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EL Assessment Update: ACCESS Test Window Extension and Other Important Announcements

To:Principals, EL Program Directors, ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinators, and Educational Technology Directors
From:Dan Wiener, Administrator of Inclusive Assessment
Melanie Manares, English Proficiency Assessment Coordinator
Date:January 10, 2022

Greetings and thank you for everything you do for students each day, especially given the pandemic-related challenges we continue to face. Included in this update are important updates and reminders to help you prepare to safely test English learners during the ACCESS for ELLs testing window.

Extension of the ACCESS Testing Window

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on schools and families, the Commissioner has extended the ACCESS for ELLs testing window until March 4, 2022. Please see the schedule below for updated testing and reporting activities.

Test SetupDecember 2, 2021–March 4, 2022
Schools receive test materialsJanuary 4, 2022
Additional Test Materials Ordering window in WIDA AMSJanuary 4, 2022–February 25, 2022
ACCESS for ELLs Test WindowJanuary 6, 2022–Friday, March 4, 2022
Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRCTuesday, March 8, 2022
Pre-reporting data validation in WIDA AMSApril 11–19, 2022
Schools receive reports in WIDA AMSMay 19, 2022
Schools receive printed reportsMay 24, 2022
Post-reporting data validation in WIDA AMSMay 24, 2022–June 1, 2022
Updated data posted in WIDA AMSJune 15, 2022

Important Reminders:

Test Materials

The Department has pre-ordered test materials for every school. Materials should have arrived in schools on January 4, 2022. If materials were not received, please contact DRC customer service at 855-787-9615 to request a UPS tracking number to locate the test materials. Please review your materials shipment to ensure you have everything you need. An overage of materials was included in the shipment which should be used prior to placing any additional materials orders.

Additional Materials

Additional materials may be ordered in WIDA AMS as needed for students enrolled after the October SIMS count was submitted to DESE. The Additional Materials Ordering Window closes on February 25. Yellow District/School labels were included in your initial materials shipment. If additional labels are needed, please email . Additional District/School labels are not included with the shipment of your Additional Materials order. Please attempt to limit your additional materials orders to one per school.

Test Sessions

Students in the Pre-ID file have been placed in generic test sessions in WIDA AMS. Schools should review the test sessions in WIDA AMS under Test Management>Manage Test Sessions during the test setup window (open through March 4) and make any necessary changes, such as updating demographic information, adding students who are not included in the list, and removing students who have exited EL status or are no longer enrolled in the district. Students who have exited or are no longer enrolled should be reported as such in the March SIMS. Please see page 62 of the WIDA AMS User Guide for information on editing test sessions. Changes made in WIDA AMS will override what was pre-loaded. Other important dates during ACCESS testing 2022 can be found on the MA state page of the WIDA website.

Early Return of Grades 1–3 Writing Materials

Schools that have completed most of their Grades 1–3 Writing tests are encouraged to return the writing test booklets to DRC as early as possible. Schools do not have to wait until the end of the test window to return paper materials to DRC. Returning writing test booklets to DRC early helps support the scoring and timely reporting of results.

2022 ACCESS for ELLs "Office Hours:" Question-and-Answer Sessions

Beginning this month, the Department will offer a series of online opportunities for ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinators, EL Program Directors, and Principals to ask questions and receive clarification about the 2022 ACCESS test administration. "Office hours" will be conducted via Zoom and participants will be required to register ahead of time for each session they wish to attend. There will be a limit to the number of participant registrations per district, but each participant may register for more than one session. "Office hour" sessions are scheduled for:

  • January 12, 2022 — 1:00–2:00 pm
  • January 18, 2022 — 1:00–2:00 pm
  • January 26, 2022 — 1:00–2:00 pm

Please register here. A confirmation message will appear on your screen once you have successfully registered. An email with the link to the webinar will be sent to you from Alchemer or Survey Gizmo upon completing registration. If you do not receive the email, please check your spam folder. Email with questions about registration.

"Service Now" Forms

Please report any testing irregularities and requests for test regeneration, requests to test a student in an alternate setting, and tier override requests (for students with disabilities who cannot take the listening or reading test due to an unavailable accommodation) using the appropriate Service Now Form on the DESE ACCESS web page.

Contact Student Assessment Services with any questions about ACCESS for ELLs testing at or by phone at 781-338-3625.

Thank you for your attention to this information.

Last Updated: January 10, 2022

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