COVID-19 Response and Updates

boy on couch with tabletWIDA’s Response to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, WIDA is taking measures to maintain service to our educators in a safe and practical way. WIDA is working with each of the 40 member states, territories and federal agencies of our domestic consortium to determine their specific plans relative to screening (including temporary remote alternatives) and assessment. WIDA also continues to work with WIDA Early Years member states and WIDA International School Consortium members to continue to best serve these communities.

WIDA remains committed to supporting educators, multilingual children and their families during this difficult time, and always. The following includes the latest updates on WIDA’s response to COVID-19 as well as resources for the WIDA community.

Top Updates

Updated July 13

  • WIDA Travel: WIDA has cancelled travel through 2020 and continues to work remotely. As part of UW-Madison, WIDA is following the guidance put together by the university in their “Smart Restart” plan for returning to campus.
  • WIDA Annual Conference: Recently, WIDA made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person 2020 WIDA Annual Conference in response to the impact of COVID-19. WIDA explored several options to hold the conference virtually, but has ultimately decided not to move forward with a virtual WIDA Annual Conference due to the uncertainty around the upcoming school year. Save the date for the 2021 WIDA Annual Conference planned for October 26-29, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • WIDA ELD Standards: WIDA is finalizing development of the WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on schools and communities around the world, WIDA is reviewing the timeline for the release of the 2020 Edition.
  • WIDA Social Media: WIDA is using Twitter and Facebook as a place to connect with the WIDA community. New WIDA Facebook groups have been established for educators to connect and share resources: the WIDA Educator Exchange and Supporting Success for Multilingual Learners with Disabilities.


Tips for Parents and Families

Educator Connection and Collaboration

WIDA Staff Recommended Resources

  • WIDA accommodations and accessibility experts share tips and information that aim to help multilingual students with disabilities find success in the virtual classroom.
  • The WIDA Focus Bulletin: Technology in the Classroom provides educators with support as they think critically about the ways different sorts of media and tech tools can help facilitate language development in their contexts.
  • The National Science Teachers Association is offering opportunities for students to do science through distance and home learning with their Daily Do, and also offers interactive eBooks.  
  • The Center for Applied Linguistics offers Online Learning Resources.
  • Ellevation Education Distance Learning is a new, free resource that includes K-12 research-based activities to support multilingual learning in a distance learning environment that includes videos and podcasts.
  • iCivics is a digital education organization with games and resources that are free for teachers, students, and parents. Six iCivics games have built-in supports for multilingual learners with the option to play in Spanish. 
  • Lessons and guides by Teaching Tolerance help educators facilitate meaningful discussions around racism, bias, and stereotypes.  Teaching Tolerance also provides an excellent guide for educators and students alike to learn how to “Speak Up” when faced with xenophobic or racist remarks. 
  • Draw me Safe: Coloring and Conversation help families and caregivers talk about how to stay safe and well during a pandemic. 
  • Newsela provides accessible text available in five different reading levels. 
  • UW-Madison faculty collaborated with scholars from across the country to create DREME's At-Home Early Math Learning Kit for Families. These downloadable kits include English and Spanish versions.

Mental Health and Staying Well

WIDA does not advocate for or endorse any of these technologies for instruction. Schools, districts and states are responsible for making choices about appropriate and applicable technologies and products.