Greetings and thank you for your hard work to ensure that our English learners are tested this year. Included in this update are WIDA Screener for Kindergarten (K Screener) cut scores and information regarding 2021 ACCESS for ELLs statewide results.
The WIDA Screener for Kindergarten ("K Screener") is an individually administered paper-and-pencil screener assessment that identifies whether a student entering kindergarten or first-semester grade 1 is an English learner (EL). It is administered to incoming students when they enter school in your district. Testing times will vary according to the student's level of language proficiency but is typically administered in about 20 minutes for Listening and Speaking (incoming kindergarteners) and an additional 10 minutes each for Reading and Writing (second-semester kindergarteners and students entering grade 1). After administering the K Screener, the test administrator enters the student's scores using the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten Score Calculator to determine the student's overall English proficiency level. Information about the K Screener, including required training and certification, is available on the WIDA website.
Prospective test administrators must be trained and qualified to administer the new K screener by logging into their WIDA Secure Portal account. After logging in, click the Assessment Training tab at the top of the page, then click the box for "Screener for Kindergarten."
If you are a first-time test administrator or test coordinator, please visit the DESE ACCESS web page for instructions on creating your WIDA Secure Portal account.
Based on the recommendations of an expert panel that met last August and a review of kindergarten screener scores from several districts that "double-screened" their students (i.e., screened on the K Screener and either the K W-APT or K MODEL), we are providing you with the cut scores for the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten that should be used to identify a student as an English learner.
The following WIDA K Screener cut scores in Listening and Speaking should be used to identify an incoming first-semester kindergarten student as an EL if they do not attain both scores listed below:
The following WIDA K Screener cut scores should be used to identify an incoming second-semester kindergarten student or first-semester grade 1 student as an EL if they do not attain all scores listed below:
Composite scores on the K Screener should not be used to identify a student as an EL, since a higher score in one domain could offset a lower score in another.
DESE guidance on using the K MODEL to screen first- and second-semester kindergarteners and first-semester students in grade 1 has been modified as follows. The requirement to attain an overall composite level "higher than 5" (i.e., at least Level 5.5) for second-semester incoming kindergarteners and first-semester grade 1 students has been eliminated because this exceeds the minimum required scores in each domain, according to the Department's Initial Identification of ELs resource. The K MODEL cut scores used to identify an incoming second-semester kindergarten and incoming grade 1 student as EL should reflect that the student has not attained the following scores:
Please contact the Office of Language Acquisition if you have questions about the new K Screener cut scores.
The report of 2021 ACCESS proficiency and progress results is available for download on the DESE ACCESS for ELLs Results web page at 2021 ACCESS for ELLs State Results . The report includes the five required Reporting Elements, a comparison of ACCESS scores among tested students in 2020 and 2021, a summary of Alternate ACCESS results, and the proficiency of EL students in the highest incidence language groups.
Contact Student Assessment Services with any questions about ACCESS for ELLs testing at ACCESS@mass.gov or by phone at 781-338-3625.
Thank you for your attention to this information.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
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