Get Adobe ReaderA note about viewing streaming video

Archived FedPro Message

SUBJECT:  Missouri Joins ELL Consortium


This message sent on behalf of Michael Muenks, Coordinator of Curriculum and Assessment.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has recently joined the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium, becoming the 23rd state to do so. In joining the consortium, Missouri will increase its resources for teachers and administrators who work with English language learners by giving the state access to the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards and accompanying assessments.

Founded in 2002, the WIDA Consortium was formed by a group of states to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for English Language Learner (ELLs) with innovative standards and assessments. The WIDA materials allow Missouri districts to use a three-pronged system to meet the needs of ELL students. The WIDA system allows for uniform identification and screening procedures, nationally-recognized English language proficiency standards and the use of a language proficiency assessment tool that meets the requirements of NCLB.

Identification and Screening

Upon enrollment, Missouri districts are required to ask all students if there is a language other than English spoken in the home and if English is not their native language. If the answer of either question is yes, or if a district feels that a child might have a language deficiency, the district is required to screen the child in the four modalities of reading, writing, speaking and listening. These incoming students should be screened within their first two weeks of arrival. Additionally, beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, all current ELL students will also be required to be screened in the four modalities. These current students need to be screened prior to the test materials ordering window.

Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, districts will be required to use the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) as their screening assessment. The W-APT is required for all districts to use as their screening assessment, both for incoming and current ELL students. The W-APT is free to districts and will be available via the WIDA website at <>. Districts will receive user names and passwords electronically from WIDA in order to access the W-APT and other tools.

The W-APT is a valuable tool that allows districts to properly place students in an ESL program and is designed to work in concert with the ELP standards and the assessment.

English Language Proficiency Standards

The WIDA ELP Standards are designed as a curriculum and instruction planning tool. They help educators determine children's ELP levels and how to appropriately challenge them to reach greater understanding of the English language. Missouri districts will have complete access to the standards along with training on how the standards can be used to develop local curriculum to meet the needs of ELLs. The WIDA ELP standards for students pre-K through Grade 12 encompass:

  •  Social and Instructional language

  •  The language of Language Arts

  •  The language of Mathematics

  •  The language of Science

  •  The language of Social Studies

Statewide English Language Proficiency Assessment

Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, Missouri will now be using ACCESS for ELLs as its state ELP assessment. ACCESS stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners. This test replaces the LAS Links assessment that Missouri has used over the past two years. ACCESS assesses the academic English language proficiency of students and meets the requirements of NCLB.

Additional Benefits of Joining the WIDA Consortium

Missouri ELL educators will have access to join the WIDA Dual Language Listserv to allow them the opportunity to dialogue, share best practices, and strategize about new policies that promote and support high quality dual language practices and outcomes with other dual language educators throughout the US.

Additionally, there will be training and professional development opportunities provided by WIDA and the MELL Consultants. This summer, training will be provided on the identification process using the W-APT and how that works in conjunction with the ELP standards. Topics include an overview of the WIDA system of uniform identification and use of the standards. Through WIDA, Missouri educators will have access to training on Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction, and School/Systems Improvement Initiatives.

Important Upcoming Dates


June 29-30, 2010 – Jefferson City: Training session for district ELL staff – WIDA overview, W-APT and ELP Standards

Beginning of School Year (and as students enter the district:  Districts are required to screen all ELL and possible ELL students using the W-APT screening assessment (Incoming students should be screened within two weeks of arrival in district, current students should be screened prior to the test materials ordering window).

October 31-November 14, 2010:  Ordering of Test Materials

October 31-November 14, 2010:  Pre-ID Coding Window

November 17-19, 2010 – St. Louis:  MELL Conference

December 14, 2010:  Districts receive ACCESS materials in site

January 18-February 25, 2011:  ACCESS Testing Window

February 11, 2011:  Deadline to order additional materials

March 4, 2011:  Deadline to ship materials to be scored

May 3-6, 2011:  Reports are shipped to districts

Fall, 2011:  Data is available via Crystal Reports

If you have questions, please contact the MELL office at 573-893-8931.