English Language Proficiency Screeners

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Can Do Descriptors

Can Do Descriptors highlight what language learners can do at various stages of language development, they are available by grade level on the WIDA website.

In 2021, OSPI joined the WIDA Consortium and began using WIDA screener assessments. These assessments measure a student's English language knowledge and skills. The WIDA screener is the assessment used to determine initial eligibility for English language development services. The WIDA Online screener is a semi-adaptive online assessment administered to almost all potential English learners in grades 1-12 when they first enroll in Washington schools. The Kindergarten Screener is a 1-1 test administration that is not online and is available only to students in Kindergarten who are potentially eligible for English language development services at school. All students who take a WIDA screener test must test on grade level. The tests are available to administer for the entire school year.

Screener Training

  • Training for test administrators is available on the WIDA Secure Portal. District assessment coordinators can provide district employees with WIDA Secure Portal access and access to the Online and Kindergarten Screener trainings. All test administrators must be trained prior to administering a WIDA Screener Test.
  • Kindergarten Screener: The Kindergarten Screener is administered 1-to-1. Test administrators score all components of this test locally.
  • Online Screener: The Online Screener is for students in grades 1-12. Test administrators must complete grade level or grade band training prior to administering the test. The writing and speaking sections of the test are scored locally. The writing test can be scored asynchronously.
  • District Assessment Coordinators can monitor training completion through the WIDA Secure Portal.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for English language development (ELD) services is determined by a student's domain scores and overall score on the WIDA Screener assessment each student takes. Students must meet the minimum score in all four domains and the overall composite score to be determined ineligible for services. If a student qualifies for a domain exemption and meets all other criteria for being ineligible for services, please contact OSPI for guidance.

Grade Level Minimum Domain Score Minimum Composite Score
Kindergarten (through December 31) 5 (listening and speaking) 5 (oral language)
Kindergarten (beginning January 1) and Grade 1 4 (all domains) 4.5 (overall)
Grades 2 through 12 4 (all domains) 5 (overall)

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Screening & Early Screening for Kindergarten Students

Current TK Students: Between May 1 and the end of the school year, students in TK programs must complete the WIDA Screener. Students in TK programs must complete the listening and speaking domains of the WIDA Kindergarten Screener only. This is how these students will meet the federal annual testing requirement. These results will determine official eligibility for ELD services.

Kindergarten Students in fall (not TK): Students who are not TK students but will be entering kindergarten in the fall of 2023 can complete the WIDA Kindergarten Screener beginning May 1. These students are not required to complete the screener before the end of the school year, but it is an option for them. These students will complete only the Listening and Speaking domains of the screener.

Current Kindergarten Students: Transfer students who are kindergarteners this spring and need to screen must complete all four domains of the WIDA Screener. Any kindergarten student who needs to be screened after January 1 of their kindergarten year, must complete all four domains of the WIDA Screener.

CEDARS Reporting Guidance for Transitional Kindergarten Students


Additional testing resources can be found on the WIDA Secure Portal, including the:

  • Test Administrator Manual (TAM)
  • Screener Training Modules
  • Professional Learning Modules