Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

ELL Assessment Update: New WIDA Screener Release and Webinar

To:District ELL Program Directors
From:Dan Wiener, Administrator of Inclusive Assessment
Alexis Glick, ELL Assessment Coordinator
Bridgette Kelly, Educational Specialist
Date:October 27, 2016

WIDA has recently developed a new WIDA Screener, which is an English language proficiency screening tool to assist educators with the identification of incoming students in Grades 1–12 as English language learners (ELLs). The WIDA Screener is intended to assist educators in making decisions about whether a student is a candidate for English language support services. The WIDA Screener is available either as a paper-based or online assessment and should take about 70 minutes to administer the four language domains of Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The WIDA Screener Online will be available on November 1, 2016. The current school year (2016-2017) will be the final year the W-APT will be supported by WIDA. As with the W-APT, this Screener Online will be available at no cost to Massachusetts educators. The paper version of the new screener is available for purchase through WIDA for districts or schools that prefer to administer the screener using paper-based materials. Training materials for both versions of the WIDA Screener, including information on logistics, administration, scoring & reporting, accommodations, and materials & resources, are available through WIDA personal accounts. Information on both the Online and Paper version of the Screener can be found on the WIDA Screener web page. On November 4, WIDA will offer a WIDA Screener Online Webinar from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. The call-in number is:
  • 415-655-0002
  • Access code: 666 504 279
Topics will include:
  • Screener purpose and overview
  • Technology requirements
  • Training materials
  • Assessment administration
  • Scoring procedures
Additional guidance will be sent shortly on the administration of the WIDA Screener online and paper-based versions in Massachusetts. Please contact Student Assessment Services with any questions about the WIDA Screener administration in Massachusetts by contacting either or by phone at 781-338-3625. General questions regarding the Screener, and information about the upcoming webinar can be directed to the WIDA Helpdesk at 1-866-276-7735 or Thank you for your attention to this important information.

Last Updated: December 8, 2016

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