WIDA News June 2020

June 8, 2020

WIDA Consortium Holds Annual Board Meeting Virtually

Last week, WIDA held its first virtual Annual Board Meeting for members of the WIDA Consortium. The WIDA Consortium is made up of 40 U.S. states, territories and federal agencies and is dedicated to the research, design and implementation of a high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate system that supports English language learners in K-12 contexts.

Over one hundred leaders representing 39 state education agencies participated in the three-day virtual meeting, and engaged in content and discussion on topics such as innovation around WIDA English Language Development Standards, a soon-to-be released WIDA Screener for Kindergarten, and WIDA’s expanding menu of professional learning topics and delivery modes. The group also discussed WIDA’s work on Advancing ALTELLA: Alternate Assessment Redesign – a four-year, federally-funded project that applies lessons learned from research on successful instructional practices, accommodations, and assessment of English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities to inform development of alternate English language proficiency assessments.

The Annual Board Meeting is an opportunity for members to connect, network and ask questions, and give input about WIDA initiatives. While the degree of connection was certainly impacted by the virtual nature of the gathering, collaboration and connection was evident throughout. The opportunity to come together also served as a powerful reminder of the importance of our shared advocacy for our multilingual students.

Meet ELD Specialist Madison Leech from Pennsylvania

June's Featured Educator is Madison Leech, an ELD Specialist and content teacher at John Barclay Elementary School in Warrington, Pennsylvania. Special this month, Madison discusses how she and her colleagues adapted, on the fly, to virtual teaching.

Read the full article.

Complete a nomination form to honor an exceptional colleague.

Advancing ALTELLA Launches Website, Central Information Hub for Project

Want to know how WIDA helps English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities? Check out the newly created Advancing ALTELLA: Alternate Assessment Redesign project website.

There you’ll find information on this four-year, federally-funded project that applies lessons learned from research on successful instructional practices, accommodations, and assessment of ELs with the most significant cognitive disabilities to inform development of alternate English language proficiency assessments.

New Resources for Families Aim to Help Multilingual Learners with Disabilities Thrive in Virtual Classrooms

As you and the families you work with continue to teach and learn at home, we're making sure you have what you need to support all multilingual students. New this month, we release tips and information that aim to help our multilingual students with disabilities find success in the virtual classroom.

WIDA MODEL - A Reliable and On-Demand Assessment Option 

When the time is right, WIDA MODEL is an assessment to help you with an immediate snapshot of your students' English language development. With help from educators around the world, the WIDA Assessment team built WIDA MODEL upon the WIDA ELD Standards and tested for high levels of validity and reliability. U.S. and international test administrators participated in bias, content, and sensitivity reviews. Students in their classrooms also participated in WIDA MODEL field testing for new item content.

Over the past three years, WIDA has invested significant effort into making the assessments even better. Here are resources that document the progress:

WIDA MODEL helps educators with flexible, on-demand assessments that are ready whenever you are. They can be purchased today, administered when appropriate, scored locally, and give reports right after scoring. To learn more about WIDA MODEL and stay informed about product updates, please click on the Assessments interest area of the manage subscriptions page in the WIDA Secure Portal (login required) or the newsletter signup page on the WIDA website.

Registration Open: Interpreting ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports for Instruction Webinar

The Interpreting ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports for Instruction webinar provides specific information on students’ academic English language proficiency.

Webinar registration is available for purchase. During this webinar, participants will:

  • Learn to explain the purpose of ACCESS for ELLs
  • Identify the differences in the types of ACCESS for ELLs score reports and their uses
  • Describe considerations and methods for disseminating information contained in the score reports

Registration is still open for the following events!

  • Tuesday, June 16: 10am-12pm CDT
  • Thursday, June 18: 2-4pm CDT
  • Wednesday, July 22: as part of the Summer Institute Webinar Series

Visit the WIDA Workshops website for details and registration.

Educator Resources on the WIDA COVID-19 Webpage

The WIDA COVID-19 webpage has been updated with a resources section. Resource topics include tips for parents and families, educator connection and collaboration, WIDA staff recommended resources, and mental health and staying well.