October 23, 2008

ISBE DELL e-Broadcast 2008.134 - ACCESS for ELLs™

Dear Bilingual Program Directors:

Ordering Test Materials & ID Labels

Local districts must order test materials and ID labels for ACCESS for ELLs™, the annual state English language proficiency assessment, from MetriTech (800-747-4868) by November 14, 2008. The ACCESS for ELLs™ test will be administered from January 12 to February 20, 2009. Additional details, including information on the October 31, 2008 deadline for applying for a testing window waiver, are available at http://www.isbe.net/bilingual/htmls/access.htm.  If you have any questions regarding the ordering of ACCESS for ELLs™ test materials, please contact the Student Assessment Division at 217-782-4823.

Kindergarten Administrator Recertification

The 2009 Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs™ test will be utilizing a new format.  Therefore, all kindergarten test administrators are required to get recertified prior to administering the 2009 test by completing the on-line WIDA training.  All kindergarten recertification testing must have taken place after September 30, 2008 for a teacher to be considered certified to administer the Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs™.  Any kindergarten on-line certification that was done prior to September 30, 2008 will not be valid.

In order to facilitate this process, WIDA is planning a series of kindergarten assessment web-based trainings in November and December of 2008 that will incorporate live Q&A sessions. More information about these trainings will be provided to you as soon as that information becomes available to ISBE. Please feel free to contact the WIDA Help Desk toll free at 1-866-276-7735 or email help@wida.us if you have further questions or concerns.

Pre-K- Kindergarten Screening

Please note that the current kindergarten W-APT screener will continue to be used during the 2008-2009 school year. MODEL, the newly updated kindergarten screener, will not be implemented in Illinois until the 2009-2010 school year. However, districts may begin using MODEL in the spring of 2009 for determining FY10 program eligibility for newly entering Pre-K/Kindergarten students.

ACCESS for ELLs ™ General Training

Additional face-to-face ACCESS for ELLs ™ training workshops will be offered for teachers and administrators on December 3rd and 4th. These workshops will focus on test organization, background/structure of test components, understanding, and accurately scoring the speaking test component. These professional development workshops are supplemental and do not replace any on-line certification training.

December 3, 2008
Elgin Community College
Seigle Auditorium
1700 Spartan Drive
Elgin, Illinois 60123

December 4, 2008
Heartland Community College
1500 W Raab Road
Normal, Illinois 61761

For further information on the ACCESS for ELLs ™ workshops please contact Bill Garcia at (312) 814-3850 or go to http://www.isbe.net/bilingual/htmls/access.htm