Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Topics

About the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

What is the purpose of the ELPAC?

State law (California Education Code sections 313 and 60810) and federal laws (Titles I and III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA]) require that local educational agencies (LEAs) administer a state test of English language proficiency to (1) newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English, as an initial assessment, and (2) students who are English learners (ELs), as an annual summative assessment (SA). For California’s public school students, this test is the ELPAC.

The ELPAC is used to assess and monitor EL students’ progress toward English language proficiency. EL students continue to take the ELPAC SA annually until they meet their LEA’s reclassification criteria.

Which students are required to take the ELPAC?

Students with a primary language other than English, as determined by a home language survey, who have not taken the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) or ELPAC before and who have not been previously classified as an EL, must take the ELPAC Initial Assessment (IA).

Students designated as ELs via the CELDT or ELPAC IA are required to take the ELPAC SA annually until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient.

Do we test students in year one of a two year kindergarten program (frequently referred to as "transitional kindergarten")?
Yes. Students in year one of a two year kindergarten program will take the kindergarten test. All students enrolled in the LEA in year one of a two year kindergarten program, whose primary language is other than English, as determined by a home language survey, must be administered the ELPAC within 30 calendar days of enrollment or 60 calendar days prior to instruction, but not before July 1.
If a student takes the CELDT IA and is classified as an EL during the ELPAC Summative Assessment (SA) administration window, will the student be required to take the ELPAC SA as well?
Yes, if a student takes the CELDT IA and is classified as an EL prior to May 31, 2018, the student will be required to take the ELPAC SA as well.

Designating an LEA ELPAC Coordinator and Providing Access to the Test Operations Management System (TOMS)

Where is the superintendent’s designation form and/or test security agreement form?
Links for the Superintendent Designation of LEA ELPAC Coordinator Form and Test Security Agreement for LEA ELPAC Coordinator and Site ELPAC Coordinator Form (Test Security Agreement) forms are posted on the ELPAC Forms Web page.
Can an LEA have multiple coordinators?
Yes. In addition to the primary LEA ELPAC Coordinator, the superintendent may designate up to three secondary LEA ELPAC Coordinators. Secondary LEA ELPAC Coordinators will not automatically be given access to TOMS, but the primary LEA ELPAC Coordinator may request access for them by contacting the ELPAC Customer Support Center by phone at 844-782-2714 or by e-mail at ELPAC@ets.org.
Is it necessary for all individuals who will have access to ELPAC TOMS to receive Administration and Scoring Training?
No. Individuals such as superintendents or administrative assistants may be designated as secondary or tertiary LEA ELPAC Coordinators as long as they have signed the ELPAC Test Security Agreement form. It is not necessary for them to have attended an ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training workshop.
When we add users for the ELPAC in TOMS, will they also be loaded for California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) or vice versa?
No. You will need to add your ELPAC users in the ELPAC version of TOMS and your CAASPP users in the CAASPP version of TOMS.
If I am the LEA Coordinator for ELPAC and CAASPP, will I use the same logon for both?
Yes. If you have been designated as the LEA coordinator for both programs, you will have the same logon credentials for both the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS Web sites.
Will ELPAC and CAASPP be linked in TOMS?
Users will need to access TOMS from CAASPP.org and ELPAC.org, respectively, to log on to the appropriate version of TOMS. Visually, you can tell the difference once you are logged on because the screen colors will be different. The ELPAC TOMS interface is yellow and blue, and the CAASPP TOMS interface is green and blue.
Do I have to add each individual who will be administering the Listening domain?
Yes. You will need to add each individual as a Test Examiner. You will have the option to add Test Examiners one-by-one through the user interface or all at once via batch file upload. Users can either edit the file of assigned users from the previous year’s administration or download a template from TOMS and then manually enter users.
The password link expired. What do I need to do to get a new link?
Select "Forgot Your Password?" on the logon page or on the logon error message page to have a temporary password sent to your e-mail address. LEA ELPAC Coordinators may contact the ELPAC Customer Support by phone at 844-782-2714 to have passwords reset. Site ELPAC Coordinators should contact their LEA ELPAC Coordinators, and ELPAC Test Examiners should contact their Site ELPAC Coordinator.
Are there any special requirements I need to consider when setting my password; for example, do I need a special character, caps, etc.?
Passwords must be a minimum of eight characters long and a maximum of 16 characters and have at least one character from three of the following categories:
  • An uppercase character (A–Z)
  • A lowercase character (a–z)
  • A number (0–9)
  • A special character from ~!@#$%^&*()-_=+[]|;:,.<>/?

Test Administration

When will my LEA need to complete administration of the ELPAC Summative Assessment (SA)?
The ELPAC SA window is from February 1 through May 31 annually.
How is the ELPAC administered?

The ELPAC is a paper-pencil test with four domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing; students must be administered all four domains.

For year one of a two year kindergarten program (frequently referred to as transitional kindergarten), kindergarten, and grade one, all four domains are administered one-on-one. For grades two through twelve, the Speaking domain is administered one-on-one, but the Listening, Reading, and Writing domains are administered in group settings. The Speaking domain at all grades is scored in real time during test administration.

Is there a sequence in which the ELPAC test domains must be administered?
The four test domains—Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing—may be administered in any order, but the parts within a domain must be administered sequentially and in a single sitting.
What is needed to administer the ELPAC Listening domain?

For grades three through twelve, Listening is administered via streamed audio recordings that Test Examiners will access through TOMS. TOMS has an Audio Modules section through which ELPAC Test Examiners will play an audio file during the Listening domain. Because Listening is administered in groups in grades three through twelve, the Test Examiner will need the ability to stream and play an audio file from the Internet through an approved browser on a computer that is connected to speakers so that all students can hear the audio.

For kindergarten, grade one, and grade two, the Listening domain is administered by the Test Examiner reading from the Examiner’s Manual. Therefore, no streaming audio equipment is needed for kindergarten and grades one and two.

Who can administer the ELPAC?
Per the ELPAC regulations, the ELPAC assessments can only be administered by employees or contractors of an LEA or nonpublic school who are proficient in English, have received formal ELPAC administration and scoring training, and have signed the Test Security Affidavit.
If Test Examiners are only administering or scoring one domain, do they need to receive training for all domains?
No. Test Examiners must be trained on the portions of the test they are administering. They are not required to receive training on other domains.
Are students allowed to write in their Test Books?
Yes. Students in grades three through twelve are permitted to write in their Test Books. In kindergarten through grade two, the Test Book is combined with the Answer Book, where stray marks could interfere with scoring; therefore, other than in the Writing domain, writing in the Test Book and Answer Book is not allowed.
Are Test Books bundled with Answer Books now that a Test Book and Answer Book are required for every student?
Answer Books and Test Books are bundled together if ordered in Round 1 and Round 2. If a supplemental order is placed, the Test Book and Answer Books are not bundled, allowing the LEA to order more of one or the other as appropriate.

Test Materials

When can I order 2017–18 SA test materials?
The ELPAC SA order window will occur in two rounds, with an additional window for ordering supplemental materials. See the ordering windows below:
  • Round 1: October 17–November 17, 2017
  • Round 2: November 18–December 21, 2017
  • Supplemental orders: January 23–May 15, 2018
Materials Ordering Windows
Type of test material orderOrdering Window OpensOrdering Window ClosesEarliest Delivery DateLatest Delivery Date
Round 1 Test Material Order October 17, 2017 November 17, 2017 January 4, 2018 January 8, 2018
Round 2 Test Material Order November 20, 2017 December 21, 2017 January 9, 2018 January 31, 2018
Large Print and Braille Test Material Order October 17, 2017 December 21, 2017 February 1, 2018 February 1, 2018
Supplemental Test Material Order January 23, 2018 May 15, 2018 February 6, 2018 May 21, 2018
I missed both the Round 1 and Round 2 test materials ordering windows. What are my options?
LEA ELPAC Coordinators should contact the ELPAC Customer Support Center for assistance in placing a supplemental order to ensure that they receive the necessary ancillary supplies. LEA ELPAC Coordinators may also place a supplemental order through TOMS. LEAs are allowed to place as many supplemental orders as necessary. The Supplemental Order window opens approximately one week prior to the opening of the SA window (February 1) and will remain open until approximately two weeks prior to the conclusion of the SA window (May 31). For the 2017–18 SA administration, the Supplemental Order window will be open from January 23, 2018, through May 15, 2018.
Will overage materials be sent in Round 1, like with CELDT?
Yes. For both Round 1 and Round 2, an additional 5 percent of materials will be allocated for each LEA as overage. Overage is not included when excessive order charges are calculated.
I understand that supplemental materials will come bundled by the LEA, not by site. Will the Round 1 materials come packed by site?
Round 1 and Round 2 orders will come bundled by school site with 5 percent overage for the LEA.
Who do I contact for assistance with placing a supplemental order?
Only LEA ELPAC Coordinators can contact the ELPAC Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time by phone at 844-782-2714 or by e-mail at ELPAC@ets.org to place supplemental orders. Site ELPAC Coordinators should contact their LEA ELPAC Coordinators; ELPAC Test Examiners should contact their Site ELPAC Coordinator if a supplemental order needs to be placed.
How soon after I place a supplemental order will I receive my shipment?
Supplemental orders will be delivered to LEAs within 10 to 14 business days from when the order is placed.
Can I request expedited delivery on a supplemental order?
No. There is no expedited shipping of supplemental orders.
How do I set up a freight shipment?
Log on to TOMS and select the [Addresses] subtab under the [View & Edit Organizations] tab, select the check box next to Organization Primary Shipping Address to indicate that freight shipments can be received at this address. A pop-up box will prompt you to review the address and confirm that it is an appropriate address for receiving freight shipments; freight shipments are for test materials only. It must be a physical address; materials cannot be shipped to a post office box.
Can I have my shipments delivered to multiple addresses?
Yes. Test material orders and Pre-ID label orders can be shipped to different primary shipping addresses but LEAs must verify the primary shipping address each time an order is placed. It must be a physical address; test materials and shipping labels cannot be shipped to a post office box. A test material order cannot be split between different addresses.
I entered the wrong shipping address, or I entered an address that does not accept freight. How do I correct this?
If the wrong shipping address was entered, call the ELPAC Customer Support Center to determine the next course of action. In the future, it is essential to verify that the primary shipping address is correct. To update the shipping address in TOMS, under the [Addresses] tab, select the pencil icon next to the shipping address you wish to modify to open up an editable address form page. Enter your desired updates and then select [Save] in order to save your changes. If you need additional assistance, contact the ELPAC Customer Support Center by e-mail at ELPAC@ets.org or by phone at 844-782-2714.

Pre-ID Labels

How do I order Pre-ID labels, and how much do they cost?

TOMS includes a Pre-ID tab to place label orders. LEAs will download a Pre-ID file, which is generated from current California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) data, and review it for accuracy. If the file contains any erroneous or incomplete information, corrections should be made in CALPADS and a new file downloaded from TOMS after 24 to 48 hours.

Pre-ID ordering occurs in two rounds:

  • Round 1: January 2–April 9, 2018 (38¢ per label)
  • Round 2: April 10–May 14, 2018 (44¢ per label)

LEA ELPAC Coordinators will have four opportunities to order in Round 1 and two opportunities to order in Round 2 (see table below). The price of the labels is higher for LEAs that wait to place their Pre-ID label order until the second ordering window. Once the Round 2 window closes, the LEA cannot opt into having Pre-ID labels made.

Pre-ID Ordering Windows
Type of pre-id orderOrdering Window OpensOrdering Window ClosesOrder Approval DateApproximate Delivery DateLabel Cost
Round 1 Pre-ID Label Order January 2, 2018 April 9, 2018 January 16, 2018 January 31, 2018 38¢ each
February 9, 2018 February 23, 2018
March 9, 2018 March 23, 2018
April 9, 2018 April 23, 2018
Round 2 Late Pre-ID Label Order April 10, 2018 May 14, 2018 April 30, 2018 May 14, 2018 44¢ each
May 14, 2018 May 21, 2018
Will the Pre-ID labels be bundled by school or arrive in one big stack? We have over 75 schools and are hoping they are bundled by school.
Pre-ID orders will come presorted by school site, grade level, and student name (alphabetically). For Pre-ID labels there is only a Round 1 and Round 2 order window; no supplemental order window is available.
Can I order Pre-ID labels separately for each school in the LEA?
No. Pre-ID orders must be approved for the entire LEA at one time. There is a report available for download by the LEAs for each round (Round 1 and 2) called EL Round 1 Pre-ID Labels Preview Report and EL Round 2 Pre-ID Labels Preview Report. This report is located in the [Reports] tab under the [LEA Reports] subtab in TOMS. These reports contain student demographic information that will be printed on the Pre-ID labels. These reports are at the LEA level and in .csv format. The reports contain School Name and School CDS Code fields that can be used to filter students for specific schools. If you determine that any student information on the reports is incorrect or needs to be updated, you must make the updates in CALPADS 24 to 48 hours before the Pre-ID request for Round 1 or Round 2 is submitted and approved.
Is it true that I can place multiple orders for Pre-ID labels throughout the window within Round 1 or Round 2?
No. LEAs can only order Pre-ID labels one time in Round 1 and one time in Round 2.
I need to place another Pre-ID order. Will it include only the new students?
Yes, if you placed a Round 1 order for Pre-ID labels and need to place a Round 2 order as well, the Round 2 Pre-ID label order will only contain records for students newly enrolled since the previous order.
I missed placing Round 1 and Round 2 Pre-ID label orders. Can I still order Pre-ID labels?
No. Once the Round 2 window closes, an LEA will no longer be able to order Pre-ID labels. If Pre-ID labels are not ordered, you will need to hand-grid the full demographic information for the student(s). This information should be legible and accurate and must be completed before returning the Answer Book(s) for scoring.
One of my Pre-ID labels is damaged. What should I do?
If your Pre-ID label has been damaged and cannot be scanned, please hand-grid the student’s full demographic information on the Answer Book.
My prepopulated Group Identification Sheet (GIS) forms are damaged. Can I order more?
If your prepopulated GIS forms are damaged, or you do not have enough of them, you may not order more prepopulated forms, but LEA ELPAC Coordinators may request additional blank GIS forms by contacting the ELPAC Customer Support Center by phone at 844-782-2714. Site ELPAC Coordinators should contact their LEA ELPAC Coordinators; ELPAC Test Examiners should contact their Site ELPAC Coordinator if more prepopulated forms are needed.

Training and Information

What training resources are available?

There are a variety of resources available to help LEAs, schools, and students prepare for the administration of the 2017–18 ELPAC:

Practice tests—Practice tests are available on the ELPAC Practice Tests Web page. The practice tests provide examples of task types that are administered in each grade or grade span. They also provide a sense of how the 2012 English Language Development standards are assessed.

Moodle Training Site—Individuals who receive ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training will have access to a Moodle Web site External icon where additional training materials on scoring the Speaking domain are posted. LEA ELPAC Coordinators and lead trainers may also use the Moodle Training Site to access reports and monitor calibration completion and quiz results of Test Examiners.

Manuals and user guides—The ELPAC Test Administration Manual, the Test Operations Management System Guide for ELPAC (coming soon), ELPAC and TOMS FAQ documents, and other text resources are posted under the Resources tab on ELPAC.org and in the Help section of the ELPAC TOMS Web site.

Brief instructional videos—In addition to the text resources, instructional videos on features of the TOMS Web site and other important ELPAC processes are available under the Resources tab on ELPAC.org.

How many people from each LEA can attend ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training workshops?
LEAs are allotted a specific number of seats for the Administration and Scoring Training workshops based on the grade span and size of the LEA. If an LEA has students enrolled in both kindergarten through grade five and grade six through twelve grade, a minimum of two individuals must attend a training workshop to ensure that enough staff from the LEA are present to cover the afternoon breakout trainings for both kindergarten through grade five and grades six through twelve. Prior to the opening of registration for the trainings, you will receive an e-mail providing you with your seat allotment and a passcode to access the training registration site. If for some reason you do not receive this e-mail, LEA ELPAC Coordinators may contact ELPAC Customer Support to request the registration passcode or information on the seat allotment. Site ELPAC Coordinators should contact their LEA ELPAC Coordinators, and ELPAC Test Examiners should contact their Site ELPAC Coordinator. Information on training dates and locations is listed on the ELPAC Training Web page.
Can my LEA register more people for a training workshop than the number of spaces we are allocated?
Yes. You may register individuals for more spaces than your LEA has been allotted. Any individuals registered after you have met your allotted amount will automatically be placed on a wait list and will be admitted to training if space is available.