Pennsylvania

Select state education agency:
Organization Name Email Phone External Links
State Education Agency (PA Dept. of Education) Eugenia Krimmel, Ed.D. (Bilingual Education Advisor) ekrimmel@pa.gov (717) 787-5482 Pennsylvania Department of Education; ESL Portal
WIDA Consortium WIDA Client Services Center help@wida.us Toll Free 1-866-276-7735 www.wida.us
Data Recognition Corp. (DRC) DRC WIDA Customer Service WIDA@datarecognitioncorp.com

Toll Free 1-855-787-9615

Data Recognition Corp

Who is allowed to become a certified W-APT test administrator in Pennsylvania?

  • The test administrator must be a certified teacher.
  • The certified teacher needs to complete the WIDA W-APT training module and obtain a quiz score of an 80% or higher. 
  • The test administrator must have knowledge of the WIDA levels of English proficiency and the PA English Language Proficiency Standards (PA ELPS) and have experience teaching English Learners.
  • A reading specialist or any other certified teacher who meets these criteria is eligible to administer the assessment.

How does a W-APT test administrator gain access to view and/or download W-APT screener materials?

The LEA’s Test Facilitator receives a username and password that provides access to the W-APT materials (this is a district-wide login, not a personal ACCESS training login). If you are a test administrator who needs W-APT test materials, please contact your LEA’s Test Facilitator. If you are a new LEA Test Facilitator and need access to the W-APT materials, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education (tshaffer@pa.gov).

How do I set up my account for the ACCESS for ELLs Test Administrator Training Course?

LEA Test Facilitators create personal accounts for test administrators using the Account Creator, assign training modules to eligible test administrators, maintain test administrators’ test security and non-disclosure agreements, and verify course certificates documenting test administrators’ completion of on-line training course modules. Contact your Test Facilitator to request an account.

Am I required to take the test administrator training quizzes to become approved to administer the ACCESS test?

Test administrators must be appropriately eligible and complete the relevant training module and quiz to be certified to administer each ACCESS assessment.  WIDA has updated some of the test administration training; therefore, for school year 2016-17, educators administering Kindergarten ACCESS, Alternate ACCESS, paper-based or online ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 must certify or recertify by completing the training module(s) prior to the start of the 2016-17 testing window. 

Test administrators must pass the quizzes with a score of 80% or above, and Test Facilitators should maintain documentation of test administrators’ scores.

Do I need to retake the training quizzes if I passed them in a previous year?

Yes. WIDA has updated some of the test administration training; therefore, for school year 2016-17, educators administering any of the WIDA ACCESS tests must take the training quizzes prior to the test window.

Do I need to show proof of my passing quiz grades (80%)?

Yes. Test Facilitators should maintain documentation of test administrators’ scores on all applicable modules. Please confirm with your district facilitator that he or she has record of your passing quiz grade on file.

Who is eligible to be a test administrator for the ACCESS assessments?

Test administrators are required to meet the following eligibility criteria, depending on the assessment’s format, to become certified test administrators. Educators who meet these eligibility criteria must successfully complete the on-line training modules, as addressed above, in order to be certified to administer a particular ACCESS assessment.

Online ACCESS for ELLs 2.0:

The test administrator must be teachers, counselors, administrators, and paraprofessionals employed by the school district who have completed the online training course successfully.

Kindergarten ACCESS and paper-based ACCESS for ELLs 2.0:

  • The test administrator must be a certified teacher.
  • The certified teacher should have knowledge of the levels of WIDA and PA English Language Proficiency Standards (PA ELPS) and have experience teaching English Learners.
  • A reading specialist or any other certified teacher who meets these criteria is eligible to administer the assessment.

Alternate ACCESS:

  • Test administrators must be certified teachers.
  • Certified teachers must have knowledge of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment levels of English language proficiency and Pennsylvania English Language Proficiency Standards (PA ELPS) and must have experience teaching English Learners.
  • Certified teachers must be familiar with the student’s communication style.
  • Special education and/or ESL teachers are strongly recommended as test administrators of the Alternate ACCESS.
  • A reading specialist or any certified teacher who meets these criteria is eligible to administer the assessment.
  • Paraprofessionals and personal care assistants are NOT eligible to administer the Alternate ACCESS.
Description Start Date End Date
DRC Provides 2015-16 Site Data 8/15/2016 8/15/2016
SEA Provides 2016-17 Site Changes to DRC 8/16/2016 9/27/2016
Test Materials Ordering Available in AMS (LEAs) 11/2/2016 12/1/2016
Pre ID Files to DRC (SEA) 11/29/2016 11/29/2016
WIDA AMS Test Setup Available 12/23/2016 3/3/2017
Districts Receive Test Materials (On) 1/9/2017 1/9/2017
Test Window 1/23/2017 3/17/2017
Additional Test Material Window in AMS 1/9/2017 3/10/2017
Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Material to DRC 3/24/2017 3/24/2017
Pre-Reporting Data Validation 4/27/2017 5/3/2017
Districts Receive Reports - Printed and Online (On) 6/19/2017 6/19/2017
Data Available to State 6/19/2017 6/19/2017

Will Pennsylvania be administering online or paper ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 in 2016-17?

  • Except for Kindergarten ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS remain paper-based assessments.
  • ACCESS 2.0 grades 1-12 is an online assessment.
  • ELs grades 1-12 are expected to be administered online assessments,
  • Individual ELs requiring a paper-based assessment as an accommodation may be administered a paper-based ACCESS 2.0
  • Local education agencies (LEA) may order a paper-based ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 as an accommodation on a student-by-student basis (i.e. low computer literacy for students) during the ordering process.
  • Information related to technology requirements, setup, and upgrades for the 2016-17 administration will be available on the WIDA website by September 2016:  https://www.wida.us/assessment/ACCESS20.aspx
  • LEAs that developed an ACCESS 2.0 transition plan in 2015 in collaboration with PDE are reminded of their obligation to implement that plan. 
  • LEAs facing insurmountable challenges (i.e. lack of technology infrastructure) to administer online ACCESS 2.0 should notify the Pennsylvania Department of Education by contacting Eugenia Krimmel at ekrimmel@pa.gov as soon as possible.

 

Will 4th and 5th grade ELLs on the Writing test respond by handwriting or keyboarding?

Pennsylvania's 4th and 5th graders will handwrite their writing responses in a response booklet.

What type of training is available for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 for the three roles of those participating in delivery: test administrators, test coordinators, and technology coordinators?

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will provide a series of webinar trainings for test coordinators and test administrators related to the 2016-17 administration of ACCESS November 8-9, 2016.  Details and registration are available on the ESL Portal at http://www.eslportalpa.info/professional-development/assessment/.

Where do test coordinators order the tests?

Test coordinators place orders through the WIDA Assessment Management System (AMS).

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s calendar of professional learning opportunities for school year 2016-17 is available on the ESL Portal at
http://www.eslportalpa.info/professional-development/

State Required Exit Criteria for Pennsylvania’s English Language Instructional Programs for English Learners

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has revised the State Required Exit Criteria for Pennsylvania’s English Language Instructional Programs for English Learners (ELs) to make exit decisions for the 2016-17 school year based on 2015-16 performance data
Every LEA must include the State Required Exit Criteria for Pennsylvania’s English Language Instructional Programs for ELs in the LEA’s program for ELs.  The exit criteria represent valid and reliable evidence of a student’s English language proficiency to exit from an English language instructional program.  These required exit criteria ensure consistent measures across LEAs for exiting ELs from English language instructional programs.

Assurance of implementation of the exit criteria by LEAs will take place within the Federal Programs’ Monitoring/Consolidated Program Review and the LEP System Review. 

Program exit from the Pennsylvania English language instructional program for English Learners takes place annually between June and September.  EL status of students for the current school year must be determined by September 30 and reported in the PIMS October District and School Enrollment Collection.  Students reported as current ELs in the PIMS October District and School Enrollment Collection cannot exit the English language instructional program from October until June. 

To meet the required state exit criteria for Pennsylvania’s English language instructional programs for ELLs, LEAs must ensure that students meet both required exit criteria listed below and meet one additional exit criteria listed below to exit from an English language instructional program.

 

Required Exit Criteria:

  1. For kindergarten students?overall composite proficiency level score of 5.0 on an ACCESS for ELLs Kindergarten assessment (accountability score).

     

    For grades 1-12 students?overall composite proficiency level score of 5.0 on a Tier C ACCESS 2.0 Grades 1-12 assessment.

    NOTECutoff score flexibility is available for students in grades 1-12 in the following Special Circumstances:

    • Following the grade and score criteria in the table below, the W-APT may be administered between June and September to students who scored below the minimum cutoff for program exit on the January administration of the ACCESS in order to demonstrate sufficient progress to justify exit.

       

      NOTE: The W-APT may only be administered to a student once in any school year.

      Grade Level ACCESS 2.0 Score Required W-APT Scores*
      K Cut-off score flexibility is not allowable for Kindergarteners
      1-5 4.6-4.9 5.0 in each domain
      6-8 4.7-4.9 5.0 in each domain
      9-12 4.8-4.9 5.0 in each domain

      NOTE:  A student must score 5.0 in each domain (listening, speaking, reading and writing). A composite proficiency score will not be used. 

    • A score of PROFICIENT on the English Language Arts PSSA or Literature Keystone assessment can be used along with the other required criteria outlined in this policy (Required Exit Criteria #2 and Additional Exit Criteria #1 or #2) to justify exit for students who achieve an overall composite proficiency level score of 4.5 to 4.9 on the January administration of the ACCESS 2.0 Grades 1-12.  In this case, W-APT scores are not necessary to demonstrate progress from the time of ACCESS administration to the end of the school year.

     

  2. Score of BASIC on the annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) math or Algebra I Keystone AND English Language Arts PSSA or Literature Keystone.

    NOTE: PSSA and Keystone exam scores must be from the most recent academic school year. 

          Cutoff score flexibility is available in the following Special Circumstances:

    • For students that were administered a PSSA math and/or PSSA English Language Arts assessment in school year 2015-16 and did not score BASIC or higher, each of the remaining exit criteria must be met to exit (Required Exit Criteria #1, Additional Exit Criteria #1, Additional Exit criteria #2). 

    • For students that are in a grade that is not assessed with a PSSA or Keystone assessment, each of the remaining exit criteria must be met to exit (Required Exit Criteria #1, Additional Exit Criteria #1, Additional Exit criteria #2). 

    • For students that were opted out of participation in a PSSA or Keystone assessment due to a religious objection or conflict, each of the remaining exit criteria must be met to exit (Required Exit Criteria #1, Additional Exit Criteria #1, Additional Exit criteria #2). 

    • For students transferring from other states, the results of academic achievement assessments used for accountability in other states may be considered when the academic proficiency level is comparable to BASIC on the PSSA/Keystone assessments.

Additional Exit Criteria:

  1. Final grades of C or better in core subject areas (Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies).
  2. Scores on district-wide or local assessments that are comparable to the BASIC performance level on the math PSSA or Algebra I Keystone AND English Language Arts PSSA or Literature Keystone assessments. 

 

Questions may be directed to Eugenia Krimmel (ekrimmel@pa.gov), Tami Shaffer (tshaffer@pa.gov), and Anne Scoufalos (ascoufalos@csc.csiu.org).

Pennsylvania
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Checklist

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