• Click here for TN ESL State Board Policy

    WIDA Screener is an English language proficiency assessment given to new students registering in grades K -12, unless they have WIDA Screener scores transferred from another district, to help educators identify whether students will receive support services as an English learner (EL). If a student is identified as an EL, proficiency level scores from WIDA Screener will be used by educators to plan differentiated levels of support for each child.  

    ACCESS for English Learners is required for all English Language Learner students in Grades K - 12.

    These tests are given to all English learners to evaluate English proficiency.  

    Purpose & Use:

    Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires states to administer an assessment designed to measure students' progress in "...attaining proficiency, including a child's level of comprehension, speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in English". The ACCESS for ELLs meets these requirements. ACCESS consists of four tests designed to measure academic and social language proficiency in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. From the listening and reading tests, a comprehension score is calculated.

    Administration Dates:

    Qualifying students will be tested using WIDA ACCESS during the assessment window in the Spring. Please visit the link to see the testing window: https://www.tn.gov/education/assessment/testing-dates.html.

    Results to Parents & Students:

    The overall ACCESS proficiency level (1-6) for each student is based upon a composite score that is derived from all four tests: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Individual Performance Reports are received by the state in mid-July and are provided to students at the beginning of the next school year.

    ESL Hiring Plan:

    All teachers of any language instruction program for English Learners (ELs) need to be fluent and competent in the four domains of language assessed by the English Language Proficiency Assessment: reading, writing, speaking and listening. If personnel has been previously hired without these skills, the district will offer help to build the needed fluency.

    A teacher’s fluency in listening and speaking will be documented and evaluated during the interview process. One person in the interview will be responsible for noting listening mistakes, miscues, grammar and syntax mistakes, and judge the level of fluency for
    both speech and listening.

    Reading will be evaluated through the reading and responses that show understanding of the application process. Reading may be satisfied through the college transcript if from an English speaking university. Our district may also use a shelf reading comprehension assessment.

    Sequatchie County School’s application requires a writing sample. Also, during the teacher interview, a 15 to 20 minute writing sample may be requested with no outside editing.

    The exact requirement of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is “TEACHER ENGLISH FLUENCY – Each eligible entity receiving a subgrant under section 3114 shall include in its plan a certification that all teacher in any language instruction educational program for limited English proficient child that is, or will be, funded under this are fluent in English and any other language used for instruction, including having written and oral
    communications skills.” [3116 (c)].

    The district may also have an assessment designed or contract with an outside agency for this screening. The district needs to decide if this is to be used only with English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers or with all hires.