EL Program Update

January 2016

In this Issue...


  • Kiersten's Corner
  • ACCESS 2.0 Information
  • EL Staff Visual Directory
  • Ellevation Yearly Timeline

Kiersten's Corner--A Message from Our Coordinator

Happy New Year to all of you! This school year has definitely been a year of change and growth in so many ways! I recognize that the year of change and growth is continuing for all of us as we are preparing for the ACCESS assessments and engaging in our priority work.


I have had the pleasure of spending a lot of time in classrooms lately. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for all of the time, effort, and passion you put into your work with students and families. I also commend your perseverance and commitment to continued professional growth in this time of significant change. I am extremely appreciative and thankful for each of you and all that you do! Please connect with me if there is anything I could do at this time or in the coming months to provide you with needed support.

ACCESS 2.0 Information

Important Reminders


  1. Plan time to view the Test Demo Videos and do the online Practice Test with your students.
  2. Review accommodations for students on IEPs and plan accordingly.
  3. Work with your Site Assessment Coordinator to schedule testing and reserve computer lab time for both testing and practice.
  4. New-to-country students who are level 1-2 and some students on IEPs have the option to take ACCESS on paper. *Students should have the opportunity to try the online practice items before determining if a paper version is more appropriate.
    • Order paper test materials from Joanne Frei in RAA. You will need to indicate what Tier of ACCESS the student will need. Please refer to the Tier Placement Protocol.
    • Notify EL Facilitators (Jeanne or Josh) if you have students taking the paper test--a separate Test Administrator certification is required to administer the paper version. Jeanne, Josh, and Kiersten are certified.


Information to be aware of...


  • Kindergarten ACCESS is the same as it has been in the past. Teachers administering the Kindergarten ACCESS must complete the training and quiz on the WIDA website.
  • In general, students taking ACCESS 2.0 Online can be grouped in any way--mixed grade levels, no tiers. The only exception is the writing test for grades 1-3. The Speaking test should be given in small groups so there is not noise interference during recording.
  • 1st - 3rd graders take the Writing test on paper. Their "tier" is determined by their performance on the Listening and Reading test (online). You may want to schedule the L and R test for 1-3rd graders early during the testing window to allow time to plan groupings and schedules for the writing test.
  • 4-5th graders will get their writing prompt online, but will write their responses in a test response booklet.
EL Staff Visual Directory

Click here to view the EL Staff Visual Directory

EL Staff Visual Directory

The District 279 EL Department Visual Directory is now ready for your perusal. Click on the blue button above to view it! It currently includes all of the EL teachers and ESPs district-wide. There is a staff photo and a short personal blurb from staff who provided them. At this point we have not included phone extensions. We also plan to add Bilingual Program Assistants in the future. The idea is to be able see and learn a bit about our colleagues as our EL department has expanded and changed dramatically this year. The submissions have been really fascinating so far. People who choose to go into this profession often have amazing stories. It is also clear that we have an incredible depth of professional experience in our department!


This is a Google doc that you have access to view but not edit. Although it is “public,” a person would need to have the link to be able to view it, so it is sheltered. The directory is searchable. If you type Ctrl f, you can type in the name of a school or person without scrolling through the entire twenty-page document.


If you have not contributed your information but would still like to, just send Josh Smith an email with your short personal bio and your permission to include your photo. There are probably some errors at this point, so if you see something that needs to be changed or notice someone missing, just let Josh know. This is meant to be as inclusive as possible.

Ellevation Yearly Timeline

There will be an Ellevation session as an option for EL teachers during System Staff Development on February 1st. EL teachers are not required to attend, but we highly encourage staff to attend if they need more information and/or time to use Ellevation tools.


September-October
  • Assign teachers to students
  • Review student progress and ELP test scores
  • Create initial goals (optional if a student has proficiency level 6 in a domain)
  • Share goals and progress at conferences


November-March

  • Review and update student progress towards goals: consider end of trimester as possible time for this action
  • Add or modify goals
  • Transfer students to new teachers at trimester changes if necessary
  • Share goals and progress at conferences


Beginning of Tri III

  • If goals have not been identified yet in all domains, they need to be in place for third trimester.


April-May

  • Review and update student progress towards goals
  • Print and save reports


May-June

  • Add EL Service Plan from Ellevation to the student's CUM file. This will need to be completed before the last contact day.

Before We Go...

We’d love to include information about what is going on in your building in this newsletter. If you have anything you’d like to share regarding your program or student successes please send them to us.

EL Program Update Archive

Click here to view past issues of the EL Program Update

EL Program District 279

Kiersten Nicholson, EL Coordinator 27074

Jeanne Adelmann, EL Intake Facilitator 66507

Josh Smith, EL Intake Facilitator 66407