Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2012.


Massachusetts uses Kindergarten W-APT, WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, and WIDA Screener for Grades 1-12 to identify English learners (ELs). ACCESS for ELLs is given to all ELs during the annual testing window, which extends from early January through early February.

Testing Dates

12/5/19-2/7/20 WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions
1/2/20-1/3/20 Schools receive test materials
1/6/20-2/7/20 Test Window
1/2/20-1/31/20 Additional test materials ordering window in AMS
2/7/20 Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC
3/23/20-3/27/20 Pre-reporting data validation in WIDA AMS
5/15/20 Districts receive reports – Online
5/26/20 Districts receive reports - Printed
5/26/20-6/3/20 Post-reporting data validation in WIDA AMS
6/17/20 Updated data posted in AMS


Requirements and Resources

See below for state-specific information and resources related to EL assessment, including your state’s ACCESS for ELLs Checklist, indicating each step in the ACCESS testing process from beginning to end.

ACCESS for ELLs Online Checklist ACCESS for ELLs Paper Checklist

State-Specific Directions Identification and Placement Guidance

State Testing Requirements

Guidance on selecting either online or paper-based ACCESS for ELLs testing:

  • For the 2019-2020 school year, schools will be required to administer the ACCESS for ELLs Online for students in grades 1-12. The Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS tests will be administered on paper. Students with disabilities and first-year ELs will be allowed online handwriting booklets should they require them. Paper-based tests will also be available for students with disabilities and first-year ELs who require paper testing as an accommodation.
  • See details in the Principal's Pre-Administration Manual - Available October 2020.
  • The Massachusetts Supplement to the Test Administration Manual contains important instructions unique to Massachusetts test sites, in addition to the instructions in the Test Administration Manual. - Available December 2019

Test Preparation and Training

Administering the Kindergarten W-APT

  • To be certified to administer K W-APT, Test Administrators should review the K W-APT Test Administration Manual and Scored Student Writing Samples.
  • To access the K W-APT test materials and training, contact your district EL director.

Administering WIDA Screener (Online or Paper) to Grades 1–12

  • To be certified to administer K W-APT, Test Administrators should review the K W-APT Test Administration Manual and Scored Student Writing Samples.
  • To access the K W-APT test materials and training, contact your district EL director.

Administering WIDA Screener (Online or Paper) to Grades 1-12

  • Training materials for both versions of WIDA Screener can be accessed through the WIDA Secure Portal. Test administrators must complete the appropriate online training and pass the relevant online quizzes with a score of 80% or higher.
  • If a Test Administrator has passed the Speaking quiz for the ACCESS paper-based assessment, the Test Administrator is also certified to administer and score the WIDA Screener Speaking test.

Administering ACCESS for ELLs

  • All students will be expected to participate in the Online test. However, paper tests will always be available as an accommodation if required by a student's individualized education program (IEP) and as needed for newcomers. IEP or 504 teams and EL educators must determine whether a student is able to take the Online test (with or without a handwriting booklet) or would require a paper accommodation. See the Principal's Pre-Administration Manual for more information.
  • Technology Coordinators must view the training materials and complete the Technology Readiness Checklist located in WIDA AMS.
  • Online and Paper Testing: Those who qualified on the Online ACCESS tests in 2018-2019 need not re-qualify on the quiz; all others must pass the appropriate Administration Quiz with a score of 80% or above. Recertification will be required bi-annually. 
    o    Online Grades 1-12 Administration Quiz
    o    Paper Grades 1-12 Administration Quiz
    o    Speaking Quiz (Grades 1-5 and/or 6-12)
    o    Kindergarten Quiz
    o    Alternate ACCESS Quiz
  • Additional information about ACCESS for ELLs testing in Massachusetts is available on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

WIDA Secure Portal Accounts

  • All Test Coordinators and Test Administrators must have a WIDA Secure Portal account to access the training modules and test administration documents. To set up an account, see instructions on the DOE website.

Manuals, Guides and Test Materials

WIDA AMS Supplement – Submit Incomplete Domain

  • This supplement provides step-by-step directions to “force submit” a domain in WIDA AMS. This task is typically done when a student is prevented from testing in a required domain due to a disability. 

ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Workshop PowerPoint

  • This PowerPoint presentation created by ESE reviews the format and structure of the assessment, training materials, technology requirements and considerations, test administration procedures, and the latest updates for the current year’s administration. 

Collaboration Tool

  • Language and content educators can work collaboratively with this tool provided by ESE to develop ESL curriculum that is rooted in academic content, and addresses both WIDA and state standards.

Interactive Collaboration Tool Guide

  • This document explains how to use the above Collaboration tool in your school and district.

Standards and Instructional Support

Massachusetts Next Generation ESL Curriculum Project Resources

Next Generation ESL Curriculum Resource Guide

  • This comprehensive document provides:
    • Information about the project's context, the curriculum design framework and how to use that framework to develop additional ESL units.
    • A description of a continuous improvement cycle prompting critical questioning and strategic decision-making that can be used to improve instructional design.
    • A collection of collaborative templates, tools, processes, protocols and other resources used in the development of ESL MCUs (e.g., Collaboration Tool, Unit Template, Unit Lesson Plan Template, language unpacking tools, unit and lesson-level protocols, etc.).
    • Resources for professional learning communities (PLCs) to support collaborative ESL curriculum development.
    • Information about other key topics related to the project, such as text complexity, Universal Design for Learning, guidance related to instruction and assessment of dually identified students (ELs with a disability), critical stance, social justice and other significant components of effective ESL curricula.

Collaboration Tool v2

  • This is a multi-layered, multi-purpose tool designed to help curriculum writers operationalize WIDA standards in conjunction with state academic standards. The goal of the Collaboration Tool is the support curricular planning with the intentional, simultaneous development of language and standards-based analytical practices and concepts. It highlights the need for collaboration between language and content educators and helps teachers prioritize and strategically plan around WIDA's Key Uses of Academic Language in the context of key academic practices common across the disciplines.

Interactive Guide to the Collaboration Tool

  • Use this guide to explore the Collaboration Tool in more detail. Be sure to have the Collaboration Tool in front of you for reference. This guide will walk you through how you can use the Collaboration Tool in curriculum development, starting with Focus Language Goals.

ESL Model Curriculum Units (ESL MCUs) and Instructional Videos

  • Explore 12 ESL Model Curriculum Units
  • See "8 ESL Model Curriculum Units in Action"
  • Hear directly from the families of our multilingual learners, including discussions of the importance of the schooling experience, as well as hopes and aspirations for their children. It is our hope that this video can help build enthusiasm for change, strengthen our commitment to the academic success and immense potential of multilingual learners and compel and support equity and rich, abundant educational experiences for all our students.

Professional Learning

Please visit the Center for Instructional Support Program Catalog for information.


Melanie Manares
English Proficiency Assessment Coordinator
(781) 338-3625

Meto Raha
EL STEM Specialist
(781) 338-3548

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 to access the WIDA Secure Portal, contact your District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact the WIDA Client Services Center to obtain District Test Coordinator permissions.
  • 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 the ACCESS for ELLs test contractor, Data Recognition Corporation (DRC). You can order ACCESS materials, manage your student and test information, and find technology resources and testing software.

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