ELL Assessment Update: Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Score Report Interpretation- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


ELL Assessment Update: Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Score Report Interpretation

To:Principals and English Language Learner (ELL) Directors
From:Dan Wiener, Administrator of Inclusive Assessment
Paulette Watson, ACCESS for ELLs Coordinator
Date:May 27, 2014


Greetings! We are providing you with information about available resources to assist in the interpretation and use of the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs score reports.


The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs assesses the English proficiency of English language learners (ELLs) with significant cognitive disabilities. Many of these students also take the MCAS-Alt, or would be likely to take the MCAS-Alt once they reach grade 3. The Alternate ACCESS provides an opportunity for ELL students with significant disabilities to be included in statewide English proficiency assessments, as required by federal and state laws.

Detailed information provided in the Alternate ACCESS Teacher Report can be used together with the Alternate ACCESS performance definitions to inform student instruction, classroom curriculum, and ongoing language assessment for ELLs with significant disabilities.

Resources to interpret the Alternate ACCESS Score Report

  1. 2014 Alternate ACCESS Score Reports Webinar (23 minutes), which provides information to assist in understanding:

    • the reporting of different scores (individual, composite, and overall)
    • the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs proficiency levels
    • the use of the performance definitions

    The webinar is listed on the right side of the page under "Downloads & Products." It will require you to log in. Simply click on "Log In" and enter the personal WIDA account user name and password you created to access the test administrator training modules. The page will reload and you will be able to open the documents.

  2. Alternate ACCESS Performance Definitions, which:

    • describe the language characteristics of students in each Alternate ACCESS proficiency level
    • assist in the interpretation of proficiency levels for measuring growth
    • assist in understanding the instructional needs of students in order to plan individualized and group instruction
  3. 2014 Alternate ACCESS Interpretive Guide, which provides information on Alternate ACCESS score report interpretation.
  4. Understanding the Alternate ACCESS Parent/Guardian Report, a brief PowerPoint presentation, which may be presented to parents (with an interpreter, if needed).

Letter to Accompany Alternate ACCESS Parent/Guardian Reports

Districts may download a sample letter to parents in English to accompany the Alternate ACCESS Parent/Guardian Reports at ACCESS for ELLs Results webpage. Letters should be copied onto school or district letterhead, signed by the appropriate school or district official, and sent to the home of the parents with the actual Parent/Guardian Report. WIDA has not provided translations of these letters.

Other ACCESS for ELLs Score Report Interpretation Materials

New interpretive materials for the ACCESS for ELLs score reports have been posted to the WIDA website. These include:

Download PDF Document
The ACCESS for ELLs Interpretive Guide for Score Reports, 2014 (particularly pages 20-42)

View External Link
A new webinar entitled Unpacking 2014 ACCESS Score Reports

Download PDF Document
A handout to accompany the Unpacking 2014 ACCESS Score Reports webinar

View External Link
A PowerPoint presentation entitled Interpreting ACCESS for ELLs Scores, posted in the "ACCESS for ELLs" column of the WIDA Download Library. To view this document, you must log in to the WIDA website with your WIDA personal account user name and password.

Thank you for your attention to this information.

Last Updated: June 2, 2014

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