Introducing WIDA Screener for Kindergarten

This WIDA Screener for Kindergarten eSummit session recording provides an in depth look at the test.

Video Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the WIDA eSummit. Thank you for joining us virtually. WIDA would like to acknowledge with respect, the Ho‐Chunk Indian tribe and the Indigenous people on whose ancestral lands we now stand. We acknowledge that the University of Wisconsin‐Madison is built on the ancestral land of the Ho‐Chunk Nation. We acknowledge the circumstances that led to their forced removal and honor their history of resistance and resilience.

Now, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sam Aguirre. I am the Director of WIDA Español and Assistant Director of Consortium Relations. WIDA Español provides resources and professional learning for educators supporting Spanish language instruction for multilingual learners.

In my role as Director of WIDA Español, I oversee the research, development, and rollout of these offerings. As Assistant Director of Consortium Relations at WIDA, I manage the WIDA subcommittees and Executive Committee, which provide our consortium member state agencies with a direct line of communication for input on key WIDA products and services. Since my position overlaps both the Spanish and English services at WIDA, I see my role as uniquely positioned to further the WIDA mission, vision, and its values to support multilingual learners.

Now having been a teacher in the classroom and later an administrator at a state agency before coming to WIDA, I know for a fact that teachers and administrators across the WIDA consortium, like yourself, share the values that WIDA has for our multilingual students.

Thank you again, for joining us virtually. Our presenters today have prepared quite an exciting professional learning opportunity for you. Now, before we get started, let me go over some housekeeping items. If you haven't already, I encourage you to watch the welcome video from WIDA's Founder and Director Tim Boals, which can be found on the Home tab of the WIDA eSummit course. You can also explore and learn more about each individual session on the Schedule page of the eLearning Center. I invite you to go through the Orientation page and familiarize yourself with the tools, technology, and guidelines for the eSummit. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to the WIDA Client Services Center.

You will find the chat feature to the right of the video window. You will need to enter your name and click Join to use the chat. The chat box may be used to post comments and responses to questions from the presenters. Common questions for this session were collected in advance from educators, and those will be addressed during the presentation.

You may also post questions you have about the topic in the chat box. Session presenters will address questions posted in the chat towards the end of the session. However, due to the number of participants attending this session, questions posted in the chat box that we are unable to answer today will be collected and answered following the event, in a FAQ posted in the WIDA eLearning Center.

If you would like to use this session to apply for professional development credits, there is an evidence of completion form on the left tab navigation of this course. The form must be completed by the attendee and then submitted to your local professional development committee.

This session is being recorded, and the recording will be posted in this course within a couple of days. The PowerPoint presentation will also be posted at that time. In early November, you will receive a survey to evaluate the eSummit.

So please be sure to tell us how we did. We will use your feedback to enhance future learning opportunities and virtual events at WIDA.

Now, I'm excited to introduce the presenters of today's session. Introducing the new WIDA Screener for Kindergarten.

Mark Chapman is the Director of Test Development at WIDA. He is responsible for leading the development of new WIDA assessments and for the annual production of the new content for ACCESS for ELLs. He works closely with WIDA's test development partner‐‐ the Center for Applied Linguistics‐‐ on a variety of test development projects and also supports WIDA's assessment research validation agenda.

Mark previously served as the Associate Director of Assessment with the University of Michigan's English as a Second Language testing program. He also spent more than a decade teaching English in Japan. Most recently, at Hokkaido University.

Marcy Olson works with the WIDA Assessment team as an Assessment Content Specialist. She specializes in content for grades K‐5, with a particular focus on the assessment of speaking. Prior to joining WIDA, Marcy worked as an educator for English language learners for over twenty years in Wisconsin schools. She is passionate about language and literacy development for young ELLs.

Michele Kawood is a Manager for Test Development at the Center for Applied Linguistics. Since 2008, she has guided the development of computer‐delivered and paper‐based tests and ancillary materials for CAL’s language assessments and WIDA assessments, such as ACCESS for ELLs and WIDA Screener.

Michele's work is informed by her professional experience as an elementary school teacher, her commitment to supporting young learners and their families and teachers, and a passion for early language learning.

Join me in welcoming our presenters.

Great. Thank you, Sam, so much. Really appreciate that. My name is Mark. I'm Mark Chapman, as Sam just introduced us all. I'm the Director of Test Development here at WIDA. And I'm so thrilled today, to be sharing this session with everybody who's joining us, introducing the new WIDA Screener for Kindergarten.

WIDA and my friends at the Center for Applied Linguistics have been working on this project for well over two years now. And we're just so delighted to be able to share with you all some details of the project today. Just before I get into the detail, myself, Marcy, and Michele just want to briefly tell you what our roles on this project are so you get a sense of what it is that we do.

So, my role at WIDA on the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten project is the Project Lead for WIDA. I'm responsible for keeping the project on track. I'm responsible for creating high quality assessment. For delivering it on time. And for making sure the scoring works properly. And we've got high quality documentation and training provided with it.

And it's been one of the great pleasures of my professional experience to work on this project, especially having awesome colleagues like Marcy and Michele. So Marcy, do you just want to quickly say hi, and tell folks what you do?

Yes. Thank you, Mark. Hi, I'm Marcy. And I have the pleasure of working with both Mark and Michele. And I'm centered at WIDA in Madison, Wisconsin.

I have had three primary roles with the development of WIDA Screener for Kindergarten. One has been in the content development and then in reviewing and revisions throughout the process. Another one has been in observing and interviewing educators who served as test administrators in the two phases of the field tests this past year.

And my last role has been with the development of the training course, which was available for field test administrators. And then in revising that to have it ready for the finalized version of WIDA Screener for Kindergarten. So thank you for being here today, and we're really excited to share with you.

Thanks, Marcy. Michele

Hello. My name is Michele Kawood. I am a Manager for Test Development at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington DC. And as Sam had mentioned and Mark had mentioned, CAL partners with WIDA for the test development and the psychometric research for WIDA assessments. And on this particular project‐‐ near and dear to my heart‐‐ I have been responsible for overseeing the development and the production of all of the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten test materials for this project.

So I am very excited to have this opportunity to share some of that with you today. And we thank you very much, for joining us.

Great. Thanks, Michele. Let's get this show on the road. I also want to give a big shout out to all the other staff at WIDA and the Center for Applied Linguistics. There's been a big team on this project. And we've also been joined by educators from across the consortium who are extremely important to the success of this new test.

So we have the next fifty minutes to talk with you about WIDA Screener for Kindergarten ‐‐ our new assessment. I'll begin by talking about just, some basics of the assessment. What's it supposed to do? What were the requirements from the consortium as we developed it?

I'll talk about the main stages we've been through as we've been developing K Screener. I'm going to hand it over to Michele then, and Michele is going to talk about some of the key features of the new assessment. And then, I'll come back and talk about exactly what we will be releasing in 2021 when this test goes live to you all. And we'll take a little bit of a sneak peek at the training course that we'll be providing to the consortium.

All right, so some basics. Very importantly, what is K Screener? What is it supposed to do? So, K Screener‐‐ as we say for short‐‐ is intended to be an identification tool for students. K Screener is supposed to help you identify whether a student should be classified as an English learner or not. That's exactly the purpose the test has been developed for.

And that's really, the same as the WIDA Screener assessments for the other grades 1 through 12, which I'm sure you use.

So WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is intended as an identification tool for students as they enter kindergarten ‐‐ as they're beginning kindergarten at the start of the school year, beginning in July, prior to the start of the school year. The test can also be used throughout the kindergarten school year. So for students who were coming into school halfway through the year or for students who are moving from one district to another or from one state to another, you can use K Screener as an identification test for those new students in your schools, districts, and states.

And we've also developed K Screener to be an identification tool for students as they enter first grade, until the end of the first semester of first grade. So that's a 15‐month window we're looking at, pretty much, from July prior to the start of the school year, all the way through the first semester of first grade to identify whether students are English learners and would benefit from the English language support services or not.

So as we began to develop this new test, we spent quite a bit of time talking with state education agencies to find out what they wanted in this new assessment. And really, this slide presents those requirements. So K Screener needs to be made available to the consortium at no additional cost. So as you use K Screener, as you administer it to your students, as you deliver scores, there is no fee. There is no per student fee to be able to administer this assessment. It's all presided within your Memorandum of Understanding between state or territory and WIDA.

All of the assessment materials will be available through our Secure Portal for local printing. So nobody will be shipping this assessment to you. That's not necessary. You can download and print all of those test materials yourself.

We have developed the assessment in color because we were advised that would be best for student engagement. But we have also discovered that the test works perfectly well in grayscale, as well. And I'll talk more about that later. But the assessment has been developed with all of the materials for the student and the TA in color.

It's a pencil and paper‐based test. There is no computer delivered Kindergarten Screener. Let me say that, again. There is not a computer delivered WIDA Screener for Kindergarten. This test is pencil and paper based. And it's to be administered face‐to‐face between the administrator and a single student.

So for those of you who are familiar with Kindergarten ACCESS or Kindergarten Model, then this new K Screener test will be very, very similar and very familiar to you.

We also made the test adaptive. That means that the test allows students to stop once they reach their language proficiency ceiling. So, for example, as you're going through the listening and the speaking test, once the assessment just begins to get too difficult for the student, you have opportunities to stop the test. That keeps the test reasonably short for the test administrator. It also, of course, very importantly means that the test will not become overly difficult or potentially upsetting to these young students.

The test has been designed really, to function in a couple of ways. So it will serve as an oral language assessment, so a test of listening and speaking. And it will also function as a four‐domain test. So listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

And the way you use it will depend on your state policy. Many states within the WIDA consortium, particularly at the start of the kindergarten year, only require students to take that oral language test. And the test has been designed to work that way.

But other states require students to take all four language domains ‐‐ listening, speaking, writing, and reading. And the test, of course, will also function as a four‐domain test. So it's flexible, depending on your needs.

Like all of our assessments, WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is informed by and grounded in WIDA's English Language Development Standards. So it's not intended to assess every day conversational language that students use at home with their family or with their friends. It's designed to assess the kind of language kindergartners will need to use in the classroom ‐‐ the language of schooling.

Also, K Screener‐‐ as I touched on before‐‐ has kind of a similar look and feel to Kindergarten ACCESS. There are some new aspects to Kindergarten Screener, which we'll touch on. But for test administrators, in your state, in your district, in your school who have administered Kindergarten ACCESS before, it should be pretty straightforward for them to get used to this new screening test.

We were also told very clearly by states within the consortium that the test should be relatively short. And should take no more than 30 minutes on average, per student. We think we've done that.

All right, and K Screener is designed to replace the Kindergarten W‐APT test from WIDA. Kindergarten W‐APT will not go away anytime soon. WIDA is going to continue to support Kindergarten W‐APT at least through the end of the 2021‐2022 school year.

So this new assessment‐‐ WIDA Screener for Kindergarten‐‐ is developed in partnership between the Center for Applied Linguistics and WIDA. CAL and WIDA have been strong partners for more than 15 years already. The last two years working on this project have only strengthened that relationship. So we hope the assessment reflects the best that both CAL and WIDA can bring to English language proficiency assessments for these young students.

And it's been a great pleasure to work with my colleagues at CAL all the way through this project. It's been so enjoyable.

All right, let's get into the weeds a little bit more now. I have three slides that are going to walk us through all of the development steps we took for this new test. I hope this will help us all to understand the rigor and the detail that has gone into developing this new kindergarten screening assessment. And we'll also give you a sense of how important educators across the consortium have been to developing K Screener.

So we have to go all the way back to spring 2018, a different world when this test development project began. And April through December 2018, we were developing prototypes of the assessment. We were doing literature reviews of standards from across the country and, of course, the WIDA standards. We were looking at the academic literature on the development of literacy for kindergartners, both English learners and gen‐ed population. And we were also doing interviews with experienced kindergarten educators to find out what they were looking for in this kind of test.

Then in January 2019, we started to do lots of reviews with educators from across the consortium. We did bias and sensitivity reviews with one group of experienced kindergarten educators. And we did content reviews with experienced kindergarten educators, as well. That allowed us to make sure there were no inappropriate topics covered within the assessment. And that the language expectations that were assessed on the test were appropriate for a kindergarten population.

We ran an international perspectives panel with some educators from several international schools around the world to try and make sure the themes and topics of Kindergarten Screener were accessible to students, regardless of their background. And that we had got the context for the assessment correct. And that there were no factual errors.

Next came an accessibility and accommodations expert review. This review was led by WIDA's internal team of accessibility experts to try and prevent ‐‐ there were no barriers preventing students with disabilities from engaging with the assessment.

So that got the test into pretty good shape. And after that, we moved into a phase of pilot testing and performing some cognitive labs. This happened in spring 2019.

At this stage, we had developed two different versions of the test. There were some common items across the two versions, but the purpose of piloting was really to identify those new items that just weren't working very well with the kindergarten population. So we piloted the test on just under one hundred students. We did cog labs. We talked with students after they had completed the test in both Spanish and English to try and get some feedback on their experiences.

We also interviewed the test administrators to try and get their feedback on what was working well in the new test and what wasn't. So after those pilots and cog labs, we went from two versions of the test down to one version by taking out the items that were just not working as intended.

So by June 2019, we had this single field test form. It was four domains ‐‐ listening, speaking, reading, and writing. And we made a color version of the test, and we made a grayscale version of the test. Because we needed to explore if those versions performed the same or differently.

So then in July, last year, we began field testing. We did our field testing in two phases.

Phase one was at the start of the school year because that's when most students are screened. And we administered the new K Screener test to 583 incoming kindergartners and 60 incoming first graders. Then we ran a second phase of

the field test in January and February this year. We did just spill over into March, but the majority of the testing was January and February.

And at that time, we administered the new test to 855 kindergartners. So if there are any people on this call today who were involved in the field test, thank you so much. The fact that we had so many students involved in the field testing is just so important to make sure the test works appropriately.

So after that, after all the field testing was finished, we got a data file delivered to WIDA. We had almost 1,600 students' data included in that field test data file. That data came from 25 states across the consortium. So we feel good about the field test representing all of the students out there.

We also got recordings of about 80 students completing the listening and speaking tests. So we could actually hear the language that students were producing as they engaged with the assessment.

All right, this takes us into the more recent work that we've been doing. So in August, a couple of months ago now, the team at CAL who work on psychometrics and quantitative research calibrated the field test items. That means they worked out how difficult those items are for our kindergarten population.

The team at CAL also did the very important work of connecting the Kindergarten Screener measurement scale to the Kindergarten ACCESS measurement scale. So the proficiency level scores you get from K Screener will be meaningful when you compare them with the scores from Kindergarten ACCESS. And I'll talk more about the scores in a couple of minutes.

Then in September, so last month, CAL and WIDA met to select the test items ‐‐ what would go on to the final test forms. We actually ended up only removing three or four test questions. That's a very low number. It means the items performed very well at field test.

We did this by looking at a lot of field test performance data. We also looked to how the students performed on the writing and speaking tests, in terms of the kind of language they were producing. And we also kept in mind lots of the interview data we had from test administrators from WIDA staff observing the test administrations.

All right, we're into the final two steps ‐‐ work that's going on right now is to create scoring tables. That means how many test items does the student need to get correct to get a proficiency level 6.0? Or how many test items does a student need to get correct to get a PL 4.0? Those scoring tables will help connect your student's performances to the schools that they receive. We're actually going to see those scoring tables tomorrow, which is super exciting.

And then, the final big chunk of work which we need to tackle between now and March is to refine the online training course we will provide to the consortium. To finalize the test administrative manual. And for my colleagues in WIDA professional learning to create an online webinar, which can be delivered state by state. So a lot of work is done, but a good chunk of work is still upcoming, and this is where we are as of right now, October 28, 2020.

OK, I think you've probably heard enough of me for a while. I'm going to hand over to Michele, from CAL, who's going to talk a little bit more about some of the key features of this new WIDA Screener for Kindergarten test. So Michele, over to you.

Thank you. Thank you, Mark. In this next section, I'd like to share with you a little bit about the substance of the Screener, how it's designed, and the overall look and feel of the test materials.

In designing the test, we gave a lot of consideration to how special and variable kindergarten‐aged children are. We know that testing can be an experience that is unfamiliar to them. These children may not yet be acculturated to schooling or to testing. And it's possible the test administrator could be a stranger to the child. So all of these factors, along with the personality of the child or how he or she is feeling in that moment, all of these factors can affect how a student performs on the Screener.

So to ease students into the screening process and make them feel comfortable, we first invite them to listen to a short, engaging, age‐appropriate story that the test administrator will read aloud to the student. The story in the Screener is called New Friends. The main characters are a young elephant and a bird. And they spend the day doing the types of activities that should be familiar to four and five‐year‐olds. Eating and playing and exploring the world around them.

And that story provides the test taker not only with engaging pictures to pique their interest and activate schema, but also with the actual stimulus for the test items and tasks. So students will interact directly with the pictures in the storybook and the manipulatives. Then after reading that story, the student will go through thematically related test items and tasks in each of the four language domains.

In the listening test, the test administrator will ask the student questions or prompts, and the student will respond usually, non‐verbally, by pointing to something in the pictures, or by manipulating a few picture cards, or even by acting out an action as prompted and modeled by the test administrator. So there's an opportunity for the student to be physically engaged in showing their listening proficiency in English. The administrator will score the responses as the student gives them.

In the speaking test, the test administrator will ask the student open‐ended questions about the pictures or about the student himself. Inviting that student to provide an oral response. And then the test administrator will score those responses immediately after the student provides them. It's all happening in real‐time.

In the writing test, the student warms up a little bit to that activity with an opportunity to draw a picture. We do that before we invite the student to do some scored writing tasks, starting with some early literacy writing opportunities and leading to an extended writing opportunity. A chance to write about whatever they can, about a story presented in a series of pictures. Most of the writing tasks are scored in the moment by the test administrator, with the exception of that last extended writing task, which is scored after the test session concludes.

Then finally, in the reading test, the student engages with sets of cards and pictures in the storybook to demonstrate their English language proficiency in reading. They start with, again, early literacy activities, and they progress to reading a sentence with a lot of graphic support throughout. And, again, the administrator will score those responses as soon as the student provides it.

Next slide, please.

The diagram on this slide shows how students will progress through the test. The Screener must be administered in a fixed order, beginning with the reading of the storybook, followed by the administration of those listening and speaking tasks, and then the writing tasks, and the reading items, if the four‐domain test is the test that you're administering.

Mark did mention – I believe that he mentioned that the Screener can be administered as an oral language only Screener. So you would administer only the listening and speaking tasks. Or it can be the full four language domain test. Either way, you administer the parts of the test in order, starting with items at the lowest level of language proficiency‐‐ WIDA's level one‐‐ and continuing with progressively more difficult items, targeting WIDA's five levels of language proficiency.

And as Mark mentioned, the test is adaptive. The test has stopping points. When a student reaches his or her ceiling in that part of the test, the test administrator will wind down that part and go on to administer the level one items in the next part. Or if the administrator is giving only the oral language section of that test, the administrator would just wind down the test session for the student.

Next slide, please.

Now, the time it takes to administer WIDA Screener for Kindergarten will vary from student to student. More proficient students will take more test items and their test will be longer. Less proficient students will activate those stopping rules. So the test will be shorter for them.

You can see the listening and the speaking section of the test takes about 10 to 20 minutes to administer. That includes the few minutes it takes to read the storybook with the student.

The writing and the reading section takes about 10 to 20 minutes, as well. And we found in the research and development for this test that students often take their time, especially during those extended writing opportunities and at the higher level reading test items. And that time that they spend contributes to the test administration time. But it seemed to be time well spent.

Those proficient students are around that area where classification decisions will be made. So it was important to gather accurate information about the student on those higher proficiency level tasks. But I think I want to reiterate at this point, only the students who are completing all of those items and tasks across all four language domains will take longer than 30 minutes to test.

Next slide, please.

So I'm excited to give you a preview of the style of the Kindergarten Screener test materials shown here with the cover of the storybook.

Next slide, please.

As with all WIDA assessments, the art and the visuals are central to supporting students in making meaning of the language that they're engaging with in the assessment. And on Kindergarten Screener, the graphics are not just linguistic support. They also serve as the primary stimulus for the test. It's the direct content that the test taker is interacting with.

We aimed for art that was child‐friendly, very rich, colorful, and engaging. But we also strived for graphics with a high degree of realism, authenticity, and accuracy. Because they're serving multiple purposes.

Let's take a look on the next slide, at an example.

So here is an example of the style of art that you will see on the Screener. Throughout the storybook, there are these full page, full color scenes where we've put in strategic details to support the student in responding to the test items.

Let's take a look at the next slide.

Here's another example of the type of storybook picture you might see on the test. Mark mentioned this earlier when he was looking at the key features and the basic features of the test. We know that some users of Kindergarten Screener will be printing the test materials locally and will not be able to print everything in color. So we have made an effort to optimize the images and the art on the test for administration with color or grayscale printouts. We did find no significant difference in student’s performances on the color or the grayscale copies of the materials. But that being said, we would encourage using color copies of the storybook and the cards whenever possible to try to maximize student engagement with the test materials.

Next slide, please.

And you can see the test also has some smaller images with very simple scenes, like the ones you see on the screen. We've included some picture and word cards for the student and the administrator to manipulate in a game‐like fashion. There are 12 cards on the listening test and 15 cards on the reading test.

And we found through our pilot testing and our research in talking with educators who have administered the forms of our test, that students have really reported a lot of enjoyment interacting with the cards and the pictures, in general, on the test. And we find the manipulatives and the content of the test to be a really effective and valuable component of the Screener. And it's been very enjoyable to see the students and the educator's interaction with the test materials throughout the development process.

So at this time, I'd like to turn it back to Mark, to talk a little bit more about some of the key principles that informed the development of the Kindergarten Screener.

Great. Thank you so much, Michele. I really appreciate it. So yeah, moving on.

I'd like to talk a little bit more about the key features of Kindergarten Screener. Certainly, that rich use of graphics that Michele just explained to you is really important. As with all WIDA assessments, the WIDA Can Do philosophy is central to the test. So especially for these really young learners, it's very important to begin with items that students complete so the test isn't too frustrating for them.

We also want to provide multiple supports, and the graphics are one example and scaffolds. So the students understand what it is that's required of them via the test questions.

It's important, again, especially for the kindergarteners, that test administrators can provide encouragement. That's explained in our training and actually scripted into some of the test administrator script. And as Michele and I have both mentioned, it's important that the test can be stopped if the questions become too difficult. Again, so it remains a positive experience as much as possible for the test administrator and more importantly, for the student.

The fact that the test is developmentally appropriate is particularly important for these students. Because, of course, given their young age, many of them, if not all of these students, are really just beginning to emerge. Particularly with their literacy development, but also with their spoken language, as well.

So to try and make sure K Screener is developmentally appropriate, it is given face‐to‐face with a trained administrator. We don't believe that a computer‐delivered test would be appropriate for this population. As Michele mentioned, the questions build on each of the thematically. So there are no rapid or dramatic leaps from one question to another. That would be so confusing to a kindergartner.

Students are given the opportunity to show comprehension through movement of their arms. So they don't actually have to complete test‐like items all the time. Students are given the opportunity to talk about very concrete and very familiar topics to them. Of course, we want to make sure the language of schooling, but particularly for speaking and writing tasks, students are presented with topics that are going to be very familiar to them.

And, again, lots and lots of support from the graphics on the test, which explain the context of the test items. And those manipulatives, which Michele gave you a sneak look at, which allow, A., the student sort of play as much as you can do on a test, and to feel a sense of agency and more engaged in the experience, we hope.

Again, the reading of the writing tests very much focus on emerging literacy. We spent a lot of time looking into this and think the field test data supports the fact that we've moved from reading and writing items that are relatively straightforward for many kindergartners. And we don't go to test items that go beyond reasonable expectations for these young students.

Another key feature is that we certainly hope that the scoring and reporting on K Screener‐‐ I'll touch more on this in a coming slide‐‐ will be helpful to you all. So all scoring is done by the test administrator who gives the test to the student. That means you do not have a long wait to get your test scores back. It can be done as quickly as your staff have the capacity to test and generate those score reports.

In terms of scores, students will get proficiency level scores from one through six, in line with the WIDA English Language Development Standards and the rest of our assessments. And those scores are on the same scale as the ACCESS test. So they should be meaningful to compare your screening scores with your ACCESS scores.

You get domain scores, and you get composite scores ‐‐ I'll touch more on that in a moment. And we believe these scores will help support accurate and meaningful decision‐making about your student's English learner status.

So yeah, I've been talking about the schools a little bit. Here's a table that tries to lay that out. If a student takes all four domains of the test, the student will typically receive seven scores. So they'll get a listening score, a speaking score, a writing score, and a reading score. And they will be proficiency level scores reported as integers. So you will not get, for example, a 2.4 or a 2.7 like you get on ACCESS. You'll get a one, a two, or three, a four, a five, or a six.

For students who take those four domain tests, you will also get three composite scores – an oral language composite, a literacy composite, and an overall composite. And those scores will be in integers and 0.5 increments. So the proficiency level scores could be one, 1.5, two, 2.5, all the way up to 5.5 or six. So if a student gets a four‐domain test, they will receive seven different scores.

For those students who only take the oral language test, so who only take listening and speaking, they will receive a listening score, a speaking score, and an oral language composite. And those scores can be used to support your identification decision.

All right, I'm going to throw through this last part quickly. WIDA will be talking more about this in the coming months. But what will you get in March 2021 from WIDA?

Well, you'll get comprehensive training. You'll get all of the test materials. And you'll get a score calculator as a way to generate score reports for students.

Training will be provided in a number of ways. Firstly, there will be an online training course provided in the Canvas platform from WIDA. And this training course will tell you everything you need to know about how to administer and how to score the assessment.

WIDA's Professional Learning Team will also be offering state‐specific webinars, where if your state chooses, a member of the WIDA Professional Learning Team will potentially partner with a representative from your state education agency to deliver training online within your state. Supported by WIDA expertise and state‐specific knowledge about how the assessment will be rolled out.

In terms of the test materials, everything will be available for printing in the WIDA Secure Portal for free. Or if your district or your state so chooses, it is possible to also purchase a ready‐for‐use kit from the WIDA Store. The kit will give you professionally printed, pre‐assembled test materials. You take it out the box, and it's good to go.

Those test materials include comprehensively, the storybook, the test administrator script, a writing response booklet, score sheets, manipulatives‐‐ those cards that Marcy gave you an example of‐‐ and a test administrator manual. Again, those are all available for free, for local printing. But if you so choose, you can order them at a moderate cost.

This is what some of the test materials look like. Michele gave you a peek at the storybook cover. Bottom left, you can see more of those cards that are used for the listening and reading assessments. Top right, you can see the score sheets that the test administrator will use to keep track of the student scores. Bottom right, you can see the test administrator manual cover page. And there's lots more besides.

As I mentioned, the online training course will be delivered to all states who decide to implement WIDA Screener for Kindergarten via Canvas. That's a new platform for WIDA so we hope it'll have an even better look and feel and experience for test administrators. And as I mentioned, the training course is designed to comprehensively explain to you how to administer and how to score all components of the new test.

We'll also include an adorable video of a WIDA staff member administering Kindergarten Screener to a spectacular kindergarten English learner. We'll be using lots of this video to help make the training engaging and clear to you all. It's also extremely cute.

There'll be lots of opportunities to practice scoring for the speaking and writing test in the training course. So you're very clear how to evaluate student's spoken and written language performances.

So to sum up, we're almost done. The online training course and the test administrator manual will prepare you to get all of the test materials ready to administer the test correctly, to score the test reliably, to use the school calculator to work out how your students performed, and also to generate a student's score report for each and every student who took the test.

So let's get excited. March 30, 2021. Oh, sorry. There's a typo. Gosh, March 30, 2021 is when the test will be released. I'm so sorry. But it's coming soon, folks, and it's going to be great.

So quick recap, and then we'll have 10 minutes for questions. WIDA Screener for Kindergarten will be available soon. It'll be a one‐on‐one paper and pencil test. It will be oral language or four domains, whichever you need. It will be developmentally appropriate for kindergartners.

It will have lots of supports and scaffolds to help your students show their best. We hope it will be quick and easy for scoring and reporting. And it will be free to the members of the WIDA Domestic Consortium.

Thank you all so much for listening today. Thank you, Michele, for presenting with me. We will pause for 30 seconds. That will allow me and Michele to have a quick glass of water, and we'll be back with you to run through some questions and to give you some quick answers. So just give us a sec. and we'll be back real soon.

This is Marcy, and we have a number of questions that we received from you, educators. And we'd love to be able to answer some of them. And just a quick reminder that other questions will be part of an FAQ that we will answer later.

So the first question is, could you highlight the differences between K Screener and K W‐APT? The format seems similar.

And that is true. The format is somewhat similar in terms of the engaging pictures and moving through the story. I think that the format is actually more similar to Kindergarten ACCESS in terms of the storybook and the cards, so I find it to be more familiar in that sense. And we hope that, that storybook and cards will continue to be really engaging.

Our next question is, what are the main differences between Kindergarten Model and Kindergarten Screener? And that one is somewhat related, as well, as Kindergarten Model and Kindergarten ACCESS have similar test materials with the storybook and activity board and cards. So I would say that, that part is similar.

As Mark had mentioned earlier, there's the oral language component, as some states and districts choose to do. And then there's the four‐domain administration also available with Kindergarten Model, Kindergarten ACCESS, and Kindergarten Screener.

Our next question is, is there a way to assess remotely? And I can take that one. [INTERPOSING VOICES]


Go ahead, Mark.

Yeah, I'd be happy to take that one, if that's OK. Yep.

So yeah, there is not a way to assess remotely with the new Kindergarten Screener. Back in the summer, Marcy and I and a team spent quite a long time thinking through our assessments, particularly the kindergarten assessments, to see if it was possible to assess remotely. And by that, let's be clear about what we mean. That means the test administrator is in one physical space and the student is in a completely different physical space. And our kindergarten assessments just do not work that way. It's not possible to use them and have the scores be meaningful.

Over the summer, WIDA did release a suite of remote screening tools that Marcy and I worked on very closely. The WIDA Remote Screener tools, we believe, can be used to assess students remotely and to get a good estimate of their abilities. But the new WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is not intended for remote assessment.

Thank you, Mark. Our next question is, is there a reason or a benefit for writing being administered before reading? I'm going to answer that one, and I would also invite either Michele or Mark to add on, if they'd like.

So one of the reasons that writing is administered before reading is that it's tied to one of the stories in Kindergarten Screener. So after students have had the opportunity to speak about it, they have a chance to hear the story, again, but it's more fresh in their minds. And so that just provides that opportunity to write about it while it is so fresh in their minds.

Michele or Mark, would you like to add anything to that?

I don't have anything to add in particular, Marcy, but Michele might.

Oh, just briefly. Sometimes in administering writing before reading, it's a little bit easier for the student to engage with that type of task because it's so similar to drawing. We know that many students may not have had a lot of experience in structured learning environments, but they may have experience coloring or drawing. And just that act of easing them into the literacy component of the test, it tends to be a little bit easier to engage them with writing, than it does with reading.

Thank you, Michele. We have some additional questions that sometimes are related directly to the state in which you live. So wondering about, where can I find out if I should administer two or four domains? And which states will be using Kindergarten Screener? What scores qualify students for ELL or bilingual services? Mark, could you answer those questions?

Certainly, Marcy. These are great questions, and questions that come up very, very commonly. Unfortunately, WIDA cannot answer them. These are questions that are the matter of your state education agency policy.

So that first one, should you administer two domains or four domains, your state determines that policy. So you'll need to check with your state education agency. And, again, this is a few months before the new test is released so WIDA doesn't know if your state will actually have a policy position on that, yet. But we don't make that policy, your state does.

Again, what states will be using Kindergarten Screener? Again, your state education agency will decide if and when they implement this new assessment. It will be available to the consortium at the end of March. That does not mean every state will begin using it at the end of March. So please check with your state education agency.

And that final question that Marcy mentioned, what scores qualify students for English learner status, that is also a decision that is set by your state. WIDA does not decide that. Your state will determine, for example, if it's a 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5. That's a state decision.

And sorry, I'll just handle the quick last question, and then we'll wrap‐up. One final question was, can you remind us when the training will be available? Yes. Training will be available March, the 30th, along with the rest of the assessment.

And thank you, very much, Marcy, for answering those questions with me. And Michele, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to talk about WIDA Screener for Kindergarten. And I'm sure Marcy and Michele would share those sentiments. We are at time.

Just want to encourage all of you who were watching today to stay connected with WIDA. You can do so via the ways that are shown on this slide.

Please don't hesitate to go to our website. There'll be some information about Kindergarten Screener up in November. And you can also contact for any other questions you may have.

So on behalf of WIDA and my friends at the Center for Applied Linguistics, we will wrap this up with a big thank you. We appreciate your time. And we are so excited to share this new assessment with you in March 2021. Enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you so much.