Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2007.


Pennsylvania uses WIDA Screener for Kindergarten and WIDA MODEL to identify English Learners (ELs) in kindergarten and WIDA Screener or WIDA MODEL (for Grades 1-12) to identify ELs in grades 1-12. ACCESS for ELLs is given to all ELs during the annual testing window, which typically lasts from January through mid-February.

Testing Dates

10/26/23-11/22/23Test Materials Ordering Available in AMS (LEAs)
12/4/23-3/1/24WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for Registrations
1/3/24-1/4/24Districts Receive Test Materials
1/3/24-2/16/24Additional Test Materials Ordering Window in WIDA AMS
1/4/24-2/23/24Test Window
3/6/24Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC**
4/9/24-4/16/24Pre-Reporting Data Validation – LEAs in WIDA AMS
5/24/24Reports and Data Files Available - Online in WIDA AMS
6/11/24-6/12/24Reports Available in District - Printed
9/24/24Alternate ACCESS Reports and Data Files Available - Online in WIDA AMS
10/17/24-10/18/24Alternate ACCESS Reports Available in District - Printed

**Do not wait for the deadline to ship materials to DRC. Districts should ship materials back as soon as they complete testing.

Districts are not required to administer the ACCESS test to ELs who enroll after January 19th, 2024. However, it is highly recommended that districts do so if possible.

Requirements and Resources

See below for state-specific information and resources related to EL 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 Checklist

State Testing Requirements
  • Pennsylvania students must take the ACCESS for ELLs Online. The paper-based version of ACCESS for ELLs for Grades 1-12 may be given only as an accommodation for students who require it. Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS remain paper-based.
  • LEAs may order a paper-based ACCESS for ELLs test on a student-by-student basis during the ordering process. The decision must be based on the student’s individual needs.
  • LEAs facing insurmountable challenges to online testing (e.g.., lack of technology infrastructure) should notify PDE by contacting Bob Measel or Julia Puza as soon as possible.
  • Schoolwide administration of the paper test for any reason MUST be approved by the state prior to ordering tests.
  • Students in grades 4-5 may complete the writing domain online or on paper. The default mode for the writing domain in 2024 is handwriting, but district may change the mode to keyboarding manually. Beginning in 2024-2025, the default writing domain mode for students in grades 4-5 will be set to online.
  • Only students who are or are likely to be eligible for the state Alternate Assessment (PASA) are eligible for the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
  • Reclassification, Monitoring and Redesignation Guidance 
Test Preparation and Training

All personnel who will administer a WIDA assessment or screener MUST complete the full training and pass the relevant quizzes before their first administration. 

Any educators, including paraprofessionals, may administer the ACCESS test or Screener as long as they have completed the required training and passed all certification quizzes. Paraprofessionals must be employed by the district. In all cases in which it is possible, PDE recommends that paraprofessionals be monitored by a teacher while administering a test.

For the Alternate ACCESS, only a certified teacher who works regularly with the student may administer the test. Again, the test administrator must have completed the test administrator training and passed all quizzes.

For personnel administering the online ACCESS:

  • Complete the full training only once. Annual recertification is not necessary.

For personnel administering PAPER ACCESS or WIDA 1-12 Screeners:

  • Complete only the speaking training and pass the relevant quizzes annually after initial certification. 

For personnel administering the Kindergarten ACCESS:

  • Pass the Kindergarten ACCESS certification quiz annually.

For personnel administering the Kindergarten Screener:

  • Pass the oral language and the literacy certification quizzes annually. 

Full recertification will be required for test administrators who were involved in any test anomalies during the previous year (e.g., missing tests, student plagiarism, breach of test security, etc.). The local Test Coordinator or EL Coordinator is responsible for tracking test anomalies and ensuring compliance with this requirement.

Manuals, Guides and Test Materials
  • Training and test materials for WIDA Screener can be found in the WIDA Secure Portal. Contact your District Test Coordinator or WIDA Client Services for assistance.
  • Identification, reclassification, monitoring, and redesignation procedures are found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) website.
  • Test Coordinators place ACCESS materials orders via WIDA AMS. DRC will send e-mail updates to District Test Coordinators pertaining to important testing activity dates. DTCs should review these e-mails carefully to ensure that all ACCESS-related tasks are completed accurately and on time.
  • Pennsylvania-specific ACCESS for ELLs Administration Directions (2023-2024).

Professional Learning

Professional development offerings and archived resources can be found on the ESL Portal.


Bob Measel 
ESL Bilingual Education Advisor II/Title III Director
(717) 783-6595

Julia Puza
EL/Bilingual Education Content Advisor
(717) 787-5482

WIDA Client Services Center 
Contact us for questions about training materials or 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, call (866) 276-7735, or contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact WIDA Client Services to obtain a login.
  • 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 via WIDA AMS.

  • To obtain a new login, contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators can contact DRC Customer Service to request an account.
  • For assistance accessing your account, contact DRC Customer Service at or call (855) 787-9615.