Federal and state laws require that students identified as English Learners (ELs) be assessed annually to determine their level of English language proficiency (ELP) and ensure that they are progressing in achieving full English proficiency. This includes students who receive special education services.

In addition to meeting these statutory accountability requirements, the annual ELP assessment can be effectively used for planning and instructional purposes. It serves as the single most psychometrically valid and reliable measure of a student’s ELP.

Most ELs will take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment annually. ELs recognized under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) as having a significant cognitive disability and who are expected to participate in the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment are eligible to take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs in place of the ACCESS for ELLs®.

ACCESS for ELLs® is designed to measure English language proficiency. It is a large ­scale assessment that is based on the WIDA Consortium’s ELD Standards that form the core of Wisconsin’s approach to instructing and testing ELs.  

ACCESS allows educators, ELs, and families to monitor EL’s progress in acquiring academic English in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. ACCESS is administered in grades K-12, English language proficiency for students identified as English learners (ELs)

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is designed to fill the same role as the regular ACCESS for ELLs for students in grades 1­-12. This paper/pencil assessment is accessible for eligible students with significant cognitive disabilities.

The ACCESS test is untimed, and students have the time needed to produce scorable content. ACCESS typically takes 1-4.5 hours to complete, depending on grade and test format.

ACCESS is administered annually in the winter. See:


Kate Ahlgren

Director of Curriculum & Instruction
(608) 877-5031

Jose Guerrero

Data & Assessment Specialist
(608) 877-5032

Amanda O'Brien

Infinite Campus Specialist
(608) 877-5045
Enroll in SASD

Kyle Freund


Teacher Mentor
(608) 877-5046

Ashley Steffel

Administrative Assistant - Teaching and Learning
(608) 877-5042