Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2012.
Massachusetts uses the Kindergarten W-APT, WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, WIDA Screener for Kindergarten (anticipated to be available in March 2021), and WIDA Screener for Grades 1-12 to identify English learners (ELs). ACCESS for ELLs or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, as appropriate, is given to all ELs during the annual testing window, which extends from early January through early February.
|12/3/20-5/20/21||WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions|
|1/4/21||Schools receive test materials|
|1/4/21-5/14/21||Additional test materials ordering window in AMS|
|5/21/21||Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC|
|7/6/21-7/12/21||Pre-reporting data validation in WIDA AMS|
|8/5/21||Districts receive reports – Online|
|9/8/21||Districts receive reports - Printed|
|9/8/21-9/16/21||Post-reporting data validation in WIDA AMS|
|9/30/21||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 Checklists, indicating each step in the ACCESS testing process from beginning to end.
State Testing Requirements
Guidance on selecting either online or paper-based ACCESS for ELLs testing:
- For the 2020-2021 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 as an accommodation, and to first-year ELs who require paper testing.
- See details in the Principal's Pre-Administration Manual, available October 2021 on the DESE ACCESS web page.
- The Massachusetts State Specific Directions (updated Dec. 10, 2020) document contains important instructions unique to Massachusetts test sites, in addition to the instructions in the Test Administrator Manual, available in the WIDA Secure Portal Download Library (login required).
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
- 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 WIDA Screener for Kindergarten (available March 2021)
- Training materials for the WIDA Screener for Kindergarten 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.
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 took quizzes and qualified on the Online ACCESS tests in 2019-2020 need not re-qualify on the quizzes; all others must pass the appropriate Administration Quiz with a score of 80% or above. Recertification will be required every two years.
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.
Administering Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
- EL students with significant cognitive disabilities may participate in the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs only if they are also designated for the MCAS-Alt; or if they are reported in grades 1, 2, 9, 11, or 12 and would most likely take the MACS-Alt if it were offered in those grades. The student’s IEP should indicate Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
- The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs test is not available for students in kindergarten. Kindergarten EL students who would take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs if it were available in their grade should be coded SPD in all domains in WIDA AMS.
- Certification training is required prior to administering the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. Certification includes viewing the online training modules and passing the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Quiz with a score of 80% or above. The training modules and quiz are available in the ACCESS for ELLs Training Courses section on the WIDA Secure Portal. Recertification is required every two years.
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 Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.
Manuals, Guides and Workshops
- 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.
2021 ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Training Workshop Fall 2020 - updated December 10, 2020
- This presentation created by DESE 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.
- 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.
- This document explains how to use the Interactive Collaboration Tool in your school and district.
Standards and Instructional Support
The WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition, are slated for release in winter 2020. Massachusetts will be offering e-facilitated workshops after January 2021. To register for the WIDA Standards 2020 e-facilitated workshops, please visit the Program Catalog.
Massachusetts Next Generation ESL Curriculum Project Resources
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Please visit the Center for Instructional Support Program Catalog for information.
English Proficiency Assessment Coordinator
EL STEM Specialist
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.
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 email@example.com 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 to create an account.
- For assistance accessing your account, contact DRC Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (855) 787-9615.