DATE: May 25, 2018
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven M. Constantino, Ed.D., Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

Screening Tools for Identifying English Learners

Superintendent’s Memo 194-17, released on June 30, 2017, communicated information about the screening tools available for English Learner identification.  The memo announced that as of August 31, 2017, the Grade 1-12 W-APT screening tool would no longer be supported by the WIDA consortium. WIDA recommended that school divisions adopt the Grade 1-12 WIDA Screener as scores on this screener are aligned on the same score scale as the ACCESS for ELLS® 2.0 English Language Proficiency assessment. For the 2017-2018 school year, divisions were permitted to continue to use the Grade 1-12 W-APT screening tool.

WIDA has recently communicated a strong recommendation that states discontinue the use of the Grade 1-12 W-APT. In response to this recommendation, Virginia will discontinue the use of the Grade 1-12 W-APT screening tool on October 31, 2018. Effective November 1, 2018, school divisions may select from the following WIDA screening tools:

The Department will offer face-to-face training on the administration and scoring of the WIDA Screener in multiple locations in August 2018. More information about this training will be provided as session details are finalized.

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff at Email link. or (804) 225-2102 or Lynn Sodat, Director, Office of Program Administration and Accountability, at Email link. or (804) 225-2870.