EL Guidance and Resources


EL Guidance

EL Resources


These documents are available in the EL Coordinator and/or EL Educator Teams files. If you are unable to access the document you are looking for, please contact the EL Programs Office.

WIDA Guidance

WIDA Accounts

  • District Test Coordinators must manage the WIDA online file of all Test Administrators to ensure permissions and trainings are up-to-date for the current testing year's staffing and trainings.
  • District Test Coordinators must submit a verification of accounts to the NDDPI by September 30 of each year.
  • To obtain a WIDA AMS or WIDA Secure Portal account, contact your District Test Coordinator or the EL Program Office at NDDPI.

Test Preparation and Training

  • North Dakota requires that all personnel who come into contact with the WIDA assessments must complete ANNUAL training(s) for all tests being administered.
  • For specific training requirements, see the ND State Page of the WIDA website.

WIDA North Dakota webpage

Contains state-specific information and resources, including ND’s ACCESS for ELLs Checklist, Identification and Placement Guidance document, and testing requirements. 


ND Entrance and Exit Criteria and Procedures for EL Identification

North Dakota Entrance and Exit Criteria and Procedures for EL Identification

North Dakota has established entrance and exit criteria and procedures by reviewing what was previously in place and revising it to meet the needs of all schools in the state. The review was completed by the English Language Program Advisory Committee (ELPAC) which is made up of LEA representatives from across the state, as well as other professionals related to English learner education. The entrance and exit criteria created and approved by the ELPAC was also recommended for approval by the Accountability and Standards Subcommittee and approved by the State ESSA Planning Committee. These two committees include professionals from across the state and represent a wide variety of agencies and LEAs.

North Dakota has established entrance criteria and procedures as follows:

  • A statewide Home Language Survey (HLS) is required. The first page of the survey includes the required elements. The second page contains items the school will be encouraged to use, but not required. Districts have the option to add items or addenda as they wish, beyond the required elements.
  • Districts must conduct a screener assessment if another language is present unless there is overwhelming evidence of academic success at the time of registration.
  • The required screener options are WIDA Screener (online or paper) for grades 1-12 or the WIDA K MODEL for kindergarten.
  • The statewide entrance criteria are consistent with the exit criteria. Students must receive a 3.5 proficiency level for each of the four domains and a 5.0 composite proficiency level to be considered proficient. The WIDA Screener only reports domains in integer values (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0). Therefore, a student receiving a 3.0 in any one domain would qualify for the program. If a student received a 4.0 in each domain, they would not qualify. The composite scores are reported in 0.5 increments (4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0).
  • All potential EL students must be assessed for admission to the EL program within 30 days of the first day of enrollment to any school.
  • Districts may allow teacher referral for students who were not screened due to the information on the Home Language Survey. The referral may be investigated by EL staff to determine whether the Home Language Survey is correct or needs to be revised by the parents.

North Dakota has established exit criteria and procedures as follows:

  • Districts must use the annual ND ELP assessment (currently ACCESS 2.0) proficiency level scores to approve exit of the EL Program.
  • Cut scores are the same as the entrance criteria with a 3.5 in each domain and a 5.0 required for the composite proficiency level. The composite score is made up of 35% reading, 35% writing, 15% listening, and 15% speaking proficiency levels. 
MIS01 Guidance

MIS01 Fall Report Guidance - English Learner (EL) Program

For questions regarding the EL program section, please contact the EL Programs Office.

Career and Technology Centers and Special Education units are not required to complete the EL Program section.

Federal Civil Rights Law and North Dakota Century Code (NDCC Chapter 15.1-38) have specific requirements regarding the education of ELs. The following items demonstrate how all districts meet NDCC and Civil Rights requirements.

Reporting Requirements for All Districts (including those with no EL students)

  1. EL Policy - All districts must verify by checking the box that they have a current EL policy in place meeting the provisions of ND Administrative Code and NDCC and approved by their school board. The North Dakota School Boards Association (NDSBA) has a sample EL Policy (GABAA) used by many districts in North Dakota.

    • Date of Policy (NDAC 67-28) - Enter the date the policy was approved by the school board. This date should align with the board meeting date and minutes in which the approval is noted. Districts are encouraged to review the policy at least every five years.

  2. EL Program Director - All districts must designate an EL Program Director. This person must have the authority to commit resources in the event an EL student enrolls in the district. The director is responsible for incorporating the EL identification plan into the district registration process to include the statewide Home Language Survey (HLS) for all students enrolled. If districts have enrolled EL students, the director must commit resources and provide administrative oversight to the district's language instruction educational program (LIEP). The program director is encouraged to have a current administrative credential to serve as the contact for EL issues.

    • Enter the teaching license number of the EL program director. The name will automatically populate. If the license number has expired, is invalid, or cannot be found, contact the ND Education Standards and Practices Board at (701) 328-9641. If the district's EL Program Director does not have an administrative credential, but has authority to allocate resources for the district, contact the EL Programs Office.

    • Enter the EL Program Director's work email address and work phone number.

  3. Certified EL Coordinator/Test Administrator - All districts must designate an EL Coordinator or Test Administrator who is willing and certified to administer the North Dakota English Language Proficiency (ELP) screener assessment to potential English learner(s) who enroll in the district. The EL Coordinator or test administrator can be employed by the district or contracted with a nearby district or REA. Be sure the person listed is aware of this appointment and agrees to the responsibilities.

    • Enter the EL Coordinator/Test Administrator's license number. The name will automatically populate. If the license number has expired, is invalid, or cannot be found, contact the ND Education Standards and Practices Board at (701) 328-9641.

    • Enter the EL Coordinator/Test Administrator's email address and phone number where they can be reached.

  4. Additional EL Contact(s) - LEAs have the option to include other individuals as additional contacts to receive notifications and information from the NDDPI regarding the EL program. This can be additional EL coordinators/teachers, classroom teachers, technology coordinators, consultants, or administrators.

    • Enter each additional contact's name and email address.

  5. EL Student Identification Procedures - All districts are required by federal and state law to identify ELs. The plan must include the ND Home Language Survey (HLS), completed at registration by a parent or legal guardian for all students. The HLS must remain on file for each student at the district, as well as the screening assessment (WIDA Screener/WIDA MODEL) and documentation of academic review. Districts cannot discriminate this process to certain students because of ethnicity/race or how they speak. For more information, review the EL Identification and Screening Guidance.

    • Describe the procedures the district uses to identify potential EL students.

  6. EL Student Assessment Assurances - All ELs must participate in the ND English Language Proficiency Assessment (ACCESS) and the North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) or ACT each year as required per grade level. The North Dakota ELP Screener assessments (K MODEL, WIDA Screener 1-12) must be used in the district's EL identification procedures.

    • Check the box indicating assurance of each action item.

  7. EL Certificate of Compliance - LEAs must assure, as listed in the LEA Fall Report, compliance with NDAC 67-28-01-06 and the North Dakota ESSA plan. Compliance will be monitored in conjunction with the annual Federal Title Programs monitoring.

    • Check the box to indicate compliance with all six items.

  8. EL Related Professional Development - (for previous school year) Professional development is a required activity of Title III subgrants (Title III Sec 3115 (c)(2)).

    • Check the appropriate boxes for each EL related professional development topic offered in the district or consortium during the previous school year ending June 30th (If "other" is selected, please enter a short explanation of the professional development in the text box.),

    • Enter the total number of participants for each type of participant, and

    • Check the Title III box if the professional development activity was funded by a Title III grant.

MIS02 Guidance

Coming Soon

MIS03 Guidance

Coming Soon

PER02 Guidance

Coming Soon

STARS EL Enrollment Guidance

Coming Soon

ESSA and Accountability
EL Coordinators

District EL Coordinators are district personnel responsible for the management and documentation of the EL program. The NDDPI provides the following resources specific to district EL Coordinators:

  • EL Coordinator Team - The NDDPI has created a Microsoft Team to provide a secure space to share and collaborate. The NDDPI posts updates, guidance, professional development opportunities, and other information regularly.
  • The NDDPI offers EL Coordinator Collaboration Time on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 9:00am and 3:45pm through the Teams platform.

If you are an EL Coordinator and would like to be a member of the SharePoint/Team, please contact the EL Programs Office.

EL Educators

EL Educators are educational personnel involved in the instruction of English Learners. The NDDPI has created a Microsoft Team to provide a secure space to share and collaborate. The NDDPI posts updates, guidance, professional development opportunities, and other information regularly.

If you are an EL Educator and would like to be a member of the SharePoint/Team, please contact the EL Programs Office.


ND ELPAC Membership and Term Guidelines

The North Dakota Century Code authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and appoint members to the English Learner Program Advisory Committee (ELPAC). The goals of the ELPAC are to: 1) advise the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) in matters affecting the education of English learners, and 2) promote educational opportunity and improve the quality of education provided to English learners in North Dakota.

  • The committee will be comprised of up to 15 participants who represent at least one of the designated stakeholder groups below.
  • Each member will serve a one-year term and, if in good standing, will be invited to continue the following year. Members of ND ELPAC may receive a professional fee and reimbursement for necessary mileage, meals, and lodging as per state guidelines. Members will not be paid or reimbursed if being paid or reimbursed by their employer.  
  • New members will be invited upon a current member resignation and selected primarily based on the alignment of their current role and the unfilled representation areas and secondarily based on previous experience.
  • We anticipate the committee will meet face-to-face approximately twice throughout the year (if it is safe to do so) and may include virtual meetings at various time throughout the year.

The ELPAC will strive to include the following representation:

  • Educators of English learners
    • Elementary EL Teacher
    • Secondary EL Teacher
    • Early Childhood Teacher
    • District EL Teacher/Coordinator
    • Native American EL Teacher
    • Adult EL Educator
  • General Educators with EL Populations
    • REA EL Specialist
    • Elementary Teacher
    • Secondary Teacher
    • Early Childhood Teacher
    • Special Education Teacher/Coordinator
    • Administrator
  • Other
    • Higher Education (preference to EL teacher prep)
    • Refugee Services
    • EL Student (grade 6-12)
    • Parent of an EL
    • Social Services
    • Technology
    • Business/Industry
    • Civic Leader (holds an office)
    • Law Enforcement or SRS

2020-2021 ND English Learner Program Advisory Committee Members

  • Dakota Breen - Secondary EL Teacher, West Fargo Public Schools
  • Krista Bussman - EL Teacher/Coordinator, Colony Schools, Milnor Public School District
  • Jillian Dietchman - REA EL Specialist, Roughrider Education Services Program
  • Renee Gerard - Adult EL Educator, Williston Adult Learning Center
  • Lallaine Hauser - Adult EL Educator, Dickinson Public School District
  • Arliss Koski - Special Education Teacher/Coordinator, Mandan Public School District
  • Lucia Shelley-Maluy - Adult EL Educator, Mandan Public School District
  • Karen Moore - Data & Assessment Manager, Data & Technology, Parent, Fargo Public School District
  • Lori Nappe - EL Teacher, Refugee Services, Fargo Public School District
  • Wendy Sanderson - District EL Coordinator, Post Secondary Education, Bismarck Public School District
  • Travis Thorvilson - Principal/EL Coordinator, Administrator, Grand Forks Public Schools
  • LeAnne Tracey - Adult EL Educator, EL Teacher/Coordinator, Spanish Teacher, Williston Public School District
  • Kerri Whipple - REA EL Specialist, Parent, Civic Leader, South East Education Cooperative
  • Assistant Director, Office of Indian/Multicultural Education, NDDPI
  • Assistant Director, Office of Assessment, NDDPI
  • Administrative Staff Officer, Office of Indian/Multicultural Education, NDDPI
Sample Documents
  • Parent Notification
  • Student Information Form
  • Home Language Survey
  • Lau Template
  • Interpreter Confidentiality Agreement
  • ILP
  • Decline ELD Program
  • Decline ELP Assessment
  • EL Monitoring Worksheet
  • School Board Policy