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ELL Assessment Update -ACCESS for ELLs Test Information

To:Principals and District English Language Learner (ELL) Program Directors
From:Dan Wiener, Administrator of Inclusive Assessment
Date:September 4, 2012


Greetings! I want to provide you with important information about the administration of the ACCESS for ELLs tests that are scheduled for next winter. As you are aware, ACCESS for ELLs will replace MEPA as the state's English proficiency assessment in the 2012-2013 school year and beyond.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

The Department will sponsor two face-to-face training sessions on September 19, and two conference calls on October 9, to provide information on the administration of ACCESS for ELLs tests in Massachusetts schools. Staff from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and from WIDA will present information on the following topics:

  • an overview of the ACCESS for ELLs tests
  • guidelines for selecting testing "tiers" for students (similar to the selection of test sessions previously for MEPA)
  • required training and certification for test administrators
  • protocols to follow before, during, and after testing
    • ordering test materials
    • scheduling and coordinating testing, including milestone dates
    • receiving, distributing, and returning test materials
  • reporting of results

Register for a face-to-face session OR a conference call if you are:

  • a district ELL director, or
  • a principal in a school serving more than 50 ELL students.

Registration is limited, so please register early. ELL directors should be prepared to serve as resource persons to provide information this fall to principals in schools with fewer than 50 ELL students.

All ELL directors and principals (or their designees) from this list of eligible schools are authorized to register. Each session will be approximately 2½ hours.

Register for a face-to-face session on September 19 at

Register for a conference call on October 9 at

WIDA Passwords

Passwords will be provided to districts to access secure materials on the WIDA website ( as follows:

  1. ELL program directors have already been sent a district-wide user name and password to access the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) free of charge. W-APT is a locally-administered optional test to screen incoming ELL students in order to determine the appropriate level of English language education services and/or the appropriate ACCESS for ELLs testing tier. If you are an ELL program director and have not already received this password, please email Paulette Watson at
  2. A second password will be sent to ELL program directors and principals on October 1 for distribution to prospective ACCESS for ELLs test administrators. The password can be used by prospective test administrators to access the required online training and certification to administer the ACCESS for ELLs Speaking test; Listening/Writing/Reading tests; and Kindergarten test, as appropriate. Each training/certification module will require 1-1 ½ hours and must be completed between October 1, 2012 and February 8, 2013.

Updated Contact Information Needed for New Principals and ELL Program Directors!

If you are a new principal or ELL program director, please ask your District Directory Administrator to update your School/District Profile on the Department's website at in order to continue to receive ELL assessment updates from the Student Assessment Services Office. District directory administrators are listed at and are responsible for maintaining and updating this information.

General information about ACCESS for ELLs test administration will be posted shortly to and is now available on the WIDA website at

General information about WIDA is available at

If you have further questions, please contact Paulette Watson at or 781-338-3625.

Thank you for your attention to this information.

Last Updated: December 6, 2012
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