W-APT and WIDA Screener
The NC Department of public instruction requires that we identify students in need of Englsih language services within thirty calendar days of enrollment. The WIDA W-APT (kindergarten) and WIDA Screener (grades 1-12) tests are used for initial identification and placement of students identified as English learners, ELs. The administration of the WIDA W-APT and WIDA Screener is based on results from the Home Language Survey (HLS) process. The HLS process and the identification and subsequent placement of EL students in English language services are guided at the state level by the NCDPI Division of Academic Standards.
Once a student is identified as an English learner (based on the results of the W-APT or WIDA Screener), state and federal law require students to be assessed annually with a state-identified English language proficiency test. The test currently used by North Carolina is the WIDA ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State) or WIDA Alternative ACCESS. Results from these tests for English language proficiency help determine eligibility for state-approved testing accommodations when taking tests that are part of the Annual Testing Program, such as the end-of-grade (EOG) and end-of-course (EOC) tests. Students must meet the Comprehensive Objective Composite (COC) set by the state on the WIDA ACCESS test to exit EL status. The COC defines the attainment of English language proficiency by a student reaching an overall composite score of 4.8 or above.