District of Columbia

Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2004.


The District of Columbia uses the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten, WIDA MODEL 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

1/16/23-4/3/23 WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions
2/6/23 Districts receive test materials
2/6/23-3/24/23 Additional test materials ordering window in AMS
2/13/23-3/24/23 Test Window
4/7/23 Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC
4/21/23-4/28/23 Pre-reporting data validation – LEAs in AMS
5/18/23 Districts receive reports - Online
6/2/23 Districts receive reports – 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 Alternate ACCESS for ELLs will be 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).
  • You do not need to show proof of your certification from previous years. D.C. Public Schools maintains a list of individuals who are certified for each year. Charter school teachers must provide proof of certification.

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 the last statewide assessment.

Standards and Instructional Support

Information and resources in support of the English Language Development (ELD) standards can be found on this website.

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.

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.

Professional Learning

During school year 2022-23, OSSE will host select WIDA Facilitated Virtual Workshops and WIDA’s Self-paced Workshops. View more information on OSSE's K-12 Professional Development Opportunities page.


Asaad Fulton
Assessment Specialist - Special Populations
(202) 899-6141

Santiago Sanchez
Multilingual Specialist
(202) 741-5311

Anika E. Harris
Manager, Language Acquisition Programs
(202) 478-5993

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 Asaad Fulton at Asaad.Fulton@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.