WIDA Standards: W-APT and ACCESS Testing
Denver Public Schools uses the W-APT (WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test) and ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) for initial placement and continued assessment monitoring of ELLs.
Administering the W-APT
- The W-APT is given upon initial entry into the district based on the identification of a language other than English spoken at home (on the Home Language Questionnaire).
- The W-APT is administered within 15 calendar days of a new student’s registration.
- Schools must print out score sheets for students and then enter the results electronically.
Administering ACCESS 2.0
- The ACCESS test is given annually to all students currently identified as ELLs. The ACCESS assessment is administered every January.
- As of 2015-16, Denver Public Schools will be administering ACCESS 2.0, the electronic version of the assessment. The Kindergarten test will remain an interactive paper-based test. Grade clusters will change to K, 1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12.
PARCC Accommodations for English Language Learners
English learners in PARCC states may not be excluded from PARCC performance-based and end-of-year assessments in ELA/literacy (with the exception of English learners in their first year in a U.S. school) and mathematics assessments. The universal design of PARCC assessments is expected to enhance accessibility for most students through the availability of a range of accessibility features for all students. However, some English learners may need additional accommodations during PARCC assessment administration.
The decision-making process about selecting PARCC accommodations for ELLs should include consideration of at least the following three factors:
- Factor 1: Student characteristics and learning needs (e.g., disabilities, language proficiency, accommodations used in classroom instruction/assessments to access and perform in academic standards and assessments)
- Factor 2: Individual assessment characteristics (i.e., knowledge about what tasks are required on PARCC assessments and ways to remove physical and other barriers to students’ ability to perform those tasks)
- Factor 3: PARCC accessibility features and accommodations policies that maintain the validity of assessment results.
Colorado READ Act
The Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act (READ Act) was passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2012. The READ Act repeals the Colorado Basic Literacy Act (CBLA) as of July 1, 2013, keeping many of the elements of CBLA such as a focus on K-3 literacy, assessment, and individual plans for students reading below grade level. The READ Act differs from CBLA by focusing on students identified as having a significant reading deficiency, delineating requirements for parent communication, and providing funding to support intervention.
As dictated by section 22-7-1207 of the READ Act, the provisions outlined by the Advancement – decision – parental involvement section do not apply if:
- (1) (b) THE STUDENT IS A STUDENT WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 22-24-103, AND THE STUDENT’S SIGNIFICANT READING DEFICIENCY IS DUE PRIMARILY TO THE STUDENT’S LANGUAGE SKILLS