English Learners Newsletter

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

English Learners Update Masthead

08-12-2022  |  August 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 4 p.m. MDT on August 25, 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 October 2022.
  • DRC Customer Service is available from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. MDT, 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. MDT, Monday-Thursday and 6 a.m.-4 p.m. MDT, 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, 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.




WIDA Secure Portal Training Certificates

  • All Screeners and Test Administrators are required to be certified through WIDA’s training courses on the WIDA Secure Portal
    • Screener Certification is required annually. 
    • Test Administration Certification is required every other year. A refresher is recommended between certifications. 
    • Alternate ACCESS Test Administrators will need to complete a unique course for the ALTELLA ALT-ACCESS Field Test.

Alternate Access Field Test

  • The ALTELLA Alternate Access Field Test is required for all ELs that are also identified as Alternate Assessment takers in grades K-12. 
  • Material orders will be automatically placed for all students identified as EL and Alternate Assessment students on the Pre-ID File generated from the October WDE684 Snapshot. 
    • A form will be distributed by WIDA for districts to order additional materials closer to the field test dates. 
    • All materials will arrive in districts on or before February 7, 2023.
  • The ALTELLA Field Test window will be February 14 - April 20, 2023. 
  • More information about the ALTELLA Field Test can be found on the dedicated WIDA webpage

For more information about EL assessments, contact Becca Velikaneye, WDE Assessment Consultant, at 307-777-6804 or rebecca.velikaneye@wyo.gov.


  • Returning EL District Test Coordinators (DTCs) and Test Administrators (TAs) will have the same privileges as last year, when their WIDA and DRC accounts roll over. Access the DRC Portal and ensure your account privileges are correct for this school year.
  • DTCs set up accounts for Test Administrators. New EL DTCs need to request WIDA and DRC accounts through Becca Velikaneye, WDE Assessment Consultant, via email.
  • Detailed information to configure, install, manage, and troubleshoot the Central Office Services (COS) Service Device can be found in the Technology User Guide located in WIDA AMS under My Applications > General Information > Documents. A new COS Online Help is available containing several topics describing how to use COS.


From 10-11:15 a.m. on September 22, 2022

  • The WDE EL Quarterly Webinar is designed to provide up-to-date, clarifying information and details on revisions to EL and Title III programs, processes, and documents. Sessions offer guidance on a number of topics relevant to all districts serving ELs. Q&A session will follow.
  • Join the webinar here.


Pertinent Information

  • The Home Language Survey (HLS) is the first required step in identifying potential English Learners and determining if a student may be in need of EL services. It cannot be used in isolation for identification purposes.
  • Home Language Survey forms must be a standard part of the enrollment process for every student who is new to a district. It must include the required three questions, but districts may include additional fact-finding questions.
  • Information from the HLS helps inform placement into a language assistance program (e.g., a bilingual and/or English as a Second Language [ESL] program) and is used to help determine if the student might be in need of EL services. 
  • A trained, building-level personnel should review the HLS to determine if the EL process advances to step 2.
  • Schools should reassure parents that the HLS is used solely to offer appropriate educational services, not for determining legal status. Also, parents and guardians should be informed that, if their child is identified as an EL, they may decline the EL program or particular EL services within the program. 
  • The HLS must be maintained in a way that makes them easily accessible to the school staff and available for state audits.

For more information, refer to the EL and Title III Guidebook, or contact Antoinette Hallam, WDE EL Consultant, at 307-777-5217 or antoinette.hallam@wyo.gov.


Register Today to Attend Virtually

  • Participants will experience interactive learning with innovative ideas to use in the classroom. Virtual participants will receive access to the platform on September 19, 2022. Register here.
  • Attend live sessions virtually September 28-30, 2022. Virtual sessions are available for $295 and will be recorded and made available to attendees from October 17-December 31, 2022.
  • The recorded-only option is available until October 7, 2022 for $250. Recordings will be provided on October 17, 2022.
  • Districts are allowed to use their Title III Funds to cover costs for this professional development. For more information, contact Jessica Fancher at 307-777-8964 or jessica.fancher3@wyo.gov.
  • If interested in attending the in-person portion of the 2022 WIDA Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, you may join the waitlist available on the 2022 WIDA Annual Conference website. A waitlist FAQ is located on the bottom of the webpage.


Self-Paced eWorkshops Begin September 1, 2022

These eWorkshops will create an online Professional Learning Community (PLC) that supports participants’ collaboration and fosters ownership of their learning. Unlimited access is available to the following self-paced virtual workshops from September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023. More information about each event may be found on WIDA’s Professional Development Page.

eWorkshop Core Topics:

  • Classroom Teachers: Engaging Multilingual Newcomers.
  • Developing Language for Learning in Mathematics.
  • Engaging Multilingual Learners in Science: Making Sense of Phenomena.
  • Home Languages in the Classroom (ICMEE).
  • Making Language Visible in the Classroom (NEW!).
  • Reframing Education for Long-term English Learners (NEW!).
  • Social Studies: Engaging Multilingual Learners through Inquiry.
  • The WIDA ELD Standards Framework: A Collaborative Approach.

eWorkshop Leadership Topics:

  • Leading for Equity: Classroom Walkthrough.
  • School Improvement Planning for Multilingual Learners.

eWorkshop Additional Topics:

  • Equity-Focused PLCs: A Resource Guide and Study Guides.
    • This workshop is designed for K-12 educators who come together with the goal of fostering equitable outcomes for multilingual learners.
    • Participants will receive guides that provide the tools and resources needed to support educators in creating and sustaining equity-focused PLCs.
  • Working Toward Meaningful Sensemaking in Sciences with Multilingual Learners.
    • This virtual workshop is for those who have completed the “Engaging Multilingual Learners in Science: Making Sense of Phenomena” workshop.
    • The workshop is limited to 40 participants and pre-registration will be required. Once enrolled, participants will have access to the material through August 31, 2023.


Six Essential Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners

  1. Cultivate relationships and be culturally responsive.
  2. Teach language skills across the curriculum.
  3. Emphasize productive language.
  4. Speak slowly and increase your wait time.
  5. Differentiate and use multiple modalities.
  6. Incorporate students’ Native languages when possible – and don’t be afraid of technology.

For more information, read the full article from Edutopia.


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


  • September 22: Fall Quarterly EL and Title III Webinar.
  • October 18, 25: Language Specialists - Engaging Multilingual Newcomers Webinar.
  • October 25-26: Writing with Multilingual Learners in the Elementary Grades Workshop (In-Person/Location TBD).
  • October 28: Collaboration Practices and Potentialities Workshop (In-Person/ Location TBD).
  • November 1: Language Specialists - Engaging Multilingual Newcomers Webinar.
  • November 29: ACCESS for ELLs Online Test Administrator Training.
  • November 30: ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Training.
  • December 1, 8, 15: Attending to Equity Through Bilingual Instruction Webinar.
  • December 15: Winter Quarterly EL and Title III Webinar.
  • January 10, 17: Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework Webinar.
  • January 17-February 24: ACCESS & ALT-ACCESS Assessment Window.
  • February 7: ALT-ACCESS Field Test Materials Arrive in Districts.
  • February 14-April 20: ALT-ACCESS Field Test Assessment Window.
  • March 15: Teacher Leaders - Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework Webinar.
  • March 16: Spring Quarterly EL and Title III Webinar.
  • March 22: Teacher Leaders - Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework Workshop (In-Person/Location TBD).
  • May 9: Interpreting ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports Webinar.
  • May 11: WIDA Screener for Kindergarten Webinar.
  • May 18: Summer Quarterly EL and Title III Webinar.
  • August 15: WIDA Screener for Kindergarten Webinar.
  • August 17: WIDA Screener Online Webinar.
  • August 31: Deadline to Complete WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops.