Alternate ELPAC

Background

The California Department of Education and Educational Testing Service is continuing to develop the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (Alternate ELPAC) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The testing window for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test will open on November 1, 2021 and closes on February 15, 2022.

The Alternate ELPAC is aligned to the 2012 California English Language Development Standards (2012 ELD Standards) through the English Language Development Connectors (ELD Connectors). For each of the 2012 ELD Standards at each grade or grade span assessed on the ELPAC, the ELD Connectors provide an aligned expectation of student ELP that has been reduced in depth, breadth, and complexity in order to be appropriate for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The ELD Connectors can be found in Appendix A of the Alternate ELPAC Blueprints external icon.

The Alternate ELPAC operational field test replaces all locally determined alternate assessments for summative purposes and, for the first time, provides a consistent, standardized measurement of ELP across the state for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. LEAs will continue to administer a locally determined alternate assessment for initial classification through the 2021–22 school year. The Initial Alternate ELPAC will become operational starting July 1, 2022.

The Alternate ELPAC assessment is intended only for students who have a significant cognitive disability and whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) team has decided that the student should take alternate assessments, in addition to being identified as an EL or potential EL. The Alternate ELPAC operational field test is a census field test, meaning all students who would be eligible to take the Summative Alternate ELPAC are required to participate in the administration.

The purpose of the Alternate ELPAC is twofold:

  • The Initial Alternate ELPAC provides information to determine a student's initial classification as an English learner (EL) or as initial fluent English proficient (IFEP).
  • The Summative Alternate ELPAC provides information on annual student progress toward ELP and support decisions on student reclassification as fluent English proficient (RFEP).

In May 2019, the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved the Alternate ELPAC high-level test design. Following the Alternate ELPAC operational Field Test, there will be an Initial Alternate ELPAC and Summative Alternate ELPAC.

Alternate ELPAC Development Timeline

The development timeline leading up to the operational field test for upcoming school years is as follows

2021–22 School Year

  • Statewide Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test: November 1, 2021, through February 15, 2022
  • All LEAs will be required to participate since it is a census field test
  • The Alternate ELPAC will not assess potential English learners until after the operational field test. LEAs must use a locally determined alternate English language proficiency assessment or the Initial ELPAC to assess potential English learners.
  • The Alternate ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training (AST) in Moodle available for LEAs and test examiners to complete training and certification for the 2021–22 operational field test. Refer to the Alternate ELPAC AST webpage for more information.

2022–23 School Year

  • Initial Alternate ELPAC: July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023
  • Initial Alternate ELPAC is the required state test for ELP that is given to students with a significant cognitive disability and whose primary language is a language other than English. State and federal law requires that LEAs administer a state test for ELP to eligible students in kindergarten through grade twelve. The purpose of the Initial Alternate ELPAC is to determine the English proficiency of students entering California schools for the first time.

High-Level Test Design

The Proposed High-Level Test Design for the ELPAC external icon was approved and adopted by the State Board of Education on May 7, 2019.

Blueprints

The Alternate ELPAC Test Blueprint external icon and Definitions of Task Types for the Alternate ELPAC external icon were approved by the State Board of Education on May 7, 2020. The Initial and Summative Alternate ELPAC follow a single test blueprint, as described in the Proposed High-Level Test Design for the Alternate ELPAC external icon web document. Additional Alternate ELPAC resources and materials are also available on the California Department of Education website. IEP team guidelines for participation on alternate assessments are available on the Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance external icon web page.

Alternate ELPAC General Performance Level Descriptors

Performance Level Descriptor
Fluent English Proficient Students at this level have sufficient English language proficiency. They may need occasional linguistic support to enable them to access adapted grade-level content in English.
Intermediate English Learner Students at this level have moderate English language proficiency. They may need frequent linguistic support to enable them to access adapted grade-level content in English.
Novice English Learner Students at this level have minimal English language proficiency. They need substantial linguistic support to enable them to access adapted grade-level content in English.

Introduction to the Alternate ELPAC for Parents Video

The video, "Introduction to the Alternate ELPAC for Parents," provides information about the Alternate ELPAC including its purpose, an explanation of who takes the test, and a description of how students can use their preferred communication mode to respond to questions.

This video is recommended for parents and guardians who want to learn more about the Alternate ELPAC. "The Introduction to the Alternate ELPAC for Parents" video is currently available in English and Spanish.