Superintendent’s Memo No. 235-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 29, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  ACCESS for ELLs  2.0® Field Test Recruitment

In Spring 2015, the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA®) Consortium will field test the online English language proficiency assessment, ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® in preparation for the first operational administration of this new test in 2016. The purpose of this field test is to collect data to confirm that all test items and tasks are of the highest quality and to establish the psychometric linking between student performance on the currently administered ACCESS for ELLs® and the new ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® assessments.  The language domains of Listening and Reading in grades 1-12 will be field tested in Virginia. In addition, the language domains of Writing and Speaking may also be field tested in selected grades and tiers. Information about the field test is posted at

The spring 2015 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® field test window will open Monday, January 26, 2015, and close Friday, April 3, 2015. WIDA® strongly recommends that the field test be administered within two weeks after completion of the operational ACCESS for ELLs® test in spring 2015. The spring 2015 testing window for the operational ACCESS for ELLs® test will open Monday, January 12, 2015, and will close Friday, March 20, 2015.

The Virginia Department of Education is aware that the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® field test window overlaps the fall 2014 statewide Standards of Learning (SOL) Non-Writing window and the spring 2015 statewide SOL Writing test window.  Participation in ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® field test is voluntary; however, benefits of participation in this field test include the following:

A brief online survey is available for school divisions interested in participating in the spring 2015 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® field test. The survey may be accessed at and will remain open until Friday, September 26, 2014.

If you have any questions about the spring 2015 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® field test, please contact Alex Bauer, Field Test Recruitment Specialist for the WIDA® Consortium by e-mail at

For other assessment questions, please contact the assessment staff by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.