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Identification & Placement
Procedures for the English Learner Identification
Proper identification of English Learners (ELs) helps ensure that the district’s English language acquisition program is best designed to meet the needs of its students. To develop comprehensive English language acquisition and academic programs for English Learners, schools and districts must first have accurate knowledge regarding the size and characteristics of the population to be served. As of July 1, 2018, the W-APT assessment for grades 1-12* will no longer be available for Colorado schools and districts to use in the English Learner Identification process.
*Please note, kindergarten and first semester, first-grade students will be assessed with the W-APT. Second semester, first-grade students through grade 12 will be assessed using the WIDA Screener.
- Interim English Learner Identification Procedures & ELP Screener Assessment Guidance: August 2020
- Standardized Identification of English Learners: Requirement & Process 2020 (PDF)
- W-APT (kindergarten & first grade, first semester) and WIDA Screener (grades 1 -12) Cut Point Guidance (PDF)
Transition to Screener for Kindergarten Occurring in SY22-23
WIDA Screener for Kindergarten is a new individually administered paper-and-pencil test that helps educators identify students as English learners (ELs) in Kindergarten and 1st semester first grade. Colorado currently administers W-APT to kindergarten and 1st semester first grade students and will fully transition and require districts to administer WIDA Screener Kindergarten in August 2022. The Screener for Kindergarten Training Tile in WIDA’s Secure Portal will be activated on May 1st for LEAs to begin to explore assessment and training materials. Districts and schools should be reviewing the training modules and other information related to the Screener for Kindergarten, however, CDE will not be providing cut scores to align to Colorado English language proficiency levels at this time.
During SY21-22 the Office of CLDE will collect data to set cut point guidance to be disseminated for use in SY22-23. Additionally, CLDE anticipates to provide supplemental test administration training in the Spring of 2022 after cut point data is collected and guidance is developed and disseminated.
Annual English Language Proficiency Assessment for English Learners
ACCESS for ELLs is a secure large-scale English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment given annually to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English learners (NEP/LEP). It provides educators and parents information about the ELP level in the language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Students who qualify for Language Instruction Educational Programs (LIEP) but parents have formally opted-out of programs, are not exempt from testing. This assessment aligns to the Colorado English Language Proficiency Standards (CELP). Please contact the Assessment Office for more information or training dates for ACCESS.
ACCESS for ELLs cut points to guide districts in making NEP, LEP, and FEP determinations for state reporting have been established and can be found below.
Civil Rights Obligations and Guidance
- Guidance for school districts to ensure equal access for all children to public schools, regardless of immigration status
- Guidance for schools' civil rights obligations to English learner students and parents
- A fact sheet for families and school staff on the limitations on DHS Immigration enforcement actions at sensitive locations
- Home Language Surveys Samples, OELA Toolkit, Chapter 1
- Parent Opt-Out Notification Sample, OELA Toolkit, Chapter 7
- Parent Notification Letter Sample
- English Language Development Guidebook
- WIDA Flyers Explaining ELL Status in different languages
- W-APT Non Disclosure Agreement
- WIDA Non Disclosure and User Agreement