Select state education agency:

Organization Name Email Phone External Links
State Education Agency (Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

Alexis Glick,
English Proficiency Assessment Coordinator (781) 338-3625

Office of Student Assessment Services


Office of English Language Acquisition and Academic Achievement

Fernanda Kray, ELL PD & Curriculum Coordinator (781) 338-3546
WIDA Consortium WIDA Client Services Center Toll Free 1-866-276-7735
Data Recognition Corp. (DRC) DRC WIDA Customer Service

Toll Free 1-855-787-9615

Data Recognition Corp

English Language Screeners

Administering the K W-APT

The Kindergarten W-APT (WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test) is an English language proficiency "screener" test administered to incoming kindergarten students who may be designated as English language learners (ELLs). It is intended to assist educators to make decisions regarding the identification, placement, and programmatic services for ELLs.

Kindergarten W-APT test administrators should review the Kindergarten W-APT Test Administration Manual and the Scored Student Writing Samples in order to administer and score the K W-APT reliably. To access these materials, please contact your district ELL director. New ELL directors should contact the Department at or 781-338-3625 to be assigned the role of ACCESS for ELLs District Eministrator.

Administering the Online and Paper Screener Grades 1–12

The WIDA Screener (developed in 2016) is an English language proficiency screening tool used to assist educators to identify incoming students in Grades 1-12 as English learners (ELs) and to make decisions about whether a student is a candidate for English language support services.

The WIDA Screener is available either as a paper-based or online assessment and takes about 70 minutes to administer in the four language domains of Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Information on both Screener formats (i.e., online and paper) can be found on the WIDA Screener page.

The online version of the WIDA Screener is available at no cost to Massachusetts educators. The paper version of the WIDA screener is available for purchase through the WIDA Store for districts and schools that prefer to administer the Screener using paper-based materials. Districts are encouraged to purchase a paper-based version of the screener for screening students who may lack sufficient computer skills, even if the district plans to administer the online screener to a majority of its students. Screener materials are available: for each grade, in grade bands, school-wide (for elementary or middle/high school), and district-wide (for all grades).

Training materials for online and paper versions of the WIDA Screener, including information on logistics, administration, scoring and reporting, accommodations, and materials and resources, are available through your WIDA personal account. Test administrators/proctors must complete the appropriate online training for the Screener that they will administer and pass the online quizzes with a score of 80 percent or higher to become certified for the grade cluster(s) being administered. Quizzes may be retaken, as needed. If a test administrator has been certified to give the ACCESS for ELLs paper-based Speaking test, the test administrator is automatically certified to administer and score the WIDA Screener Speaking test.

ACCESS for ELLs Administering the ACCESS for ELLs Test

Schools may decide whether to administer the computer-based or paper-based ACCESS for ELLs tests, or a combination of both, and must make this decision in time to?order their school's test materials (between October 23-November 10, 2017).

The principal (or designee) will determine whether computer- or paper-based tests will be administered, and to which students; and which tests will be administered by each test administrator. Online training modules and certification quizzes will be updated for the 2018 test administration in October/November. See below for more information about test administration and training.

WIDA Personal Accounts

Each prospective test administrator must set up a WIDA personal account in order to access the WIDA training modules on the WIDA website. To set up a WIDA personal account, see instructions on the DOE website.

Additional information about ACCESS for ELLs testing in Massachusetts is available on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website

Test Administrator Training and Certification

Computer-Based Testing

All Test Coordinators and Test Administrators (i.e., all test coordinators and administrators, with or without prior experience administering the computer-based tests) must view the online training modules for computer-based (online) testing and pass the Online Administration Quiz with a score of 80% or above.

Technology Coordinators must view the training materials and complete the checklist for Technology Coordinators, located in WIDA Assessment Management System (WIDA AMS), the online administrative portal.

Paper-Based Testing

All Test Coordinators and Test Administrators (i.e., all test coordinators and administrators, with or without prior experience administering the paper-based tests) must view the online training modules and pass the Online Administration Quiz with a score of 80% or above for any of the following assessments that will be administered:

  • Group Test Administration (Listen, Reading, and Writing)
  • Speaking
  • Kindergarten
  • Alternate ACCESS for ELLs
Testing Specifics Start Date End Date
Test Administrators complete online training 10/1/17 2/7/18
Schools order test materials 10/23/17 11/10/17
Online test set-up 12/11/17 2/7/18
Test materials arrive in schools 1/2/18  
Order additional materials, if necessary 1/2/18 1/31/18
Test Window 1/4/18 2/7/18
Last date for schools to ship test materials 2/9/18  
Results posted electronically 5/30/18  

Guidance on Selecting Either Online or Paper-Based ACCESS for ELLs Testing

For the January-February 2018 test administration, schools may decide to administer either the online (computer-based) and/or paper-based ACCESS for ELLs assessments and to indicate the number of students taking each test format during the test ordering window (Oct. 23-Nov. 10, 2017). Schools may select one of the following options:

  • All students will take the test online (computer-based),
  • All studnets will take the paper-based test, or
  • A combination of both formats

By the 2019 test administration, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education expects that virtually all Massachusetts students will take computer-based ACCESS tests. Therefore, schools are encouraged to administer computer-based tests to at least a portion of their students in January-February 2018 in order to make an effective transition over the next year.

The benefits of computer-based testing include:

  • Ease of test administration, storage of materials, and test security
  • No pre-selection of test tiers; this is accomplished as students take the test on the computer
  • Tests may be administered to multiple grades and test tiers together
  • Speaking tests, which are administered in groups of 3-5 students per test coordinator and scored centrally by the test contractor, rather than locally. A small number of headsets with attached microphones will be required. Training and qualification by test administrators for the Speaking test is not required.
  • Students taking the computer-based tests may take a hand-written form of the Writing test, if needed.

See details in the Principal's Pre-Administration Manual available in October 2017.

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.

WIDA AMS Supplement – Submit Incomplete Domain

Training Available for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0

Training for NEW ACCESS Test Coordinators

Districts may register up to two first-time test coordinators to attend a 2018 ACCESS training session, scheduled for the following locations:

  • Holyoke Community College – Wednesday, September 27 from 8:30am-12:30pm (face-to-face)
  • Massasoit Communiotyh College, Brockton – Thursday, October 5 from 8:30am-12:30pm (face-to-face)
Training for NEW and RETURNING ACCESS Test Coordinators – Conference Call Dates

Districts may register an unlimited number of test coordinators to attend a 2018 ACCESS training session conference call, scheduled for the following dates and times:

WIDA Webinars

WIDA will hold monthly webinars from September 2017 through May 2018. The webinar schedule, topics, and the links to join the webinars are available here.

ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Workshop PowerPoint PDF Icon

Collaboration Tool: 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 to 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 (Cheuk, 2013) commonn across the disciplines. The Collaboration Tool and related processes are planning resources that, among other uses, can help educators prepare to create clear, standards-based language learning goals for developing curricula using the ESL unit template. For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Next Generation ES: Project page.

Interactive Collaboration Tool Guide: Use this guide to explore the Collaboration Tool in more detail. Be sure to have the tool inront of you for reference. This guide will walk you through how the Collaboration Tool canbe used in ESL curriculum development, starting with Focus Language Goals.

State ID and Placement ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Checklist State Specific Directions


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