English Learners Newsletter

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

English Learners Update Masthead

January 4, 2023


  • WIDA AMS Upgrade at 7 p.m. on January 12, 2023.
  • WIDA AMS Security Patch from 10 p.m. Saturday, February 4, 2023, to 10 a.m. Sunday, February 5, 2023.
  • 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 2023.
  • WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for test sessions through the window dates listed below. 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.
    • Screener Test Setup: June 30, 2022-June 29, 2023.
    • WY ACCESS Test Setup: November 11, 2022-February 24, 2023.
    • WY ACCESS Test Window: January 17-February 24, 2023.
  • DRC Customer Service is available from 6 a.m.-5 p.m., 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., Monday-Thursday and 6 a.m.-4 p.m. 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) here.


  1. The WIDA Annual Conference will take place October 17-20, 2023. Become a presenter and share your expertise with other educators for the conference. Learn more and submit a proposal by January 31, 2023.
  2. Honor a Wyoming Educator for supporting English Learners by submitting a nomination form. If your nominee is selected, a WIDA staff member will reach out to the educator directly.


Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework

  • This eWorkshop consists of two webinars scheduled for January 10 and January 17, 2023. Educators and leaders will learn how the various components of the 2020 edition of the WIDA English Language Development Standards work together to support equitable access to high quality learning opportunities for multilingual learners.
  • Prior to the eWorkshop, participants will receive information about optional learning activities to complete between the two webinars. Access to online resources to support implementation will be available following the eWorkshop.
  • Register here.

Additional Webinar Topics Available in January


Testing Requirement for English Learners

  • Under ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(G), all Active English learners (ELs) must participate in an annual English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) that is aligned with the State’s ELP standards. The ESEA requires 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

  • ACCESS for ELLs assessment administration and statewide assessment Monitoring and Quality Assurance site visits with WDE staff will take place January 17-February 24, 2023.
  • Testing schedules for schools that have been contacted by WDE were due by December 19, 2022.
  • For each school selected to be monitored, a Test Security and Statewide Assessment Administration Procedures Manual is due to WDE by January 9, 2023. The template can be found here.

Preparing to Administer ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Assessments

  • District Test Coordinators, Building Test Coordinators, and Test Administrators all have roles and responsibilities to prepare for and during the ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS for ELLs test administration.
  • Use the ACCESS for ELLs Checklist to prepare for test administration.
  • Visit the Preparing for Alternate ACCESS for ELLs web page to download the Quick Start Guide.

Security Requirements of Proctors and Other Personnel

Test Materials Arrive January 4-6, 2023

  • 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. Test Administrators can go to the WIDA Secure Portal and click on “My Certifications” to check on current Test Administrator certifications. TA’s must certify the first year of test administration and every other year after the first year.
  • While you have the test materials, store them securely in accordance with the state policy and your district policy.

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


Preparing Students and Families for the ACCESS English Language Proficiency Test

  • Share information about the test with parents and families.
  • Introduce the test to your students about two weeks ahead of testing day.
  • Talk to your students about:
    • Testing tools such as highlighters and line guides, and how best to use them.
    • Accommodations, if the student has an IEP or 504 plan (include the IEP team).
    • Standardized test conventions including instructions and completing forms correctly.
  • Provide students with Test Practice and Sample Items so they can:
    • Learn the test technology.
    • Become familiar with the kind of content they will encounter on the test.
    • Give them a chance to practice answering the type of questions they will see on the test.
    • Learn about the test platform.
  • Important things to discuss with students about testing are:
    • Setting themselves up for success with a “can do” attitude.
    • Talking about the importance of a good night’s sleep.
    • Eating a good meal or healthy snack before the test.
    • Advocating for themselves if they need opportunities to release energy and relax before and after the test.


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

  • WDE EL Webpage.
  • WIDA Website: Wyoming Page.
  • Social Media Tags:
    •  Facebook: @WIDA.UW. 
    • Twitter: @WIDA_UW. 
    • Instagram: @wida_uw.


  • January 4-February 17: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Additional Test Materials Ordering Window.
  • January 5: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Technology Troubleshooting Webinar.
  • January 9: Test Security and Statewide Assessment Administration Procedures Manuals due to WDE.
  • January 10, 17: Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework Webinar.
  • January 17-February 24: ACCESS & ALT-ACCESS Assessment Window.
  • January 24: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS/K-ACCESS - Returning Paper Materials Webinar.
  • January 26: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Online - Monitoring Completion for Test Coordinators Webinar.
  • January 31: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Exemption Request Deadline.
  • February 7: ALT-ACCESS Field Test Materials Arrive in Districts.
  • February 7-April 10: ALT-ACCESS Field Test Additional Materials Ordering Window.
  • February 14-April 17: ALT-ACCESS Field Test Assessment Window.
  • March 7: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS - Post Testing Data Validation Webinar.
  • March 14: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS - Interpreting Score Reports Webinar.
  • 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).
  • April 25-26: WIDA Kindergarten ACCESS Bias, Sensitivity and Content Review Committee in Washington, D.C.
  • May 5-6: 6th Annual Wyoming ESL & DLI Conference.
  • 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.