English Learner Guidance


North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Guidance

To request any of the documents above, please contact the EL Program 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.
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.