English Learners Newsletter

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

English Learners Update Masthead

February 1, 2023


  • WIDA AMS Upgrade at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 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: Thursday, June 30, 2022 to Thursday, June 29, 2023.
    • WY ACCESS Test Setup: Friday, November 11, 2022 to Friday, February 24, 2023.
    • WY ACCESS Test Window: Tuesday, January 17 to Friday, February 24, 2023.
  • Contact DRC Customer Service with questions about testing material, Central Office Services (COS), and processing paper test materials.
  • Contact the WIDA Client Services Center with questions about WIDA Secure Portal user accounts; ACCESS for ELLs; WIDA Screener; MODEL; score reports; TA procedures, training, and certification; Standards and Can Do Descriptors; and WIDA Early Years.
    • WIDA is available from 6 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 6 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday at help@wida.us or 866-276-7735.
  • Submit updated EL Coordinator contact information to the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) here.


  • The ACCESS Test Window is Tuesday, January 17 through Friday, February 24, 2023.
    • Add any new students to WIDA AMS and assign them to test sessions before the end of the test window.
    • In WIDA AMS, assign accommodations for students with an IEP or 504 plan.
    • Remove students who move or are no longer ELs from test sessions. 
    • Transfer students who move to a Wyoming district who have completed any of the domain tests but who have not completed the ACCESS and/or all four domains.
  • Complete the WIDA MODEL Interim Interest Survey by Friday, February 10, 2023.
  • The deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC is Tuesday, February 28, 2023.


  1. Honor a Wyoming Educator for supporting English Learners by submitting a nomination form. If the nominee is selected, a WIDA staff member will reach out to the educator directly.


Grades 1-3 Writing Test Materials 

  • Completed Grades 1-3 ACCESS for ELLs Online Writing test booklets should be returned before the end of your test window. 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.

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Field Test Materials Arriving

  • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Field Test materials will be shipped to each district site to which ACCESS materials were shipped.
  • All field test materials will arrive in yellow WIDA/DRC boxes on or before Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
  • Field test boxes and test materials will be identifiable by the illustrated dog, “Candoo.” 
  • If additional materials are needed, sites will need to complete the Additional Materials Order (AMO) Form on WIDA AMS. This form will be available Tuesday, February 7 through Monday, April 10, 2023.
  • Visit the Alternate ACCESS Field Test web page to learn what is required before, during, and after the field test.

Test Security Incidents vs. Testing Irregularities

  • Test security is critical to maintaining test integrity. Any unauthorized exposure of secure test content can not only undermine the effectiveness of test materials, but also create unfair testing conditions for students. A test security incident is any unauthorized exposure of secure test content on any platform.
  • Test security incidents are different from testing irregularities, which could include errors in test administration such as translating test items for students, allowing use of a bilingual dictionary, or an addition or omission of an accommodation. Such irregularities might require investigation or action according to state and local testing policies but do not represent risks to test security.

Reporting Test Irregularities and Test Security Incidents to WDE

Test security incidents and test irregularities are of serious concern and must be reported as follows:

  • Educators must report all test irregularity incidents to WDE (not directly to WIDA).
  • The Building Coordinator (BC) must submit the ACCESS and ALT ACCESS Irregularity Report Form (IRF) when an irregularity occurs.
  • If a BC suspects the irregularity violates test security in any way, immediately contact WDE, in addition to submitting the IRF, to determine next steps.

For more information about EL assessments, contact Cat Palmer, WDE Assessment Supervisor, at 307-777-8568 or catherine.palmer@wyo.gov.


Teacher Leaders: Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework eWorkshop

This eWorkshop consists of two training sessions (one webinar and one in-person training) occurring about one week apart.

  • Educators and leaders will be able to integrate content and language learning by: 
    • Researching the architecture of a content unit. 
    • Setting unit language goals through unit and text analysis. 
    • Identifying how language functions and features, thereby helping students convey meaning more effectively in content learning.
  • Trainings for this will include:
    • Webinar: 3:30-5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
    • In-person Workshop: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday March 22, 2023 (location TBD).
  • Sign up for the training here.

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


  • January 4-February 17: ACCESS/ALT-ACCESS Additional Test Materials Ordering Window.
  • January 17-February 24: ACCESS & ALT-ACCESS Assessment Window.
  • 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.