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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

ELL Assessment Update: WIDA Screener Webinars

To:District ELL Program Directors
From:Dan Wiener, Administrator of Inclusive Assessment
Alexis Glick, ELL Assessment Coordinator
Bridgette Kelly, Educational Specialist
Date:December 8, 2016


WIDA recently developed a new WIDA Screener which will be used as 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. This school year (2016 2017) will be the final year the W-APT, the current screening tool, will be supported by WIDA.

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 was made available on November 1, 2016, and is 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 and resources, are available on the WIDA website, through WIDA personal accounts. Information on both the Online and Paper version of the Screener can be found on the WIDA Screener web page.

During this year, WIDA will offer WIDA Screener Online webinars to support those individuals who are administering the online Screener for the first time. Massachusetts educators can participate in a live webinar on any of the dates listed below; or they may listen to and view a recorded version of the WIDA Screener webinar at anytime.

The dates and times for the live WIDA Screener Online webinars are:

  • Wednesday, December 14, 2016 from 2pm–3pm
  • Friday, February 3, 2017 from 12pm–1pm
  • Friday, March 3, 2017 from 2pm–3pm
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 3pm–4pm
  • Friday, April 7, 2017 from 2pm–3pm
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 4pm–5pm
  • Friday, May 5, 2017, 12pm–1pm

To join these webinars.

Topics will include:

  • Screener purpose and overview
  • Technology requirements
  • Training materials
  • Assessment administration
  • Scoring procedures

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 20, 2016
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