English Language Proficiency Assessment Information - WIDA and WIDA Screener

Federal law requires screening and annual assessment for English learners in grades K-12

Federal law requires that all English learners (ELs):

  1. be assessed in English language proficiency upon entry into a Virginia public school; and
  2. be assessed annually in English language proficiency.

The Virginia Department of Education has selected WIDA assessments to fulfill these federal requirements in Virginia schools. The WIDA assessments currently used in Fairfax County Public Schools are:

  • WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
  • WIDA Screener

More about WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0

WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is used in grades K-12 to provide annual assessment of students' English language development, as required by federal law.

Based on the results of the WIDA ACCESS, students are determined to exit or continue eligibility for English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) services. An English language proficiency (ELP) level and domain performance data allow teachers to plan appropriate instructional supports for students. Results are generally available for parents and guardians before the start of the next school year.

Students with visual impairments or significant cognitive disabilities that interfere with them accessing the WIDA ACCESS are assessed using the WIDA Alternate ACCESS or a Virginia Department of Education ELP checklist. 

More about WIDA Screener

WIDA Screener is used in grades K-12 to identify students who are eligible for English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) services as required by federal law.

Federal guidelines require school divisions to identify students who are potential English learners (ELs) in need of ESOL services. WIDA Screener is the English language proficiency (ELP) assessment used with potential ELs when they enroll in Fairfax County Public Schools. 

Based on the results of the WIDA Screener, students are found English Proficient or eligible for ESOL services. Results are generally available for parents and guardians within two weeks after a student takes the WIDA Screener assessment.

See parent notification letters for ELP assessments

See ELP assessment results letters for parents

Find out more about student assessments

Link to student assessment.

Find out about tests at each grade level

Link to grade level tests.