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ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER:   24                                               



TO :                 Superintendents of Schools

FROM :           Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             August 31, 2005

SUBJECT :      ACCESS for ELLs ™ English Language Proficiency Test

    From January 9, 2006 through February 17, 2006 the ACCESS test of English language proficiency is scheduled to be administered for all English language learners (ELLs--also referred to as limited English proficient students)) enrolled in Maine schools.   The K-12 speaking portion of that test as well as the kindergarten test window is scheduled to run from December 5, 2005 through February 17, 2006.   Called Assessing Comprehension and Communications in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs ™ ), this secure test remains the required assessment instrument for determining the English proficiency levels and progress of ELLs 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. Maine enters its second year of administering ACCESS.

   Pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools are required to annually assess the English language proficiency of their ELLs 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’ academic English proficiency levels in the domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. ACCESS for ELLs ™ should provide teachers, students and parents reliable, valid, and useful information on ELL progress in acquiring academic content area English.   Every ELL in Maine schools will be tested for academic English proficiency using this assessment at no cost to school districts during the test administration window noted above.   Scores from the testing are expected to be released during late spring, 2006.   As we prepare for this undertaking, more detailed information will be sent to the coordinator for the ACCESS for ELLs assessment as assigned by the superintendent.


********** Please complete the following form.**********





ACCESS Testing Coordinator Designation Form

        Please complete the form below and return it no later than September 30, 2005 to Dr. Barney Bérubé 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: _______________________________________________


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

Check here if there are no English language learners in your district that have been identified through assessments of enrollees whose home language is reported as other than English.