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Supporting Virginia ELs with WIDA-Correlated Programs

Supporting Virginia ELs with WIDA-Correlated Programs

English learners (ELs) are a growing part of the K–12 student population in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In fall 2015, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 8.5% of K–12 students enrolled in Virginia public schools were identified as ELs.

The combination of an increasing EL population and more rigorous Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability expectations that require all states to set goals for EL progress toward English-language proficiency feeds directly into how Virginia is defining support for this subgroup of learners today.

Understand Virginia Measurement of EL Performance and Growth

In compliance with the ESSA’s accountability regulations regarding ELs, and as an extension of Virginia’s long-standing commitment to academic excellence, the Commonwealth set a higher scale score to proficiency level cut scores across all domains, increasing English-language proficiency expectations significantly in some areas. Since 2007, Virginia students have been screened for EL identification using one of the WIDATM Consortium’s assessments, and beginning in 2008, Virginia adopted the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards for English-language proficiency (ELP). Once students are identified as ELs, they are given the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® tests annually until they score highly enough to be reclassified as English proficient. The test is designed to measure students’ social and academic English-language proficiency, as well as the language associated with subjects like language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context. 

Virginia determines students’ progress toward English-language proficiency by measuring the percentage of ELs achieving composite proficiency level gains specific to three different grade spans, based on ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 data from the 2015–16 and 2016–17 school years. These data were also used to determine a composite score most consistent with passing the Standards of Learning (SOL) reading assessment, and the ACCESS for ELLs data are being used as the exit criteria for ELP. Virginia’s long-term goal is for ELs to achieve English-language proficiency on the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 test within five years. The Commonwealth has also set long-term goals for students across all subgroups, including ELs, to achieve proficiency on SOL exams within seven years. By the end of the 2024–25 school year, Virginia’s target is to have 75% of students achieve proficiency in reading/language arts and 70% achieve proficiency in math.

Identify a Trusted Partner to Support Your EL Population

This increasing population of diverse learners in Virginia and across the country highlights the growing need for quality educational materials that target English-language proficiency and continuous academic growth. Ensure that you have an education partner that offers high-quality programs to drive your students toward desired outcomes.

At Edmentum, we value our continued partnership with WIDA to help validate the quality of our online programs and their ability to adequately fulfill the unique needs of your ELs. As one of its key initiatives, the WIDA Consortium developed the Protocol for Review of Instructional Materials™ for ELLs (PRIME) as a tool to assist educators in making informed decisions about selecting instructional materials for language-education programs.

Edmentum Exact Path, ESL ReadingSmart, and Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress have all been awarded a WIDA PRIME V2™ Correlation, following rigorous, independent reviews. By attaining a WIDA PRIME V2 Correlation, Edmentum joined a distinguished group of online learning providers who have completed the multicriteria analysis. Take a look at each of our aligned programs to discover how our solutions can help you confidently propel learning forward for your diverse EL population.

Exact Path: Academic growth for K–8th grade ELs

Edmentum’s individualized learning solution, Exact Path, supports the diverse needs of your ELs through a flexible, personalized approach to learning. Proven to drive growth for ELs, Exact Path is designed to develop students’ vocabulary and language skills and is supported with audio, models, and visual supports to help differentiate content for all targeted proficiency levels.

After completing an adaptive diagnostic assessment, each student is set on an individualized learning path to academic growth, which includes scaffolded instruction and practice aligned to the Virginia Standards of Learning. The program’s diagnostic assessment enables educators to determine the exact areas where a student needs remediation, as well as where a student may be working ahead of grade level. While Exact Path provides you with big-picture and skill-by-skill data views to support real-time progress monitoring for your students, the program’s user-friendly interface and engaging activities allow students to navigate their learning paths independently and build critical language skills.

ESL ReadingSmart: English-language proficiency for 4th grade through adult ELs

ESL ReadingSmart is focused entirely on English-language proficiency, offering quality content for newcomer, beginner, intermediate, early advanced, and advanced ELs. After an initial placement test, students are directed to individual lesson paths featuring meaningful curriculum selected to help accelerate learning. Each lesson contains activities, vocabulary, and reading selections to help students build academic vocabulary and to support English-language proficiency.

By providing students with individualized learning experiences tailored to their abilities, ESL ReadingSmart gives educators the flexibility to utilize the program as a student-centered, standalone application for independent language acquisition; leverage the program in a larger whole-class, blended-learning model; or integrate it for intervention or acceleration in after-school programs.

Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress: Literacy development for pre-K–6th grade ELs

Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress, Edmentum’s dynamic two-in-one literacy solution, supports the reading and comprehension development of your ELs with engaging activities and lessons aligned to the five essential pillars of reading—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Content begins at an absolute emergent level and ensures that students receive extra support in phonemic awareness and phonics to close gaps in foundational reading skills before they ever have a chance to widen. Additionally, both Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress offer a placement test to help your students begin their learning journeys at the correct level of instruction.

Once students have been placed at the appropriate level, carefully guided lessons infused with instructional modeling, audio supports, and engaging animations guide students’ literacy development as they become more confident readers. Every corner of Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress is packed with rewarding and game-like features that keep students motivated and encouraged as they work through their lessons. As your ELs crack the code on reading, they not only unlock the joys of becoming life-long readers, but they also open the door to all the academic gains that come with reading proficiency.

Interested in learning more about how WIDA and Edmentum partner to help drive your ELs to academic success and English-language proficiency? Watch our recent webinar, [WIDA + Edmentum] Partnering to Drive ELL Success.