Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2011.


Montana uses Kindergarten W-APT, WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, and WIDA Screener (for Grades 1-12) to identify English language learners (ELLs). ACCESS for ELLs is given to all ELLs during the annual testing window, which typically lasts from early December through late January.

Testing Dates

11/3/20-2/26/21 WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions
11/30/20 Districts receive test materials
11/30/20-2/19/21 Additional test materials ordering window in AMS
12/2/20-2/26/21 Test Window
3/3/21 Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC
5/24/21 Districts receive reports – Online
6/2/21 Districts receive reports – 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 Checklist Identification and Placement Guidance

State Testing Requirements

  • Montana uses ACCESS for ELLs Online. Alternate and Kindergarten ACCESS are paper-based assessments.
  • Students in Grades 4-5 keyboard their responses to the Writing test, but districts may change to a handwriting response mode if more appropriate for their students.
  • ACCESS training courses are available through the WIDA Secure Portal. System Test Coordinators create accounts for Test Administrators to access these training courses.

Test Preparation and Training

  • ACCESS for ELLs training materials can be found on the WIDA Secure Portal. Contact your System Test Coordinator if you do not have an account on the Secure Portal.
  • Kindergarten W-APT and WIDA Screener training and test materials can be accessed through the WIDA Secure Portal. Contact your System Test Coordinator if you need additional permissions to view these materials.
  • To be certified to administer WIDA assessments, including ACCESS, you must complete the applicable training modules and receive a passing score of 80% or higher on the relevant quiz(zes).
  • You may view your current certifications on your Training Certificate page in the WIDA Secure Portal. Contact your System Test Coordinator to find out whether a physical copy is needed for their records.
  • Test Administrators must take the certification quizzes and recertify every two years or any time an assessment changes. OPI recommends that Test Administrators always review the training materials prior to administration, especially for components where the TA will be scoring the responses.

Manuals, Guides and Test Materials

  • Montana’s ELP Guidance for School Districts – This guide contains state-specific information regarding identification and placement, ELL programs and services, ELL assessments in Montana, and state reporting requirements.

Provisional Policies related to COVID-19

Provisional EL Identification Procedures During Periods of Remote Learning – This document provides step-by-step guidance for schools to identify ELs during remote learning.

Due to travel restrictions and changing demands in response to COVID-19, Montana OPI is not requiring recertification for Test Administrators for the 2020-2021 school year. New Test Administrators must still complete certification through the WIDA Secure Portal.

WIDA and OPI recommend that experienced Test Administrators administer the new Remote Screener. All Test Administrators should view the Remote Screener webinars and training videos available in the WIDA Secure Portal and must coordinate with their System Test Coordinators prior to administration to ensure that students and families receive the necessary materials for remote screening.


Standards and Instructional Support

The WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition, are slated for release in winter 2020. To learn more about Montana’s timeline for rollout and implementation of the 2020 Edition, please visit the Office of Public Instruction’s website.

Professional Learning

Educators in Montana have access to WIDA's self-paced eWorkshops. View the eWorkshops flyer for full descriptions and intended audiences.

All eWorkshops are free and available in the eLearning Center in the WIDA Secure Portal. Don't have a WIDA Secure Portal account? Contact the Montana OPI Assessment Team at 1.844.867.2569. 


Ashley McGrath
State Assessment Director
(406) 444-3656

Jacob Barto 
EL Assessment Specialist
(406) 444-4420

Evelyn Paz-Solís
EL Instructional Specialist
(406) 459-3552

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 System Test Coordinator.
  • New System Test Coordinators should contact Jacob Barto at to create an account.
  • 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). This is the portal for ordering ACCESS materials, managing your student and test information, and finding technology resources and testing software.

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