South Carolina

Member of the WIDA Consortium since 2014.


South Carolina uses Kindergarten W-APT or WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten, and WIDA Screener or WIDA MODEL (Grades 1-12) to identify multilingual learners (MLLs). ACCESS for ELLs or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is given to all active MLLs during the annual testing window, which typically lasts from mid-January through mid-March.

Testing Dates

11/18/20 Early shipment of TAMs
11/24/20 Pre-code data due in PowerSchool
1/4/21-3/19/21 WIDA AMS test setup available for test sessions
1/15/21 Districts receive test materials
1/18/21-4/23/21 Additional test materials ordering window in AMS
1/25/21-4/30/21 Test Window
5/7/21 Deadline for shipping completed test materials to DRC
6/7/21-6/11/21 Pre-reporting data validation – LEAs in AMS
6/29/21 Districts receive reports – Online
7/21/21 Districts receive reports - Printed
7/26/21-7/30/21 Post-reporting data validation – LEAs in AMS
8/13/21 Updated data from post-reporting data validation posted in AMS

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 Online Checklist Identification and Placement Guidance

State Testing Requirements

  • All students who are determined active multilingual learners, based upon the completion of a Home Language Survey and the initial assessment of their English proficiency, must take ACCESS for ELLs (grades K-12) or Alternate ACCESS for ELLs (grades 1-12) annually, until they meet the SC determined exit requirements.
  • Students must meet eligibility criteria of an MLL with a significant cognitive disability to take Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. Refer to the Guidance for IEP Teams on Determining Participation in SC-ALT for more information.
  • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs – Administered in grades 1-12 through paper-based format. Students in kindergarten that qualify for alternate assessments will take the 1st grade Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
  • Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs - Administered individually and scored locally in paper-based format.
  • Grades 1-3 Writing - Administered through paper-based format.
  • Grades 4-12 Writing - The default format is online prompt and keyed online response. Districts may choose to administer using an online and paper format, where the prompt is administered online and student responses are written in a test booklet. Districts can order paper writing response booklets during the additional materials ordering window.
  • Students who cannot take online assessments due to a disability, as specified in their IEP or 504 Plan or homebound students where online testing is not feasible, may take the paper-based assessment.

Test Preparation and Training

  • District Test Coordinators will create accounts for Test Administrators using the Account Creator tool in the WIDA Secure Portal.
  • ACCESS for ELLs training courses and quizzes are located in the WIDA Secure Portal. Test Administrators must complete the applicable training course and pass the certification quizzes with a score of 80% or higher to administer the assessment.
  • District Test Coordinators can verify Test Administrator certification using the WIDA User Account Management & Training Status Lookup.
  • Reference the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment Training and Certification Guide for more details.

Manuals, Guides, and Test Materials

Standards and Instructional Support

The WIDA ELD Standards, 2020 Edition, are slated for release in winter 2020. To learn more about South Carolina’s timeline for rollout and implementation of the 2020 Edition, please visit the South Carolina English Language Acquisition webpage.

Professional Learning

Beginning September 1, 2020, educators in South Carolina will have the opportunity to participate in eight, self-paced eWorkshops developed by WIDA; a trusted name in the field of multilingual learner education and assessment. The following eWorkshops will be available in the eLearning Center of the WIDA Secure Portal:

  • WIDA Writing Rubric
  • Doing and Talking STEM
  • Classroom Teachers: Engaging Multilingual Newcomers
  • Leading for Equity: Classroom Walkthrough
  • Social Studies: Engaging Multilingual Learners through Inquiry
  • Developing Language for Learning in Mathematics
  • School Improvement Planning for Equitable Education of Multilingual Learners (available Winter 2021)
  • Engaging with the WIDA Standards: A Collaborative Approach (available Winter 2021)

WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops cover a range of topics intended for a variety of audiences, from K-12 classroom teachers to English language acquisition educators to district and school administrators. All eWorkshops are FREE and available when and where it is convenient for you. View the WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops flyer for full descriptions and intended audiences. Contact WIDA Client Services Center at or 1-866-276-7735 to set up your WIDA Secure Portal account today.

For 2020-21 WIDA Facilitated eWorkshops and other professional learning opportunities, please visit the South Carolina English Language Acquisition webpage or contact Susan Murphy at


Deann McManus
ACCESS for ELLs, Office of Assessment
(803) 734-0163

Ashley Davies
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, Office of Assessment
(803) 734-0972

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 District Test Coordinator.
  • New District Test Coordinators should contact Deann McManus to create an account.
  • For assistance with your account, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at or call (866) 276-7735.

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