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COVID-19 Related Special Administration of the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) in August-September 2021

June 3, 2021

In May 2021, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced information on a one-time special administration of the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL) to address the adverse impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented some English Language Learners (ELLs) and provisionally-identified ELLs from being able to participate in the Spring 2021 New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT). Schools must ensure that they are providing appropriate levels of ELL instruction and services as required by Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154-2.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many students, including provisionally-identified ELLs, have received remote-only instruction during the 2020-21 school year. It is anticipated that most students will be able to resume at least partial in-school instruction when the new school year gets underway. In order to address the need to determine these students’ current English Language Proficiency (ELP) level, NYSED is providing the following flexibility through a special August-September administration of the NYSITELL for all affected students as described in the memo linked below. The NYSITELL must be administered in person while adhering to the district’s safety protocols as guided by the CDC and the local Department of Health.

Click here  to access and download this memorandum.

For questions about student eligibility or any other aspect of the special August-September administration of the NYSITELL, please contact the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages at