Submitted by Maja Flom
FDR began using the WIDA MODEL assessment two years ago and we found it a useful tool for measuring academic language performance in our elementary EAL program. Last year, we expanded the scope of our assessment and collected WIDA data in all divisions to gather baseline school wide data. We developed inter-rater reliability by unpacking criteria descriptors and co-assessing student speaking and writing samples.
For instructional purposes, we use the elementary WIDA data to inform 1:1 student conferring and teaching points. In middle school, WIDA data drives decisions regarding student placement and support. Last year we used the WIDA Performance Definitions as the lens through which to provide student support in our high school EAL grade 9 pilot program by identifying student assets in their writing and supporting their progressive growth. We saw significant improvement in their writing and will expand the program to support grades 9 and 10 this year. Also, our school wide EAL team uses WIDA's asset-based philosophy to discuss advocating for multilinguals at FDR.
"A huge highlight for us last year was hosting the WIDA International Symposium here in Lima, Peru! Dedicating two collaborative days to advance school wide initiatives to support multilinguals was extremely valuable for all." - Dr. Jeff Rosen, Director of Teaching, Learning and Innovation
You can read more about Dr. Rosen's experience at the WIDA International Symposium in the May 2018 edition of the AASSA Newsletter.