Assessment Updates

Sept. 17, 2021


 Assessment Literacy to Inform Teaching and Learning

10 a.m.-noon Sept. 21 | Register now!

2-4 p.m. Sept. 21 | Register now!

This interactive webinar will provide general information about assessment literacy and how to use assessment strategies to elicit high-quality evidence of student growth to inform ongoing instruction and engage students in their learning.​ 

Suggested Audience:

​All K-12 educators​


 Participate in an ACCESS for ELLs Event

Every year, WIDA asks the English Learner (EL) community to participate in events and activities that help review and refresh their assessment tools. If you would like to contribute to the test development work WIDA does, please visit their Building a WIDA Assessment page to learn more and apply.

 September ACCESS for ELLs Q&A Webinars 

Please join WIDA and Data Recognition Corp. (DRC) to learn about the following ACCESS for ELLs topics: 

 More information and login details can be found on the WIDA Secure Portal under the Webinars page. Technology coordinators interested in attending technology-related webinars can find the 2021-22 Q&A Webinar Schedule for Technology Coordinators on WIDA AMS. 

 Can’t make it? WIDA Q&A Webinars are recorded and posted to the Webinars page on the WIDA Secure Portal within a week of the presentation. Technology coordinators may access recordings for technology-related webinars through the webinar schedule in WIDA AMS. 

 Redesigned WIDA Secure Portal is Live 

As you begin to use the redesigned portal, here are some things to keep in mind: 

 Updated Support Materials 

  • The 2021-22 versions of WIDA assessment manuals and training courses are available in the portal, including the WIDA Test Administrator Essentials resource. The Test Administrator Essentials document is a quick reference guide for test administrators to keep on hand during testing. It provides critical details pertaining to student grouping and scheduling, and offers domain-specific tips and reminders for test administrators and students. 

 2021 WIDA eConference Sold Out

The 2021 WIDA eConference has reached capacity and registration is now closed. Individuals interested in attending may join the waitlist and will be contacted if space becomes available. The waitlist and additional conference information are available on the 2021 eConference website.

 ACCESS Testing – Early Results for Spring Testing

Early ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS test results are now posted in the Student Information System (SIS) for school year 2022 planning. These provisional results include scores for ELs who completed all domains. They are in a single record. Partial administrations or scores separated into multiple records are not part of this early release.  

Planned DRC Outages for 2021-22

DRC will periodically conduct system maintenance during the 2021-22 academic year that may result in downtime for WIDA AMS and/or the DRC INSIGHT Secure Applications. See this list of dates for regularly scheduled maintenance that will impact either of these.

 Chrome OS Device Support 2021-22

If your site(s) have been using Chromebooks or Chrome OS devices for several years, your devices may be approaching Google’s end-of-support dates in their Auto Update Expiration Policy. See DRC’s Chrome OS Device Support 2021-22 resource for more information on how this may impact your use of the DRC INSIGHT application on these devices. Please contact DRC Customer Support with any questions related to technology documentation at (855) 787-9615 or

 ACCESS Corrections

ACCESS corrections are now active in SIS. The last day to make corrections is Dec. 21.

 WIDA Screener for Kindergarten

WIDA has released a new screening tool for kindergarten. Illinois will continue using WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten into school year 2022. Adding a new screener requires that state rules and data systems be updated.  Implementation will be announced next year. ​Once available, the kit and training will be posted in the WIDA Secure Portal. Preprinted copies of the new screener may be purchase from the WIDA Store. ​

 ACCESS Preliminary Results – November Review
The ACCESS Preliminary Data Review, scheduled for Nov. 8-19, will include all results for SY 2021. ISBE will send ACCESS data corrections to DRC after the November review closes. Final results, including corrections that require rescoring or merging records, will be available digitally Dec. 15 in the WIDA Assessment Management System. They will be posted in SIS by Jan. 19, 2022. Printed reports will be sent Jan. 6, 2022.

 WIDA/DRC Customer Service Hours

  • WIDA Client Services Center is available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday – Friday.

  • DRC Customer Service is available 7 a.m.-6 p.m.



 Fall 2021 SAT Testing

Please note that information about fall 2021 applies only to schools on the fall 2021 established list.

Testing dates for districts that have shifted SAT spring 2021 testing to fall 2021 are as follows:

  • Primary SAT Date: Wednesday, Oct. 13

  • Makeup SAT Date: Thursday, Oct. 28

  • Accommodated SAT Testing Window: Oct. 13-26

 The list of schools established to provide the SAT as part of the ISBE-provided administration is posted on the SAT website. A general timeline for fall 2021 is posted on the SAT website. Costs associated with SAT materials orders placed for fall 2021 will be covered by the ISBE contract only for schools on the fall 2021 SAT established test sites list.

 Spring 2022 Test Dates

Dates for the spring 2022 administration of SAT with Essay, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 are now posted here.

 Spring 2022 Test Site Establishment Survey: Due Sept. 21
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, College Board sent a test site establishment survey via email to all current principals and test coordinators on file from spring 2021. The purpose of this survey is to allow staff to establish their school as a test site for the spring administration of SAT with Essay, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9. The survey will allow staff to appoint test coordinators, communicate break schedules, and confirm the SAT with Essay test date for spring 2022. Please review
details about the option to choose alternate test dates for only SAT with Essay. Staff are expected to complete the survey no later than Tuesday, Sept. 21.

  Illinois Assessment of Readiness

 Important 2021 IAR Administration Update

All district/school/staff are encouraged to visit the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) website and Illinois Pearson Support page for the latest information and updates on the 2021 spring/fall administration of the IAR.

 Key Dates

For a full listing of key dates, refer to Illinois Pearson Support page.

 Fall Testing is in Progress 

  • Aug. 9 – Sept. 24 (Paper-Based Testing)

  • Aug. 9 – Oct. 8 (Computer-Based Testing)

Adjusted IAR Score Report dates

  • Sept. 20 – PDF Reports posted in PearsonAccessnext(PAN).

  • Sept. 30-Oct. 18 – Individual Student Reports delivered to districts.

 (Final date in district dependent upon receipt of state approval of proceed to print.)

 Important Technology Update

Pearson has updated the TestNav system requirements for the 2021-22 school year. Please review the technical bulletin and system requirement pages below to ensure your school devices are ready for the upcoming fall (if applicable) and spring testing administrations.

 TestNav 1.10 Application Now Available for IAR Assessments


The TestNav app must be downloaded and installed prior to fall 2021 and spring 2022 testing.

 For any questions, please call Pearson customer support at (833) 213-3879.

Illinois Science Assessment

 Make sure your administrator and test coordinator fields are updated in the ISBE Entity Profile System.

  • The fall Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) testing window is now open until Oct. 8 for districts identified as testing.

  • ISBE Management is not operational for fall testing (cannot as it points at SIS – which is now the 2021-22 school year).

  • The ISA Fall Testing webinar has been posted under Presentations and Webinars on the ISA webpage. The webinar provides information to those districts who are testing in the fall.

 Personally Identifiable Information

Please do not transmit any personally identifiable information to ISBE via email. Please submit information other than a student ID via the secure portal.


 IMPORTANT: Do not make changes to users, enrollments or rosters in Kite Educator Portal. If you have issues or concerns with any of these, please contact Pam Hartwig at  

 Fall Testing Window 

The fall window is currently open and runs through Sept. 30. Districts that selected the spring window and did not test one or more students cannot test those students during the fall window. Absent scores will be accounted for during the corrections process.

 Annual Security Agreement

Please be aware that the security agreements signed last for the 2020-21 school year have now expired. It is especially important that districts testing during the fall window have test administrators complete the security agreement as soon as possible. 

Annual Training

Test administrators also will need to complete their annual training BEFORE they can administer the Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment (DLM-AA) during the fall extended 2020-21 window. 


The corrections window is now open. Test scores will not be available from DLM until October, but districts may begin explaining missing test scores with the applicable RNVTA code now.

 Instructionally Embedded Assessment

The instructionally embedded assessment will be available for a brief time during the upcoming school year. The window opens Jan. 3, 2022, and closes Feb. 23, 2022. The instructionally embedded assessment is not required, but this would be a good time for teachers to become familiar with the assessment. PLEASE NOTE: Any organization changes needed in Kite Educator Portal will delay accessing the instructionally embedded window for the affected district and/or building. 

 District Training for Spring 2022

A video and supplemental resources are available to help assessment coordinators, district test coordinators, and data managers implement the DLM-AA for the 2021-22 school year. Training opened Aug. 6. A survey is available for district test coordinators, assessment coordinators, and data managers to determine interest in a Q&A session. 

 Training topics covered include:

  • The basics of the DLM alternate assessment design and its terminology

  • Roles and responsibilities of assessment coordinators, data managers, and technology personnel

  • The types of extracts and reports available to help monitor and manage the assessment

 There is also an optional online Q&A chat session. Enroll by watching the video and completing the registration form. The training time and date is 2-2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30.

 Updated Resources

Check out the DLM-AA page on ISBE’s web site for resources. Recently added items include:

  • 2021-22 DLM-issued manuals

  • DLM-provided professional development

  • Parent interpretive guides

  • Educator resource videos

  • District staff resource videos

  • Score report videos

 Looking Ahead to Spring 2022

District test coordinators may begin adding users to the Kite Educator Portal but please do NOT exit users. When adding users, remember teachers should have “teacher” role rather than “proctor” role. Guidance on adding users begins on page 15 in the Data Management Manual

 ALL users must renew the security agreement for spring 2022 on or after Jan. 4, 2022. This includes anyone who renewed the security agreement during the first 2 quarters of the current school year. 

 All users with the “teacher” role must complete training for the spring 2022 administration.  Training may be completed anytime between now and the opening of the test window in March 2022. Please remind teachers to print and retain their certificate of completion as evidence of having passed the training. 


 Updated Security for KIDStech Login

Senate Bill 2088 establishes an annual state kindergarten readiness assessment in statute, as of the 2021-22 school year. This law carries with it the expectation that ISBE will protect the accuracy and integrity of Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) data, using protection methods similar to those in place for other state-required educational assessments. One way the security level has increased is the recent transition to the Single Sign-on system for access to KIDStech.

 KIDStech access is now VERY LIMITED, for security purposes and is granted to individuals meeting ALL THREE of the following criteria:

  • Individual has one of the designated, licensed position codes in the Employment Identification System (EIS).

  • Completion of the full-day KIDS Implementation Required Training (KIDS Calendar of Professional Learning Opportunities).

  • District email address matches email address on file in the Educator Licensure Information System.

 In addition, access will not occur until each district enters all the required SY 2022 EIS personnel information, due by Nov. 1 at However, to ensure that teachers and administrators are able to access KIDStech during the district data entry window, it would be logical to enter the required information into EIS prior to that point in the school year. For most districts, that would likely mean mid-October.

 Please note: Administrator access is limited to one district-level Illinois Educator Identification Number (IEIN) (typically superintendent or assistant superintendent) and one school-level IEIN (typically principal) per RCDTS code.

  • Teachers will not be able to enter data until:

    • Districts have completed the student and teacher roster upload process, which can be accessed at KIDStech Account Instructions.

    • The 40-day observation and data collection period is nearing completion based on district attendance calendars.

    • The district’s data entry window is open, one week prior to the 40th day of attendance, through one week after the 40th day of attendance.

  • Teachers and administrators accessing KIDStech for the first time this school year can review the KIDStech Single Sign-on instructions through the link located in the blue drop-down "Classroom Implementation Materials" box on the "KIDS Materials & Resources" page, or here:  KIDStech Login Instructions.

Return to the Classroom SY 2021-22

The current guidance from the State Superintendent for the 2021-22 school year is that all students return to in-person learning situations, with district-level mask mandates in place. With KIDS now in state statute, districts will be REQUIRED to submit appropriate KIDS student exemptions for any students not fully rated on the 14 required measures. Only those students with a medical exemption, granted based on documentation specifying that the student should remain in remote learning due to an ongoing medical condition, will be approved for remote learning and an exemption from KIDS. In those specific cases, districts would use the KIDS Student Exemption Reason Code 01 – Medically Exempt and collect as much evidence as possible to apply student ratings on the required KIDS measures. For additional information on KIDS implementation for SY 2021-22, please review the updated KIDS Overview and FAQ.

 Virtual KIDS Implementation Required Training

Now that KIDS is in state statute (Senate Bill 2088), school districts are required to observe and rate ALL kindergarten students on the 14 measures, one time at kindergarten entry. Only teachers who have gone through the KIDS Implementation Required Training have access to KIDStech. Teachers are issued a login and a password after completing the training session.

  • New teachers or teachers new to kindergarten MUST attend a virtual KIDS Implementation Required Training session.

  • Long-term substitutes for kindergarten teachers on leave MUST attend a virtual KIDS Implementation Required Training session, observe the students and enter the ratings into KIDStech.

 Dates for the virtual training sessions can be found on the KIDS Professional Development page or through KIDS Calendar of Professional Learning Opportunities.  If a long-term substitute has not been identified, it would be best to talk through your situation with your KIDS coach. See KIDS Coaching Interactive Map.