Superintendent’s Memo #159-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

June 14, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  ACCESS for ELLs®/Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ Testing Schedule for 2013-2014

As required in Section 1111 (b) (7) of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), school divisions must annually assess the English language proficiency of limited English proficient (LEP) students in kindergarten through grade 12.  In Virginia the ACCESS for ELLs test is administered to LEP students as the English language proficiency assessment.

In the past several years two testing windows have been provided for the statewide administration of the ACCESS for ELLs test.  The first window was from mid-January to mid-March with score reports delivered by late May, and the second was from late February to mid-April  with score reports delivered to school divisions by early July.   Based on this schedule, the ACCESS for ELLs state data file has not been available to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) until all score reports and data have been delivered to the school divisions in the second testing window.  The VDOE uses the state ACCESS data file in the calculation of Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) for LEP students.  AMAO 1 measures progress in learning English, and AMAO 2 measures attainment of English proficiency.  School divisions have requested that the Title III AMAO reports be available prior to the opening of school in the fall.  In order to accommodate this request, all ACCESS tests must be administered by mid-March so that the statewide data file will be delivered in time for the Title III AMAO reports to be available by the opening of school.

In April 2013, an online survey collected responses from school divisions regarding the 2013-2014 ACCESS for ELLs®/Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ testing schedule.  This survey provided two options: one ten-week testing window from Monday, January 6 to Friday, March 14, 2014, with score reports delivered to divisions by May 30, 2014, or two testing windows from Monday, January 20, 2014, to Friday, March 14, 2014, with score reports delivered by May 30, 2014, and from Monday, February 10, 2014, to Friday, April 4, 2014, with score reports delivered to divisions by June 20, 2014.   The survey data showed that divisions representing two-thirds of the statewide LEP student enrollment selected one ten-week testing window over two eight-week testing windows.  Therefore, one statewide testing schedule that includes one ten-week testing window will be implemented for the 2014 ACCESS test administration.

For the 2013-2014 school year, the statewide ACCESS testing window will open Monday, January 6, 2014, and will close Friday, March 14, 2014.   The approximate date for delivery of score reports will be May 30, 2014.  A detailed schedule for the ACCESS test schedule for 2013-2014 is attached.

If you have questions, please contact the assessment staff by e-mail at student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov  or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.

PIW/SLR/cd

Attachment:

  1. ACCESS for ELLs/Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 2013-2014 Testing Schedule (Word)