WIDA News July 2019
WIDA Website and Secure Portal Updates
New and Improved WIDA Website Searching
The changes, to both site search and Resource Library search, include:
- Spelling corrections
- Search term suggestions
- Quotes for exact matches
Changes to the Resource Library include:
- Spanish language resources removed from the Resource Library
- Parent letters, guides and handouts translated into Spanish remain in the Resource Library
- New Resource Topics Page
- Resource Types and Topics Buttons
Your feedback is valuable to us, so we hope these changes will improve your experience on the WIDA website. Stay tuned for additional improvements to the Resource Library in the fall.
The new fiscal year has begun and that means it's time for annual reminders. The first time educators log in to the WIDA Secure Portal in this new year, they will be prompted to agree to the Non-Disclosure and User Agreement (NDUA). As a reminder, educators will not be able to view secure materials and resources without first agreeing to the NDUA.
Meet Dual Language Coordinator Sandra García de la Noceda from Florida
Sandra García de la Noceda is the Dual Language Coordinator for Cholee Lake Elementary in the Palm Beach School District in Florida. She started her teaching career in Puerto Rico and moved to Palm Beach in 2010. Sandra says teaching has always been her target career. "Since I was a kid, I dreamed about being a teacher and pictured myself seated on a carpet, reading to kids around me." Her experience with ELL students reveals what they add to the classroom.
Release of the 2019 WIDA Guiding Principles of Language Development
Have you ever been asked to share the research base supporting your beliefs about language development? Or maybe called upon to facilitate discussions in your school or district about the strengths and needs of multilingual learners?
If your language-focused professional learning community is looking for new ideas or resources to explore, then you may find value in the updated WIDA Guiding Principles of Language Development. The enhanced document outlines WIDA foundational beliefs and exemplifies the Can Do Philosophy while providing updated research citations and defining the term multilingual learner.
Fall Academy - Register Now for the Early Bird Rate
Register now for the WIDA Fall Academy on Writing with Multilingual Learners in the Elementary Grades. The event takes place in Portland, ME on September 17-18, 2019. Jump start your school year and save money, too.
Register by July 22 to get the Early Bird rate. Fall Academy registration closes August 20. Visit the U.S.-based Professional Learning page on the WIDA website for more details.
Newest WIDA Early Years Member State - New Mexico!
Welcome to New Mexico as our newest WIDA Early Years Member State. New Mexico joins Maryland, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. The WIDA Early Years membership program rolled out earlier this year as a way to help state education agencies. WIDA Early Years provides resources and support to each member state's early care and education workforce that serve young multilingual children and families. Statewide benefits include the creation or update of a state-specific Connection Document, access to online learning modules, and a discount on Early Years English and Spanish language development products in the WIDA Store.
WIDA also now offers Membership Networking for state leaders. WIDA Early Years membership provides networking opportunities via virtual and in-person meetings among WIDA Early Years Member States. Member States gain access to a variety of professional development opportunities and resources, as well as participation in the Parent Research Program.
WIDA at the National Conference on Student Assessment
The National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA) is hosted by the Council for Chief State School Officers and billed as the premier forum for assessment practitioners to discuss educational assessments. This year's event featured participation by a number of WIDA staff members. Below are their linked sessions - click on the title to access session details and materials.
- Alt-ELP Assessments: Talking Points for State Leadership for the Identification, Assessment, and Support of English Learners with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
- An Examination of the Language Domains for English Learners with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: What Is "Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing?"
- Approaches to Initial Identification of English Learners (ELs): Lessons from the Development of Three New Screening Tests
- Approaches to the Peer Review Process: Perspectives from Two English Language Proficiency Assessment Consortia
- Innovative Practices for Incorporating English Learners into State Assessment and Accountability Systems
- Smoothing the Transition to Online Testing for Students with Limited Technology Skills
- Understanding ELs with Significant Cognitive Disabilities
- What Do We Know about the Use of Online Accessibility Features and Accommodations on English Language Proficiency Assessments
Frequently Asked Question of the Month
Question: Does WIDA have any recommendations about what I can do this summer to prepare myself for the coming school year?
Answer: Yes! We recommend that you update your username for the WIDA Secure Portal and make any necessary changes to your personal account information.
If you are responsible for administering WIDA Screener, you may want to begin reviewing the training. For educators in states that require re-certification, we recommend starting the training process now. Visit your member state page for more information.
New Focus Bulletin
Our new Focus Bulletin, "Supporting Multilingual Students with WIDA and International Baccalaureate Resources," is now available. This new resources illustrates how educators in featured International Baccalaureate schools are integrating WIDA resources as they design lessons for multilingual learners.
Upcoming WIDA Workshops
- Interpreting ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports for Instruction (1-day)
- August 12, 2019, Madison, WI
- Purposeful Lesson Planning for Language Learners (2-day)
- August 13-14, 2019, Platteville, WI
- Educator Collaboration to Support Multilingual Learners (2-day)
- October 9-10, 2019, Platteville, WI
- Formative Language Assessment (2-day)
- October 22-23, 2019, Baltimore, MD
- WIDA Español Pedagogía con respeto: Using WIDA Standards and Tools to Support Multilingual Students (1-day)
- November 20, 2019, Madison, WI
- Purposeful Lesson Planning for Language Learners (2-day)
- December 11-12, 2019, Madison, WI