Alternate ELPAC

The Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is an annual assessment to measure and identify a student's English language proficiency (ELP) level for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The Alternate ELPAC will replace all locally determined alternate assessments once operational and, for the first time, provides a consistent, standardized, measurement of ELP across the state for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

This assessment is intended only for a student who has a significant cognitive disability and whose individualized education program (IEP) team has decided that the student should take alternate assessments. The Alternate ELPAC Fact Sheet external icon provides a summary of information.

Testing Window

The Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test is a census field test, meaning all students who are eligible to take the Summative Alternate ELPAC are required to participate in the administration. The Alternate ELPAC will administered between November 1, 2021, and February 15, 2022.

Purposes

The Alternate ELPAC has two purposes:

  • The Initial Alternate ELPAC provides information to determine a student's initial classification, either 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 supports decisions on student reclassification as fluent English proficient (RFEP).

All EL students with an alternate assessment listed in their IEP must be administered the Alternate ELPAC. There is no parent opt out or medical exemption for this assessment.

Alternate ELPAC Development Timeline

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

2020–21 School Year

  • Statewide Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test: Postponed to the 2021–22 school year
  • The Alternate ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training (AST) in Moodle, available for local educational agencies (LEAs) and test examiners to complete training and certification for the 2021–22 operational field test

2021–22 School Year

  • The statewide Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test will take place November 1, 2021, through February 15, 2022.
  • All LEAs are required to participate because it is a census field test.
  • The Alternate ELPAC will not assess potential ELs until after the operational field test. LEAs must use a locally determined alternate English language proficiency assessment for the Initial ELPAC to assess potential ELs.

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.