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ACCESS for ELLs

WIDA Standards and ACCESS for ELLs Test Administration Training Opportunities

To:Superintendents, Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, and Special Education in Institutional Settings
Copy:English Language Learner Directors
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:August 22, 2012

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I am pleased to provide you with information on training opportunities related to the new WIDA (World-Class Instruction Design and Assessment) standards and the administration of ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) tests in the 2012-2013 school year.

Professional Development on WIDA Standards

Workshops will be held this fall (dates to be announced) to familiarize school and district staff with the new WIDA English Language Development Standards that replace the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes (ELPBO). Districts will be invited to register teachers and school leaders for these regional workshops. The workshops will address the following topics:

  • understanding the relationship between academic and content language
  • organization, structure, and implementation of the WIDA English Language Development Standards for language and content instruction
  • use of the WIDA Model Performance Indicators (MPIs) that describe specific levels of English language proficiency for a language domain
  • use of the WIDA CAN DO Descriptors to plan differentiated instruction for ELLs and monitor students' progress

In addition, WIDA will host a two-day conference on November 8 and 9 in Boston on the 2012 revisions and clarifications to the English Language Development Standards. The Department will host a pre-conference workshop on the standards on November 7. Superintendents and ELL Directors will be sent additional registration information in the fall. Information will also be posted to wida.us/membership/states/Massachusetts.aspx.

Fall Training Sessions on ACCESS for ELLs Tests

Two face-to-face sessions on administering ACCESS for ELLs tests will be offered on September 19, 2012 (one session each in the morning and afternoon). ELL directors and principals of schools with 50 or more ELL students will be invited to attend. In addition, two conference calls will be offered in the morning and afternoon on October 9. Registration information and other details will be sent separately to prospective participants.

The following topics will be presented:

  • an overview of the ACCESS for ELLs tests
  • guidelines for selecting testing "tiers"
  • required training and certification for test administrators
  • protocols to follow before, during, and after testing
  • reporting of results

The presentation slides will be available on the Department's website at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/access/.

More information on the ACCESS for ELLs tests is posted on the WIDA website at wida.us/membership/states/Massachusetts.aspx. Please contact Paulette Watson in the Department's Student Assessment Services office at 781-338-3625 with any questions.



Last Updated: August 28, 2012
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