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English Learners (ELs) - Acronyms and Definitions of Terms

ACCESS for ELLs™ – Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners. This large-scale test addresses the academic English language proficiency (ELP) standards at the core of the WIDA Consortium's approach to instructing and evaluating the progress of English language learners. The ACCESS for ELLs® test is the annual assessment required by NCLB.

ACCESS Test Chair (AC) – Liaison between the Language Acquisition Division (LAD) and the local school. Assists the local school to refer new students and parents to the LAD Intake Center for assessment and orientation throughout the entire school year. Attends ACCESS Test Chair meetings, disseminate information/materials from ACCESS Test Chair meetings to school administrators, ESL Teachers, counselors, and/or general education teachers. Attends the ACCESS for ELLs® test coordinator training, coordinate ACCESS for ELLs® training for school staff administering the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment. Serves as the school’s ACCESS for ELLs® test coordinator, coordinates with school staff in charge of DIBELS/TRC and PARCC testing to ensure English language learners (ELLs) receive appropriate accommodations. Collaborates with the school’s general education teachers to ensure former ELL students are receiving monitoring services. Coordinates with school administration for timely dissemination of all ELL students’ parent/guardian notification letters. 

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ – The assessment instrument administered to students who require special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the Alternate Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™).  Alternate ACCESS is an individually administered paper and pencil test. It is intended only for English Language Learners with significant cognitive disabilities that are deemed severe enough to prevent meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment.  Spring of 2012 was the first year for the assessment, proficiency levels are still to be determined.

AMAO – Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives. AMAOs are set annually by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and specify the percentage of ESOL students yearly who are expected to progress toward English language proficiency (AMAO I), attain English language proficiency (AMAO II), and demonstrate adequate yearly progress in reading and math at the state level (AMAO III). The AMAOs are assessed through the ACCESS for ELLs® test.

ANET – Achievement Network Assessment.  The Achievement Network (ANet) Assessment is another type of paced interim assessment, used at approximately one-third of schools in DCPS.  It is aligned to the ANet Schedule of Assessed Standards and administered four times a year to students in 41 participating schools in grades 3 to 8. All four assessment cycles are administered prior to the state summative assessment, PARCC.

ASPEN – The new Student Tracking and Reporting System. ASPEN is DCPS’s new student information system, which contains all the information about students’ attendance, grades, transcripts, and graduation requirements, current ELP level among other things.

AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress. Under NCLB, each state establishes a definition of AYP that is used annually to determine the achievement of each school district and school in both reading and mathematics. States then identify for improvement any school that does not meet the state's definition of AYP for two consecutive years. AYP is designed to ensure continuous improvement each year toward the goal of 100% proficiency in 2015.

DIBELS – Measures progress in the various components of early literacy.

EL – English Learner. An EL is a student who uses another language in addition to or other than English.

ELL – English Language Learner. An ELL is a student who uses another language in addition to or other than English.

ELLevation – LAD’s new LCD/ELL platform for DCPS.  ELLevation is a software company exclusively focused on ELLs and the educators that serve them.  The ELLevation platform puts all information and data about ELLs in one place, helping educators enhance instructions, save time and improve collaboration.  ACCESS Test Chairs can login into ELLevation from any computer and find student’s ELP levels, print listings/rosters, find accommodations report, print test histories, set student goals, print graphs and for secondary students see class schedules.

ELP – English Language Proficiency. ELP is the degree to which a student is able to use standard American English as the language of instruction.

FEP – Fluent English Proficient

FES – Fluent English Speaker.

FP – Fully Proficient. Student’s first test is proficient.

HLS - Home Language Survey. The Parent/Guardian MUST complete a HLS for ALL students enrolling into DCPS.  The HLS is used to determine if language screening and ELL services may be necessary.

IMPACT – DCPS’ system for assessing the performance of teachers and other school-based staff. Get more information here.

IPT – The Pre-Idea Proficiency Test. The IPT is the language screening test given to 3-year-olds.

K-WAPT – Kindergarten-WIDA Assessment Placement Test. K-WAPT is the language screening test given to kindergarten and first semester 1st grade students.

LAD – Language Acquisition Division formerly known as the Office of Bilingual Education (OBE) in DCPS.

LCD – Linguistically and Culturally Diverse.

LEP – Limited English Proficient. LEP is an acronym used at the federal level to describe English language learners who participate in ESL programs.

LES – Limited English Speaker.

NCLB – No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. NCLB expands the scope and frequency of student testing, revamps accountability systems and guarantees that every teacher is qualified in their subject area. It also requires states to made demonstrable annual progress in raising the percentage of students proficient in reading and math.

NAEP – The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography and US history.  Students are assessed in grades 4, 8 and 12.

NEP - Non-English Proficient.

NES – Non-English Speaker.

OBE – Office of Bilingual Education in DCPS but now known as LAD – Language Acquisition Division.

OELA – Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, & Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students, US Department of Education

OCR - Office for Civil Rights

OSSE – Office of the State Superintendent of Education

PARRC – Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers is the new DCPS annual assessment is a computer-based assessments that will match the high expectations of the Common Core and will require students to think critically and solve real-world problems.

PHLOTE – Primary Home Language Other than English

TAS – Teacher-Assessed Student Achievement Data is a measure of your students’ learning over the course of the year, as evidenced by rigorous assessments other than the PARCC. This component makes up 15% of a teacher’s IMPACT score.

TRC – Text-to-Reading Comprehension BOY (Beginning of Year) MOY (Middle of Year) EOY (End of Year) aligns with DIBELS.

WIDA – World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment.

WIDA MODEL – The WIDA MODEL (Measure of Developing English Language) is a series of English language proficiency assessments for Kindergarten through Grade 12. MODEL can be used by educators as an identification/placement assessment for newly enrolled ELLs or as an interim progress monitoring assessment.

W-APT – WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. W-APT is the language screening test given to students in grades 1 and higher.