English Learners

Wyoming Department of Education > For District Leadership > Content & Performance Standards > English Learners

Contact Information

EL/Foreign Language Consultant
Antoinette Hallam
(307) 777-5217
Title III Program Manager
Jessica Fancher
(307) 777-8964

English Learners (ELs) are those students in Wyoming schools whose primary language is other than English. English Learners enter Wyoming schools with a variety of language backgrounds, educational experiences and levels of English proficiency. Wyoming State educational agencies, local education agencies and schools are held accountable for increasing English proficiency and core academic content knowledge of English learners.

Title III of the federal accountability law is part of the legislation enacted to ensure that English learners, including immigrant children and youth, develop English proficiency and meet the same academic content and academic achievement standards that other children are expected to meet. To meet Title III requirements, states are mandated to identify and annually administer a standards-based English language proficiency test to all English Learners (ELs) in grades K – 12. In order to comply with the federal requirement of an annual English Language Proficiency Assessment for ELs, Wyoming joined the WIDA consortium in 2009. The WIDA consortium’s goal is to provide research based assessments, standards, and professional development to its member states.

WIDA provides Wyoming with a Screener Assessment as an identification for new students. Wyoming uses the KW-APT and the Model for Kindergarten and the WIDA Screener for 1-12th grade. The screener scores will support decisions on whether a student may be an Active EL and would benefit from English language support services. The ACCESS or ALT ACCESS is used as a summative assessment typically used during the end of a period of instruction, usually around January and February of each year. ACCESS scores evaluate student learning towards a certain standard or goal; in this case, by describing student performance. The ACCESS is a valid and reliable ELP assessments that test all four language domains to ensure that ELs have achieved English proficiency.

The proficiency score on the ELP assessment that is administered every spring must be set at a level that enables students to effectively participate in grade-level content instruction in English without EL services. Effective immediately, an EL student must meet the following criteria to be considered proficient in the English language:


• An overall Composite Performance Level (CPL) score of at least
4.6 AND (new criterion in 16-17).
• A Literacy Performance Level (LPL) of at least a 4.3 (new
additional criterion in 18-19).

  • https://edu.wyoming.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Change-to-the-EL-Exit-criteria-2.pdf
  • https://edu.wyoming.gov/downloads/communications/memos/2019/2019-064.pdf


Effective in the 2019-20 SY, the WDE established an exit criteria for the ALT ACCESS. Students who receive a composite performance level score
of P1 or higher (P2) will be deemed English proficient.

EL Public Data/Public Reports

Languages in Wyoming

For Parents of English Learners (EL)-Qualification Status and Parent Resources

The WDE works to ensure that students learning English, called English Learners, have equal rights and access to a high-quality education.

Students are eligible for English Learner programs and services if:

  1. Parent(s) complete the student’s Home Language Survey (HLS)  listing a language other than English; and,
  2. Based on language tests, the student shows a need for English Learner services and instruction to gain skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing academic English, the language needed for success in school.

A Home Language Survey (HLS) is completed for all students who enroll in a district.  The HLS is the first step in determining whether a student is eligible for English Learner programs and services. The Home Language Survey requirements have been updated for the 2019-20 school year, which state that it is unnecessary to ask parents to complete a HLS each year when a student is in the same district, as it can lead to a student being misidentified for English Learner (EL) services.
SUPS Memo: https://edu.wyoming.gov/downloads/communications/memos/2019/2019-068.pdf


WIDA Screener is an English language proficiency assessment given to new students in Grades 1-12 to help educators identify whether they are English language learners (ELLs). It is flexible, on-demand assessments that can be administered at any time during the school year. WIDA Screener is available in two formats-online and paper.

Key Features of WIDA Screener

  • Includes separate forms for each grade-level cluster: 1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12
  • Aligns with the WIDA English Language Development Standards
  • Assesses each of the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
  • Reports proficiency level scores for each language domain and for three composite scores: Oral Language, Literacy and Overall Score

If a student is identified as an ELL, proficiency level scores from WIDA Screener can be used by educators to compare across ELLs and to plan differentiated levels of support for each child.

When a student is first identified as an Active English Learner, parents must be notified in a letter of English Learner services available to the student.  It’s also important to state that the letter/communication to parents must be in a language families understand.  Districts that receive Title III funding from the federal government are required to notify parents every year that their child receives English Learner services.  All parents have the option of declining English Learner services.

WDE and WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) Materials and Proficiency Criteria

Quarterly Webinar Archives

EL and Title 111 Quarterly Webinars for the 2018-2019 SY
EL and Title 111 Quarterly Webinars for the 2017-2018 SY

WIDA Webinars

WIDA Workshops/Training Provided by WDE

WDE offers professional development and support opportunities for educators to learn about teaching students who are English Learners.
WDE offers professional development and support opportunities for educators to learn about teaching students who are English Learners.
  • Lesson Planning Workshop in Casper, Wyoming
    January 17-18, 2018  3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
    Presented by Suzanne Johar, 1 PTSB Credit awarded
  • Interpreting ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports for Instruction (With information about Alternate ACCESS)  in Casper and Riverton, Wyoming
    June 7 & June 8, 2018  8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
    Presented by Terri Mossgrove, .5 PTSB Credit awarded

Lesson Plan Share Space


More EL Resources