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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 21                                                      



TO :                 Superintendents of Schools

FROM :          Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:            January 4, 2005

SUBJECT :     ACCESS for ELLs ™ English Language Proficiency Test

        From April 18 through May 27, 2005, a new English language proficiency test will be administered for all English language learners (ELLs) enrolled in Maine schools.    Called Assessing Comprehension and Communications in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs ™ ), this test will be the required assessment instrument for determining the proficiency levels and progress of ELLs (also referred to as limited English proficient students) throughout Maine.   A federally funded assessment consortium, known as WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. This consortium has created English language proficiency standards and has developed ACCESS for ELLs ™ based upon these standards (including our Learning Results) as they align to the content standards of each of the ten participating states.

        Pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 , schools are required to annually assess the English language proficiency of their English language learners (ELLs); legally referred to as limited English proficient (LEP) students in kindergarten through grade 12 using a standards-based instrument that is common throughout the state. In response to this mandate, the WIDA Standards meet the federal requirements of assessing ELLs’ proficiency levels in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. ACCESS for ELLs ™ should provide reliable, valid, and useful information on ELL progress in acquiring academic English for use by schools, teachers, students, and parents.  Every English language learner in Maine schools will be tested for academic English proficiency using this assessment at no cost to school districts during April/May 2005.   Results will be returned during late summer 2005.

Please Complete Form On Next Page


As we prepare for this new undertaking, more detailed information will be sent to the coordinator for the ACCESS for ELLs assessment assigned by the superintendent. Please complete the form below and return it no later than January 11, 2005 to Kathryn Danylik at Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME   04333-0023 or at .   It may also be faxed to 624-6789.   For further information, call 624-6780.

School Administrative Unit: ______________________________________________________________

Name of ACCESS for ELLS™ Assessment Coordinator/Contact Designee:


Mailing Address of Above Contact: ______________________________________________________________


Telephone: ______________________

E-mail: _______________________________________________


Check here if there are no English language learners in your district.

If no contact name is provided, the superintendent is the presumed contact.