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Placements & Assessments

ESL assessments assist educators with programmatic decisions such as identification and placement of ELs.  PDE has specific requirements for identification, placement, and reclassification.

English Learner Identification and Placement in the ELD Program

Kindergarten students participate in the K MODEL (Kindergarten Measure of Developing English Language).  They are English language proficiency "screener" tests administered to Kindergarten students based upon the results of the Home Language Survey.

The Entrance Requirements: 

W-APT:  An oral language (speaking and listening) score of 19 or lower or composite score (speaking, listening, reading and writing) of 20-24 AND a reading score greater than or equal to 6 and a writing score greater than or equal to 4.

-1st semester Kindergarten:  Oral language (speaking and listening) below 5.0
-2nd semester Kindergarten:  Overall composite (speaking, listening, reading and writing) proficiency level below 5.0 AND Literacy Composite below 4.2.

Grades 1-12:

WIDA Screener Placement Test
Students in grades 1-12 will be administered the WIDA Screener. A WIDA Screener composite score of 4.5 or lower is eligible to receive ELD services.

Annual Assessment for Monitoring Progress in English Proficiency

Each year English Learners in Grades Kindergarten through 12th grade are administered an assessment called ACCESS.  It monitors students’ progress in learning academic English by assessing the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Click here to learn about ACCESS.

Parents Right to Refuse Service:

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has instituted a parental right to refuse English Language Development (or “opt out” of ELD). Although it is not advised, if a parent so chooses, they may refuse specialized services or classes that are only provided for English Learners. (This does not include a class composed of ELs and non-ELs in which ELD is supported through content instruction.)  Students who are “opted out” of the ELD program still must take ACCESS each year until they are able to be reclassified as a Former English Learner.

If you are interested in learning more about your right to refuse ELD services for your child, please contact Kaitlyn McMullan at