WIDA News: August 2017

New WIDA Director of Professional Learning

photo of Diep Nguyen
Diep Nguyen

WIDA is pleased to announce that Ngoc-Diep Nguyen, Ph.D. was recently hired to serve as the Director of Professional Learning. Diep comes to WIDA (in mid-August) with many years of experience leading, writing about, and researching best practices associated with supporting educators of language learners. Most recently, she was the department chair and professor at Northeastern Illinois University's Department of Teacher Education and, prior to that, she served as the Assistant Superintendent for two school districts in Illinois and was a director of Bilingual/Multicultural programs for over 12 years.

Diep is replacing Christy Reveles, Ed.D. who after a successful four year tenure as the Professional Learning Director, will shift her focus to facilitating the optimization of WIDA's partnership with WCEPS.


Experience the Magic of the WIDA 2017 Annual Conference

  • Connect with peers – Many of the sessions come right out of the classroom; "By teachers, for teachers!"
  • Last chance to get in on our Sizzling Summer Sweepstakes – Register by August 15 for a chance to win one of three half-price conference registrations.
  • Special spotlight speakers:
Conference Keynoters


Register for WIDA 2017 today!


ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Webinars

The 2017–2018 Q&A ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Webinar Schedule brought to you by WIDA and DRC is ready! It is online at www.wida.us/accessprep. All webinars are free, last one hour, and will take place from September 2017 through May 2018. In addition to 16 familiar topics from last year spanning Pre-, During-, and Post-Testing, three new topics will be offered this year:

  • Using 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Results in the New School Year
  • What's New This Year?
  • ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 for New District Test Coordinators

View the Webinar Calendar here!


Client Services Frequently Asked Question:

"What do I need to do to be ready to identify new English langauge learners in my school/district?"

WIDA has a number of useful resources to assist you in identifying ELLs and determining whether a student is a candidate for English language support services:

  • Some states are collaborating with WIDA to develop a new resource to provide educators with state-specific information about ELL identification and placement. Please check your state's page on the WIDA website for the following icon:
  • Placement Icon

  • Complete the appropriate training tutorials.
  • View corresponding test administration manuals to ensure you are fully prepared to administer your state's approved identification assessment. If you have questions regarding training, please contact the WIDA Client Services Center at help@wida.us or 1-866-276-7735.
  • Work with your District Testing Coordinator and/or Technology Coordinator to ensure successful implementation of the WIDA Screener Online. Use this updated Technology Readiness Checklist for WIDA Online Assessments to review the most up-to-date technology considerations.
  • When in doubt, contact your state education agency! To view SEA contact information, please visit your state's page on the WIDA website.

Important Note about Chromebooks: Confirm that all operating system updates have occurred prior to testing. If Chromebooks have been unused for a period time (as is common in the summer months), when they are used to administer a Screener assessment, sometimes they automatically update in the background, which interferes with the recording capture process in the Speaking Test. If you have any questions about WIDA Screener Online technology considerations, or need assistance with your WIDA AMS account, please contact DRC Customer Service at 855-787-9615 or wida@datarecognitioncorp.com.


WIDA Featured Educator

Meet Monica Cortada from Maryland

photo of Monica Cortada
Monica Cortada

Monica Cortada is an ESOL Teacher in Howard County School District in Maryland. In this interview she discusses the importance of connecting with families, collaborating with colleagues and including students in their learning. "I think it is worthwhile to set goals with the students and share with them ..." Read More

Featured Educator is a monthly interview with a classroom, district, or state-level educator on how he or she is making a difference for language learners. You can honor an exceptional colleague by emailing info@wida.us with "Featured Educator Nomination" in the subject line.



The WIDA Reference Cards Now Include Speaking and Writing Rubrics

As of August 1st, the WIDA Reference Cards now include the WIDA Interpretive Rubrics for Speaking and Writing. This flip-card resource combines the following charts from the latest version of the Amplification of the WIDA ELD Standards, including level 6, and the latest WIDA Interpretive Rubrics for Speaking and Writing.

  • Features of Academic Language
  • WIDA Performance Definitions for Listening and Reading
  • WIDA Performance Definitions for Speaking and Writing
  • WIDA Interpretive Rubrics – Speaking Rubric, Grades 1-12
  • WIDA Interpretive Rubrics – Writing Rubric, Grades 1-12

Click here to find the updated WIDA Reference Cards at the WIDA Store.

Schools that have previously purchased the WIDA Reference Cards can purchase the rubrics separately. Please contact store@wceps.org to inquire.


Get Social with WIDA

Join WIDA live on social media at 1:00pm Central on the following dates:

  • August 10: Twitter – Identification & Placement of ELLs
  • August 25: Facebook – Moving Forward in Purpose and Practice with Mariana Castro
  • August 31: Facebook – WIDA Screener Q&A with Mark Chapman

Follow along via #WIDAchat


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