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 – November 2012 –
Submitted by Ina Demers and Alex Lapidus

Moderated by Nancy Mullins

Reminders – Upcoming dates/events:

  • ACCESS: Test ordering – Pre-Id Label – Bubble in years in Maine ESL program
  • MetriTech Ships Test Materials to Districts November 14-20, 2012
  • ACCESS Test window opens December 3, 2012

Events/Trainings – with registration links:

  • The Maine DOE’s English as a Second Language/Bilingual Programs, in collaboration with Project Reach at the University of Maine, provided training on Maine’s English Language Development standards last week to 60 teachers and administrators from 31 SAUs. | More
  • November 3: Northern New England TESOL conference – Saturday 9:00am- 4:00pm – www.nnetesol.org to register.
  •  January 7: “ACCESS for New Test Administrators” – Augusta, Cross Building Room 103; 8:30am-3:30pm. This workshop supplements but does not replace the required online training at the WIDA website. Register at www.maine.gov/education/esl/conferences.htm.


  • The TOEFL is generally used for students coming in to a US university system from school systems in non-English countries. ELs here have ACCESS for ELLs scores and other supports to demonstrate English language proficiency. The TOEFL is expensive and requires much preparation time. The letters attached to the Memo for this.

Teleconference Call can be utilized within the UMaine system as well as arguing against the necessity of the TOEFL with other higher institutions of learning.

ASSETS – The “ASSETS” refers to the grant that is overseeing the development of the technology enhanced ELP assessment. The name ASSETS is not the assessment’s name, which is “ACCESS 2.0” for the next generation rollout. “ACCESS 2.0” is still in development (online test, interactive, creative, technologically advanced). After next month’s WIDA Executive Board meeting with ASSETS Steering Committee, more information will be available.

Infinite Campus (see attached IC document) and Questions concerning the new LEP module should be directed to the MEDMS Helpdesk at (207) 624-6896 or medms.helpdesk@maine.gov.

Question for discussion: ESL Program evaluation – how do you know what you are doing is working?

First response:

We evaluate our program annually, reviewing and setting goals for both the program and student success. (1) Are goals being met? And (2) cross-program teacher connections: are all staff involved with EL students part of student progress?

Q: How do you know if co-teaching has made students successful?

A: It’s hard to measure with teacher turnover! 29 new high school teachers in two years means it’s a challenge to track. You need data over time to see progress and how students have changed. So now we’re just charting student progress, though we do reflect every year on the overall (EL) program.

Second response:

We have a low incidence population, with no staff assigned to identified students. With just one person providing information to all staff regarding students, we don’t have much to go with. I don’t think we can tell if it’s working or not. We’re just doing it! One person is trying to ascertain that the district is performing the required elements, like the Home Language Survey and ACCESS, for instance. This year we went from five down to two students. We don’t have the staffing to do what’s needed.

Question regarding Native American students as ELs


Nancy Mullins: Per the federal guidance, Native American students are to be identified and appropriately served as ELs. When these students transfer to a public high school, ACCESS for ELLs scores go with them. If not yet Level 6, the student is still considered EL, so you test and provide services. All newly enrolled students in your district are to get the Home Language Survey, and check for the ACCESS in their file.

Foreign Student and EL services question

Status in the US is not a consideration for educational services. All students enrolled in public school must be looked at equally, and processes followed equally.

The next ESL conference call will take place December 4.

The Teleconference Memo with agenda will be emailed to the ESLCommunications listserv the day before the call (on December 3).

 – September 2012 –
Submitted by Ina Demers and Alex Lapidus

An ESL retreat was conducted for ESL teachers in Portland in August.

Portland school district has Math courses for educators to gain more knowledge to teach Math to English Language Learners (ELLs) with activities in mind. This will also increase their language proficiency as language is highly embedded in Math.

NEA ESL Culture, Equity, and Language Modules took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a week long in July, attended by 3 Maine educators from Portland, and Ina was one of the three attendees.

MEA members have attended Minority Leadership Trainings for the third consecutive year and any minority MEA members are encouraged to attend. For more information please write to Ina Demers at: demeri@portlandschools.org Training usually takes place in October.

University of Maine in Gorham was the site of 20 Chinese Professors for a month to increase their Oral English proficiency.

Portland Public School District has hired Emmanuel Caulk, perhaps the first African American superintendent for Portland. He came with a wealth of knowledge and a desire to increase our global competency.

Deering High School ELLs have conducted a survey on their experiences and what they want for their younger students in Portland.

The Center for Grieving Children (CGC) in Portland has its Multicultural students creating a DVD, and staff at the CGC may present at the fall conference. These Multicultural students from Riverton School in Portland participate in their day program weekly for the school year.

The NAACP in Portland is hosting a community meeting on profiling on October 12 at the Portland Public Library from 10:00AM – 4:00PM.

– April 2012 –
Submitted by Ina Demers

ILAP (Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project will have their event on April 13th at the Portland Company in Portland, Maine from 7PM-11PM. For more information, please go to www.ilapmaine.org

March 24, 2012 NNETESOL was one of the exhibitors at the Maine Education Association (MEA) Professional Issues Conference, which was also for the Student Education Association on Maine (SEAM) conference and our logo was in the back of the program! We received a free table to display our fliers, courtesy of MEA. Thank you Shelly for providing MEA with the logo as it was such short notice!!

As one of the two Maine Reps., Ina Demers, presented two ESL workshops at this MEA PIC (Maine Edu. Association Professional Issues). She also distributed NNETESOL fliers at her two workshops. Her workshops addressed ESL needs and mainstream classroom teachers, and an Art teacher, attended the origami session, which was well attended. The Story Time session had only four attendees. Two of whom, were Polish educators and were concerned about their young children in grade school. She has been asked to present a plenary session Story Time at the October 2012 SEAM conference in Orono. She is inviting ESL teachers to present because many of the mainstream classrooms have students whose first language is other than English.

Maine ESL director, Nancy Mullins still conducts tele-conferences – The next ESL conference call will take place Tuesday, April 17, 2012. For more info please email Susan.Gail.Funtsch@maine.gov in Maine

The ESL/Bilingual Programs Monthly Digests are archived on http://www.maine.gov/education/esl/guide/index.html and can be downloaded and printed either in Word or as a pdf. Comments or questions regarding the Monthly Digests can be directed to esl.doe@maine.gov.

ESL SUMMER ACADEMY – June 26-28, 2012: “Building Bridges to English Language Proficiency.” Online Registration is now available; Academy information and registration at www.maine.gov/education/esl/conferences.htm.

Portland Public Schools is involved with the Harvard Graduate School of Education Research in Project Zero (two year program) as about 100 educators are participating in trying to globalize our students. Administrators and Educators are meeting in seminar sessions monthly with the Harvard Graduate students, led by Veronica Boix-Mansilla. We are creating and implementing curriculum, which will help to gain a better understanding of what real diversity means and where zero tolerance for any type of bullying/dominance of a certain group/s.

April 11, 2012: Workshop: “Score Interpretation and Programmatic Implications,” Don Bouchard instructing. Freeport, Hilton Garden Inn (Wednesday 9:00am-3:30pm). Register at www.maine.gov/education/esl/conferences.htm Please note: There is limited space for this workshop. A wait list will be established once the workshop fills.

2010 and 2011 state reports for Maine are archived!