District of Columbia

Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2004.


The District of Columbia uses the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten and WIDA Screener (for Grades 1-12) to identify English learners (ELs). ACCESS for ELLs is given to all ELs in grades K-12 during the annual statewide testing window, which typically lasts from late February to mid-April. For prekindergarten assessments, please refer to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) EL Policies and Procedures.

Testing Dates

1/12/24-3/22/24WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for Registrations
2/6/24Districts Receive Test Materials
2/6/24-3/29/24Additional Test Materials Ordering Window in AMS
2/12/24-3/22/24Test Window
4/5/24Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC
4/19/24-4/26/24Pre-Reporting Data Validation – LEAs in AMS
5/16/24ACCESS Reports and Data Files Available – Online in WIDA AMS
5/31/24ACCESS Reports Available in District - Printed
9/18/24WIDA Alternate ACCESS Reports and Data Files Available – Online in WIDA AMS
10/7/24WIDA Alternate ACCESS Reports Available in District - Printed 

Requirements and Resources

See below for state-specific information and resources related to the ACCESS for ELLs English language proficiency (ELP) assessment, including your state’s ACCESS for ELLs Checklist, where you can find each step in the ACCESS testing process from beginning to end.

ACCESS for ELLs Online Checklist ACCESS for ELLs Paper ChecklistIdentification and Placement Guidance 

State Testing Requirements
  • ACCESS for ELLs is administered online. Kindergarten and WIDA Alternate ACCESS are given as a paper-based assessment. Alternate ACCESS will be only available for students whose IEP or 504 plan necessitates it.
  • The paper-based ACCESS for ELLs test in grades 1-12 can be requested for students with disabilities who have the paper-based accommodation identified on their IEP.
  • The default response mode for 4th and 5th Grade Writing test will be keyboarding. However, this is an LEA-level decision; the default response option can be changed to handwriting prior to test administration. The LEA test coordinator will have the capabilities to alter these settings.
  • Test Administrators must pass all training course quizzes for the tests they will be administering. Certification history on the WIDA Secure Portal will be updated as a record of completion. Your LEA Test Coordinator may require you to submit physical proof of certification. Contact your test coordinator for more information.
  • Administrators of the paper-based test should note that if they are scoring Speaking, they will need to complete an additional Speaking Scoring training course and certification quiz.
Test Preparation and Training
  • In order to set up an account for the ACCESS for ELLs Test Administrator training courses in the WIDA Secure Portal, contact your LEA test coordinator.
  • You must take the Test Administrator Training Quizzes, with a passing score of 80%, in order to administer ACCESS.
  • Once you have taken the training course and passed the quiz, only the Speaking scoring training course and its corresponding quiz must be retaken every year (ACCESS for ELLs Paper only).
  • Test administrators may be required to provide proof of certification to their LEA coordinator or OSSE. Certifications are available in the "My Profile" section of the WIDA Secure Portal.
Test Security
  • Administer ACCESS for ELLs as prescribed in the appropriate Testing Integrity Act, regulations, policies and manuals (unless expressly amended in writing by OSSE).
  • Secure all state test materials to include all testing materials used to facilitate paper- and computer-based testing, and prohibit unauthorized access to secure test questions and materials at all times.
  • Immediately report any breach of testing security to the school’s test monitor, the LEA’s test integrity coordinator(s), and OSSE; Follow the technical difficulties process and report computer-based/online difficulties that impact the security of test administration.
  • Return/dispose of all secure and non-secure test materials following procedures outlined in the appropriate testing manuals and OSSE Test Security Guidelines.
  • Submit Test Integrity and Test Security Affidavit forms for each school monitor to the LEA test integrity coordinator(s) within 10 business days after the conclusion of ACCESS administration.

Standards and Instructional Support

OSSE provides school leaders and teachers guidance around maintaining a language instruction educational program (LIEP) for ELs that is rooted in federal and local regulations. This guidance, including administrative procedures and instruction, is available in the form of publications, professional development, and in-person technical assistance and programmatic support. OSSE’s guidance can be found on OSSE’s English Learners website.

The WIDA English Language Development Standards are the state standards to guide instruction within an LIEP. Educators can learn more about the standards, the 2020 edition of the standards framework, and their application on OSSE’s WIDA English Language Development Standards webpage.

Professional Learning

OSSE’s Division of Teaching and Learning’s (TAL) Professional Development Team works to deliver responsive systems of professional learning and high-quality technical support to District LEAs and schools. The team supports a wide range of topics and interventions through professional development, direct LEA/school-based support, the facilitation of communities of practice, and through city-wide convenings. View more information on OSSE’s K-12 Professional Development Opportunities page.

During school year 2023-24, OSSE will host select WIDA Facilitated Virtual Workshops. All educators in the District if Columbia have access to WIDA’s Self-Paced Workshops 2023-2024 offerings. View the flyer for full workshop descriptions and intended audiences. All workshops are free and available in the WIDA Secure Portal.


Santiago Sanchez
Multilingual Specialist
(202) 741-5311

Lauren Thompson
Deputy Director of Assessment

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 new login, contact help@wida.us, call (866) 276-7735, or contact your LEA Test Coordinator.
  • New LEA Test Coordinators should contact Lauren Thompson at lauren.thompson@dc.gov to create an account.
  • For assistance with your account, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at help@wida.us 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 via WIDA AMS.