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Assessment for ELLs FAQ



Q. Do we need to reclassify students this spring, or can we wait until fall?

A. Ideally reclassification will take place at the normal time, but we realize that this may not be possible. Reclassification decisions can be pushed to fall, but must be completed before the end of October, with students’ correct EL status and ELP codes reflected in WISEdata at that time.

Q. Can we do a MIP virtually?

A. If you feel that you can administer the MIP with fidelity, you may go ahead and do so.

Q. Can we use the MIP process for reclassification this fall?

Yes, provided you meet the deadline above for reclassification.

Also consider that exiting students between ELP 4.5 and 4.9 with a qualifying MIP score is voluntary for borderline proficient students. As students will have been out of school for five or more months by the time school resumes, consider whether or not exiting a borderline student will be the best choice for that student. Some students may benefit from another year of language instruction if they have spent the time off in a mostly non-English speaking environment.

Q. When do we send ACCESS score reports home?

A. If you can securely provide parents electronic copies of the Individual Score Reports (ISRs), please feel free to do that this spring or over the summer. PDF versions of the ISRs are available in the WIDA AMS in more than 40 languages. Paper ISRs are scheduled to be shipped on August 17, when schools are back in session. If you haven’t been able to get parents ACCESS ISRs by then, you can send the paper copies with your regularly scheduled fall mailings. WIDA has a number of parental resources translated into many languages on their website that you should consider including:

Q. Will report cards or accountability for ACCESS be different this year?

State and federal accountability requirements have been suspended for this year. We will be investigating how to move forward with our accountability systems and report cards given this year’s missing academic content assessments. Whether and how this will impact accountability for ELs is unclear at this time. For now, assume we’ll be keeping the same growth expectations for ELs. We did complete ACCESS testing this year, so we will have the data to look at growth when we resume accountability and report cards next year.

General Assessment Related FAQs
Q: Where can I find information about……

A: Our EL Policy handbook can answer most questions regarding English Learners. If you are looking for specific technical information about an ELP assessment, the Download Library in WIDA’s Secure Portal will likely have it. If you aren’t finding what you need in either place, please email for assistance.

Q: How does test ordering work?

A: DPI uploads the public school roster in early November. Districts may upload private school rosters in October. After the public school roster is uploaded, material orders are calculated (including overage) from the combined public and private rosters. Once materials are received in late November, districts may order any additional materials they need in the WIDA AMS Additional Materials section.

Q: How do I get WIDA-AMS or WIDA Secure Portal logins?

A: DACs provide these accounts to staff in their district. See the DAC Corner if you are unsure who your DAC is. If you are a DAC and need a login, email

Q: How should we handle student transfers around the ACCESS test window?

A: If you receive a new student after rosters are uploaded in early November, please fill out the transfer request form. OSA will be notified of the new student, and after verifying enrollment in WISEdash (may take 1-2 days for SIS to sync) will transfer any incomplete tests from the former district into your district. This will allow the student to resume testing instead of taking the entire test over again. Complete tests will remain with the former district and you will not need to test the student. Transfer requests made after the test window closes will not be completed.

Q: What are the allowable response modes for ACCESS?

A: WI administers ACCESS online for students in grades 1-12. Kindergarten, braille, large print, and Alternate ACCESS are paper booklets. Students in grades 1-12 with an IEP who have a disability which can’t be accommodated online are eligible for a full paper test. Students in grades 1-3 receive paper Writing booklets to handwrite in. Students in grades 4-12 who are not keyboard fluent may also have paper Writing booklets ordered for them. Outside of these handwriting options, other mixed-mode testing is not allowed.