Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2007.
Pennsylvania uses Kindergarten W-APT or WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, and WIDA Screener or WIDA MODEL (for Grades 1-12) to identify English learners (ELs). ACCESS for ELLs is given to all ELs during the annual testing window, which typically lasts from January through mid-February.
|10/28/20-11/25/20||Test materials ordering in AMS (LEAs)|
|12/7/20-4/23/21||WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions|
|1/7/21-1/8/21||Districts receive test materials|
|1/7/21-4/16/21||Additional test materials ordering window in AMS|
|4/30/21||Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC|
|6/4/21-6/11/21||Pre-Reporting Data Validation – LEAs in AMS|
|7/22/21||Districts receive reports – Online|
|TBD||Districts receive reports - Printed|
|TBD||Late returns and data corrections, if applicable|
*Dates are subject to change if there are significant schedule impacts to state's 2020-2021 testing schedules due to COVID-19 that could impact the overall consortium timelines.
**Districts are not responsible for testing ELs who enroll after January 25th.
Requirements and Resources
See below for state-specific information and resources related to EL assessment, including your state’s ACCESS for ELLs Checklist, where you can find each step in the ACCESS testing process from beginning to end.
State Testing Requirements
- Pennsylvania students must take the ACCESS for ELLs Online. The paper-based version of ACCESS for ELLs for Grades 1-12 may be given only as an accommodation for students who require it. Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS remain paper-based.
- LEAs may order a paper-based ACCESS for ELLs test on a student-by-student basis during the ordering process. The decision must be based on the student’s individual needs.
- LEAs facing insurmountable challenges to online testing (e.g.., lack of technology infrastructure) should notify PDE by contacting Bob Measel or Julia Hutton as soon as possible.
- Schoolwide administration of the paper test for any reason MUST be approved by the state prior to ordering tests.
- Students in Grades 4-5 handwrite their responses to the Writing domain in a response booklet.
- Only students who are or are likely to be eligible for the state Alternate Assessment (PASA) are eligible for the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
- Reclassification, Monitoring and Redesignation Guidance
Test Preparation and Training
- To administer WIDA Screener, the Test Administrator must complete the appropriate training module and pass the relevant certification quizzes with a score of 80% or higher. PDE recommends that the Screener Test Administrator is a certified teacher, but this is not required.
- Student and Test Management for WIDA Screener Online takes place in the WIDA Assessment Management System (AMS). Contact your District Test Coordinator or DRC Customer Service if you require assistance with your WIDA AMS account.
- Educators who will be scoring student responses need to certify annually on all applicable training courses and quizzes, including Speaking and Writing for WIDA Screener.
ACCESS For ELLs
- All personnel who will administer ACCESS for ELLs must certify or recertify each year between the close of the prior testing window and the beginning of the current testing window.
- Proof of certification can be found in the WIDA Secure Portal. Contact your District Test Coordinator to find out whether physical proof must be submitted locally. The state does not collect physical proof of completion.
- To administer ACCESS for ELLs Paper for Grades 1-12, Kindergarten ACCESS, or Alternate ACCESS, Test Administrators must be certified teachers with detailed knowledge of the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards and levels of proficiency.
- Test Administrators for Alternate ACCESS must also be familiar with the EL, including the student’s communication style, IEP, and all needed accommodations.
- Paraprofessionals and personal care aides are NOT eligible to administer ACCESS for ELLs Paper for Grades 1-12, Kindergarten ACCESS, or Alternate ACCESS. Test administrators for the ACCESS for ELLs Online for Grades 1-12 must be certified teachers OR paraprofessionals with detailed knowledge of the WIDA ELD Standards and levels of proficiency.
Manuals, Guides and Test Materials
- Training and test materials for WIDA Screener can be found in the WIDA Secure Portal. Contact your District Test Coordinator or WIDA Client Services for assistance.
- Identification, reclassification, monitoring, and redesignation procedures are found on the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) website.
- Test Coordinators place ACCESS materials orders via WIDA AMS. DRC will send e-mail updates to District Test Coordinators pertaining to important testing activity dates. DTCs should review these e-mails carefully to ensure that all ACCESS-related tasks are completed accurately and on time.
- 2020-2021 Pennsylvania State Specific Directions
Standards and Instructional Support
The WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition, are slated for release in winter 2020. PDE is making training opportunities available to LEAs beginning in the spring of 2021. Please check the ESL Portal for more information about state-sponsored training. Also, please check the WIDA website for more information about and resources related to the updated 2020 standards. Implementation of the updated standards will be required starting in the summer of 2021. More information will be communicated directly to LEA as it is available throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
Professional development offerings and archived resources can be found on the ESL Portal.
ESL Bilingual Education Advisor II/Title III Director
EL/Bilingual Education Content Advisor
Andrea G. Kolb, M.A., M.Ed.
Statewide Multilingual Education and Instructional Design Project Manager
Center for Schools and Communities
(717) 763-1661 ext. 198
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, contact email@example.com, call (866) 276-7735, or contact your District Test Coordinator.
- New District Test Coordinators should contact WIDA Client Services to obtain a login.
- For assistance with your account, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- To obtain a new login, contact your District Test Coordinator.
- New District Test Coordinators can contact DRC Customer Service or Bob Measel to request an account.
- For assistance accessing your account, contact DRC Customer Service at email@example.com or call (855) 787-9615.