Submitted by Mirela Matesan
How/why did your school start using WIDA?
Our journey with WIDA started in 2014. We were looking for an English language proficiency test that would provide us with a more in-depth picture of our students' language proficiency. Initially, we used the W-APT to assess our students at the transition years (5th to 6th grade and 8th to 9th grade); this gave us a chance to understand the WIDA levels of language proficiency and how they relate to the WIDA Can Do Descriptors.
How has it supported student learning and program growth?
We use the WIDA MODEL assessment twice a year to track students' progress and to ensure that they are receiving the best support. Collecting data on our students regularly gives us a better understanding of the WIDA language proficiency levels and rubrics. We worked on scoring speaking and writing samples as a team to help confirm grade-level expectations. In addition, we use the WIDA Writing rubric to assess all students’ writing from grade 1 to grade 5 at the beginning and at the end of the school year.
This year we are piloting the WIDA Screener assessment to learn about our incoming students. The Screener gives us valuable information on our new students, information that helps us plan the right support for each of them.
With 15 members of our faculty attending the WIDA Institute in November, we are hoping that the WIDA rubrics will give our ESOL teachers, content area faculty and administration a common language to use schoolwide when we talk about language learners.
Chadwick International will host the WIDA Institute on November 1-4, 2018