Maine administers the annual English language proficiency assessment, ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) in grades K-12 to students who have been identified as English learners.  This assessment is administered in a computer-based format for grades 1-12, in paper-based format for kindergarten, and is also available in paper-based format as an accommodation, as identified on an Individualized Education Plan. 

ACCESS for ELLs assesses each of the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing.  It also measures language proficiency within different content areas, including reading, math, and science.  Educators use ACCESS results and reporting, in addition to multiple data points, to make decisions about students' English language instruction. Some additional examples of how ACCESS for ELLs data can be used include: 

  • Accountability purposes 

  • Benchmarks against which educators can measure future performance 

  • Measure to make decisions about the level of English language support and resources that are needed

  • Exit from English learner status and services

  • Support in the development of SAU Lau Plans 


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 identified as English learners and have the most significant cognitive disabilities 

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 Plan. 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 the most significant cognitive disabilities. Some additional examples of how the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs data can be used include: 

2021-2022 WIDA ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Dates Administration window is January 10, 2022 through March 4, 2022.


Resources for Educators ACCESS for ELLs 

WIDA State- Specific Information for Maine 

Online ACCESS for ELLs Administration Training (WIDA Secure Portal login required) 

2021-2022 Accessibility & Accommodations Supplement

2022-2023 Paper Materials Request Form


Resources for Educators Alternate ACCESS for ELLs 

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Administration Training (WIDA Secure Portal login required) 

Alternate Assessment Eligibility Participation Flowchart

Alternate Assessment Participation Checklist


Professional Learning & Assessment Resources 

WIDA Self-Paced e-Learning Workshops

WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework