Alternate ACCESS for ELLs

The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is Maine’s assessment of English language proficiency (ELP) for students in grades 1-12 who are classified as English learners and have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLsĀ® assessment.

All students identified as English learners must be assessed annually for ELP, including students who receive special education services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act also mandates that students with disabilities participate in statewide and district-wide assessment programs, including alternate assessments with appropriate accommodations, when it is documented in their Individualized Education Programs. For this reason, Maine uses the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs to meet federal accountability requirements and to provide educators with a measure sensitive to ELP growth of English learners with significant cognitive disabilities.

The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs testing window for school year 2014-15 is Dec. 1 through Jan. 30.

For more information about educating English learners, visit the Maine DOE English Learners site.


Nancy Mullins
Director of ESL/Bilingual Programs