Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2004.


Alabama uses WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten and WIDA Screener Online (through Susan Beard) for Grades 1-12 to identify English language learners (ELLs). ACCESS for ELLs Online is given to all ELLs during the annual testing window, which usually takes place from late January through late March. ACCESS for ELLs Paper administration requires SEA permission (through Susan Beard) and should be administered for IEP/504 plan requirements only.

Testing Dates

12/4/23-3/15/24WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for Registrations
1/9/24Districts Receive Test Materials 
1/9/24-3/8/24Additional Test Material Ordering Window in WIDA AMS
1/16/24-3/15/24Test Window
3/22/24Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC
4/11/24-4/24/24Pre-Reporting Data Validation – LEAs in WIDA AMS
5/10/24Reports and Data Files Available - Online in WIDA AMS
6/3/24Reports Available in District - Printed
9/17/24WIDA Alternate ACCESS Reports and Data Files Available – Online in WIDA AMS
10/8/24WIDA Alternate ACCESS Reports Available in District - Printed

Requirements and Resources

Alabama assesses all students using ACCESS for ELL Online. Systems considering paper mode must submit a request to Derek Thomas ( Specific details are as follows:

  • Kindergarten ACCESS is paper-based, no SEA permission is needed.
  • WIDA Alternate ACCESS is paper-based. Students who will take WIDA Alternate ACCESS must be approved. Contact Susan Beard for further guidance
  • Grades 1-3 are Online testers and must handwrite their Writing responses in a Writing response booklet, no SEA permission is needed.
  • Grades 4-5 are Online testers but if unable to keyboard Writing responses may handwrite in the Writing response booklet without SEA permission. Writing response booklets are ordered during the additional test materials ordering window.
  • Grades 6-12 are Online testers but if unable to keyboard Writing responses may handwrite in the Writing response booklet without SEA permission. Writing response booklets are ordered during the additional test materials ordering window.
  • Students who require Large Print do not need SEA permission.
  • Students with IEP/504 Plans that specify the student must take the test on paper will be allowed the accommodation. A request must be submitted to Susan Beard at ALSDE.
  • Instructions for completing student demographic information on paper test booklets can be found in the Alabama Hand-Gridding Instructions document.

The sections below provide additional ALSDE information and resources, including the ACCESS for ELLs Checklist where you can find each step in the ACCESS testing process.

ACCESS for ELLs Online Checklist Identification and Placement Guidance

Professional Learning

Educators in Alabama have the opportunity to participate in self-paced, on-demand workshops developed by WIDA, a trusted name in the field of English learner education and assessment.  The following workshops are available in the Professional Learning section of the WIDA Secure Portal.

  • Developing Language for Learning in Mathematics
  • Engaging Multilingual Learners in Science: Making Sense of Phenomena
  • Exploring the WIDA PreK-3 Essential Actions
  • Home Languages in the Classroom
  • Making Language Visible: Exploring the Key Language Uses
  • Newcomers: Promoting Success through Strengthening Practice
  • Reframing Education for Long-term English Learners
  • Social Studies: Engaging Multilingual Learners Through Inquiry
  • The WIDA ELD Standards Framework: A Collaborative Approach

WIDA Self-Paced Workshops cover a range of topics intended for a variety of audiences, from K-12 classroom teachers to English as a Second Language Specialists to district and school administrators. All Self-Paced Workshops are FREE and available when and where it is convenient for you!! View the Self-Paced Workshops flyer for full descriptions and intended audiences. Contact WIDA Client Services Center at or 1-866-276-7735 to set up your WIDA Secure Portal account today!


Derek Thomas
Education Specialist
(334) 694-4817

Maria Franco, M.Ed.
English Learner Education Administrator

WIDA Client Services Center 
Contact us for questions about training materials, test administration procedures, classroom resources, or for problems with your WIDA Secure Portal account.
(866) 276-7735

Logging In 

WIDA Secure Portal 
Use the WIDA Secure Portal to access test training manuals and resources, as well as Online Professional Learning modules.

  • To obtain a login, contact your System Test Coordinator.
  • New System Test Coordinators should contact Derek Thomas at to create an account.
  • For assistance with your account, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at or call (866) 276-7735.

WIDA Assessment Management System (WIDA AMS) 
WIDA AMS is managed by our partner company, Data Recognition Corporation (DRC). You can order ACCESS materials, manage your student and test information, and find technology resources and testing software through WIDA AMS.