assessments to meet the needs of students. For more information, contact Becca Velikaneye, WDE Assessment Consultant, at 307-777-6804 or rebecca.velikaneye@wyo.gov.


WIDA NDUA and WDE Security Agreements 

  • All district personnel who are involved with active test sessions, or who come in contact with secure testing materials, must have the WIDA NDUA and the WDE Security Agreement signed and on file. WIDA NDUA can be found on the WIDA Secure Portal (bottom of the page). 
  • These agreements must be kept physically on file with signatures for two years. 
  • These documents can be requested for review during the on-site ACCESS monitoring by the WDE Consultant.
  • For more information, contact Becca Velikaneye, WDE Assessment Consultant, at 307-777-6804 or rebecca.velikaneye@wyo.gov.

Update Testing Schedules as Changes Occur

There are two options to edit an ACCESS testing schedule after completing the 2021-22 ACCESS for ELLs Testing Schedule Survey Form

  • Option 1 is the preferred option. After completing the Google Form, the submitter receives an email from Google Forms (From: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 may 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.
  • For more information, contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE Assessment Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or antoinette.hallam@wyo.gov.

Assessment Window Closes on February 25, 2022

  • Students who transfer out of a district can be removed from test sessions. A transfer must be completed in AMS, when a student transfers to another district and has not completed the ACCESS for ELLs test sessions.
  • Students who are likely not to test because of COVID-related issues, but are still in the district, should be kept in test sessions until the end of the testing window.
  • Districts may remove students from test sessions after it has been verified that the student will not complete a test session by the end of the testing window.

Shipping Deadline for Returning Completed Test Materials

  • All secure test materials must be returned to DRC by March 1, 2022.
  • Only materials shipped on or before the final return date will be processed in time for reporting. Late materials will not have a data valuation window, and will prevent you from receiving reports or data files on your state’s reporting date. Reports for late materials will not be issued until the Late Returns Report date after testing.
  • LEAs are asked to return their Grades 1-3 Writing Test Booklets as early as possible. Do not wait until the end of the test window.

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/ALT ACCESS for ELLs testing.
  • In the event a student does not complete all, or any portion of the domain tests, the DTC must complete and submit this form to the WDE.
  • Districts must wait until the testing window has ended to submit the SNTF.


From 10-11:15 a.m. MST on February 24, 2022

This webinar is designed to provide up-to-date information and guidance on EL and Title III programs, processes, and documents. Q&A session to follow.

Join the webinar via Zoom, or dial 1-346-248-7799. 

  • Meeting ID: 970 3120 9036.
  • Passcode: 778432.


The purpose of this eWorkshop is to learn how to support bilingual students who are struggling with reading in English. Participants will be part of 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 six self-paced modules that each consist of three sections: Explore, Make it Work, and Share. More information can be found on the registration link.

  • Self-Paced Modules: March-June 2022.
  • Webinar: 3:30-4:30 p.m. MDT on May 25, 2022.
  • 1.5 PTSB credit available upon completion.
  • Register here.
  • For more professional development opportunities, visit the Professional Learning and Webinars tabs in your WIDA Secure Portal.


State ESL Conference is April 29-30, 2022

  • The University of Wyoming, in partnership with Campbell County School District #1, will host the Wyoming ESL and DLI Conference in April 2022.
  • The WDE will be presenting a session titled: “English Learner (EL) Identification, Accountability, and State ACCESS Results” during the conference.
  • Visit the Wyoming ESL Conference website for registration and more information.


Working with Foreign Exchange Students

  • Foreign exchange students fit the federal educational definition of an immigrant student and are included in the count of immigrant students the district reports on the WDE684 collection. It is important for the LEA to report all immigrant students who meet the definition, in order to determine if they may be eligible for Title III - Immigrant funds.
  • Although foreign exchange students do not graduate from Wyoming, and are here primarily for the experience and exposure to the language, guidance from the Office of Civil Rights does not exempt foreign exchange students from the protections established under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a foreign exchange student is not exempt from any Title I or Title III required assessment, specifically the English language proficiency assessment, and will be included in the state’s accountability by district. Foreign exchange students will also participate in state content assessments.
  • Foreign exchange students should be treated like any other student and must be included in the EL identification process. While foreign exchange students do speak English, proficiency levels may vary, requiring some students to need English language support and services.
  • If the Home Language Survey(HLS) indicates a language other than English is the student’s primary language, a follow-up interview is required with the host family.
  • Screening for English proficiency is the third step of the identification process. If the student scores below proficient on the screener, the student is reported as an active EL and provided EL services. Districts will also report foreign exchange students who qualify as Active ELs on the WDE684 collection.
  • For more information on the EL Identification Process, refer to the Active English Learner (EL) Guidebook.


  • January 5-February 18: ACCESS Additional Test Material Ordering Window in WIDA AMS.
  • January 18-February 25: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Assessment Window.
  • January 18-February 25: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Assessment Monitoring and Quality Assurance Site Visits with WDE Staff.
  • February 14: Enrollment Deadline Multi-Tiered Systems of Support ICMEE (Self-paced eWorkshop).
  • February 14: Enrollment Deadline – Uncovering and Leveraging Students’ Home Literacies in the Classroom ICMEE (Self-paced eWorkshop).
  • February 18: Enrollment Deadline Scaffolding Learning Through Language Webinar Series.
  • March 1: ACCESS Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC.
  • March 7: Enrollment Deadline – Reading Supports for Multilingual Learners ICMEE (Self-paced eWorkshop).
  • March 8: ACCESS Student Not Tested Forms (SNTFs) Due to WDE.
  • March 8: ACCESS Post-Testing: Data Validation Webinar.
  • March 15: ACCESS 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 9: WIDA Screener for Kindergarten Webinar.
  • May 12: ACCESS Interpreting for Score Reports Webinar.
  • May 20-24: ACCESS Printed Reports Available in Districts.
  • June 17: ACCESS Updated Data Posted in WIDA AMS.