South Carolina

Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2014.


South Carolina uses WIDA Screener for Kindergarten or WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, and WIDA Screener or WIDA MODEL (Grades 1-12) to identify multilingual learners (MLs). ACCESS for ELLs or Alternate ACCESS is given to all active MLs during the annual testing window, which typically lasts from mid-January through mid-March.

Testing Dates

11/17/23Districts Receive Test Administration Manuals
12/28/23-3/8/24WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for Registrations
1/16/24-3/1/24Additional Test Material Ordering Window in WIDA AMS
1/16/24-1/17/24Districts Receive Test Materials
1/22/24-3/8/24Test Window
3/22/24Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC
4/19/24-4/25/24Pre-Reporting Data Validation – LEAs in WIDA AMS
5/13/24Reports and Data Files Available – Online in WIDA AMS
5/15/24-5/21/24Post-Reporting Data Validation – LEAs in AMS
5/24/24Reports Available in District - Printed
6/4/24Updated Data Posted in WIDA AMS
9/17/24Alternate ACCESS Reports and Data Files Available - Online
10/1/24Alternate ACCESS Reports Available in District - Printed

Requirements and Resources

See below for state-specific information and resources related to ELL 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 Identification and Placement Guidance

State Testing Requirements
  • All students who are determined active multilingual learners, based upon the completion of a Home Language Survey and the initial assessment of their English proficiency, must take ACCESS for ELLs (grades K-12) or WIDA Alternate ACCESS (grades 1-12) annually, until they meet the SC determined exit requirements.
  • Students must meet eligibility criteria of an ML with a significant cognitive disability to take Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. Refer to the Guidance for IEP Teams on Determining Participation in SC-ALT for more information.
  • WIDA Alternate ACCESS – Administered in grades 1-12 through paper-based format. Students in kindergarten that qualify for alternate assessments will take the 1st grade Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
  • Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs - Administered individually and scored locally in paper-based format.
  • Grades 1-3 Writing - Administered through paper-based format.
  • Grades 4-12 Writing - The default format is online prompt and keyed online response. Districts may choose to administer using an online and paper format, where the prompt is administered online and student responses are written in a test booklet. Districts can order paper writing response booklets during the additional materials ordering window.
  • Students who cannot take online assessments due to a disability, as specified in their IEP or 504 Plan or homebound students where online testing is not feasible, may take the paper-based assessment.
Test Preparation and Training
  • District Test Coordinators will create accounts for Test Administrators on the Manage Users page in the WIDA Secure Portal.
  • ACCESS for ELLs training courses and quizzes are located in the WIDA Secure Portal. Test Administrators must complete the applicable training course and pass the certification quizzes to administer the assessment.
  • District Test Coordinators can verify Test Administrator certification using the Certification Report tool in the WIDA Secure Portal.
  • Reference the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment Training and Certification Guide for more details.
Manuals, Guides, and Test Materials
South Carolina Multilingual Education Program
  • Contacts:
    • Susan Murphy
      Multilingual Education/Title III Coordinator
      Office of Federal and State Accountability
      (803) 734-1601

Standards and Instructional Support

The WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition will be fully implemented in South Carolina during the 2022-2023 school year. Resources are available on the WIDA website and additional professional learning opportunities will be provided throughout the year.

Professional Learning

All South Carolina K-12 educators have free unlimited access to nine Self-Paced Workshops that offer relevant, practical content that will build capacity in supporting multilingual learners. Workshop titles include

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

WIDA Self-Paced Workshops cover a range of topics intended for a variety of audiences, from K-12 classroom teachers to English language acquisition educators to district and school administrators. All workshops are FREE and available when and where it is convenient for you. View the WIDA Self-Paced Workshops flyer for full descriptions and intended audiences. Contact your District Test Coordinator if you need to set up a WIDA Secure Portal account.

For 2023-24 WIDA Facilitated Virtual Workshops and other professional learning opportunities, please visit the South Carolina English Language Acquisition webpage or contact Deann McManus at


Deann McManus
ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, Office of Assessment and Standards
(803) 734-0163

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 as a Test Administrator, contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact Deann McManus to create an account.
  • For assistance with your account, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at or call (866) 276-7735.

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 as a Test Administrator, contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact Deann McManus to create an account.
  • For assistance accessing your account, contact DRC Customer Service at or call (855) 787-9615.