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English Language Proficiency Assessment



Heather Villalobos Pavia, EdD 
Assessment Division 

Find your district's state assessment contact for support: Statewide Directory

Important Announcements 

The testing window for the 2023-2024 school year was January 8, 2024 - February 9, 2024. Districts received downloadable results for ACCESS for ELLs 1-12 and Kindergarten ACCESS on Monday, April 29th.

 Alternate ACCESS was new this year, a standard-setting process must be completed. Alternate ACCESS results will be available in mid-September. 

English Language Proficiency Assessments

Colorado uses WIDA English language proficiency assessments.

Annual Measure of Proficiency 

All Multilingual Learners (NEP and LEP), including students with disabilities, must participate in the state English language proficiency assessment system. The educational team (IEP, 504, or EL), which must include the parents, determines whether the student will take ACCESS for ELLs with or without accommodations or, for a student with the most significant cognitive disability, meets the participation requirements for the alternate assessment. According to federal requirements, there must be evidence of alignment between a student’s educational plan, instruction, and the accommodations provided on any of the state assessments, as well as any determinations for students to participate in Alternate ACCESS. Three participation options exist:

  1. The student participates in ACCESS for ELLs without an accommodation.
  2. The student participates in ACCESS for ELLs with an accommodation*.
  3. The student participates in Alternate ACCESS for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Note: It is not appropriate or ethical to give Alternate ACCESS to students who do not qualify to take the assessment.

*Accommodations are practices and procedures that provide equitable access during instruction and assessment for students who have a documented need, including students with a disability and English learners. In order to use accommodations on state testing, accommodations must be determined by the student’s educational team and documented in the student’s IEP, 504, or EL plan.

Test forms:

  • Kindergarten (paper-based)
  • ACCESS grades K-12 (computer-based and paper-based)
  • Alternate ACCESS grades K-12, for students with IEPs written to the Extended Evidence Outcomes (paper-based) 

Placement/Screener Assessment

Contact the Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education with questions related to the placement of students

  • WIDA Screener is used to assist in the identification of students who qualify for English Language Development (ELD) programming.
    • Per federal guidelines, students new to the district with a primary or home language other than English must be screened, and parent notification of eligibility for ELD programming within 30 days from the beginning of the school year. Throughout the remainder of the school year, the process must happen within two weeks of the student's enrollment. 
    • The determination of ELD program placement is determined at the district level.