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Assessment for ELLs FAQ


General Assessment Related FAQs

Q: Where can I find information about……

A: Our EL Policy handbook can answer most questions regarding English Learners. If you are looking for specific technical information about an ELP assessment, the Download Library in WIDA’s Secure Portal will likely have it. If you aren’t finding what you need in either place, please email for assistance.

Q: How does test ordering work?

A: DPI uploads the public school roster in early November. Districts may upload private school rosters in October. After the public school roster is uploaded, material orders are calculated (including overage) from the combined public and private rosters. Once materials are received in late November, districts may order any additional materials they need in the WIDA AMS Additional Materials section.

Q: How do I get WIDA-AMS or WIDA Secure Portal logins?

A: DACs provide these accounts to staff in their district. See the DAC Corner if you are unsure who your DAC is. If you are a DAC and need a login, email

Q: How should we handle student transfers around the ACCESS test window?

A: If you receive a new student after rosters are uploaded in early November, please fill out the transfer request form. OSA will be notified of the new student, and after verifying enrollment in WISEdash (may take 1-2 days for SIS to sync) will transfer any incomplete tests from the former district into your district. This will allow the student to resume testing instead of taking the entire test over again. Complete tests will remain with the former district and you will not need to test the student. Transfer requests made after the test window closes will not be completed.

Q: What are the allowable response modes for ACCESS?

A: WI administers ACCESS online for students in grades 1-12. Kindergarten, braille, large print, and Alternate ACCESS are paper booklets. Students in grades 1-12 with an IEP who have a disability which can’t be accommodated online are eligible for a full paper test. Students in grades 1-3 receive paper Writing booklets to handwrite in. Students in grades 4-12 who are not keyboard fluent may also have paper Writing booklets ordered for them. Outside of these handwriting options, other mixed-mode testing is not allowed.

Q. Can families opt their child out of ACCESS for ELLs?

A. There are no statutory provisions allowing families to opt-out of the English language proficiency assessment (ACCESS or Alternate ACCESS). However, districts cannot mandate that a student participate in these assessments if a parent or guardian refuses.