Initial Alternate ELPAC
The Initial Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is the required state test for English language proficiency (ELP) that is given to newly enrolled students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose primary language is a language other than English. State and federal law requires that local educational agencies (LEAs) administer a state test for ELP to eligible students in kindergarten through grade twelve.
The Initial Alternate ELPAC is administered throughout the year, from July 1 to June 30.
The purpose of the Initial Alternate ELPAC is to determine the English proficiency of a student with the most significant cognitive disabilities who is entering a California school for the first time and who has a primary language other than English. Identifying a student who needs help learning in English is important so that the student receives the necessary support to do well in school while receiving instruction in all school subjects.
The following are the English proficiency statuses for a student associated with taking the Initial Alternate ELPAC:
- EL—English learner
- IFEP—initial fluent English proficient
- TBD—to be determined
A student with significant cognitive disabilities and whose English language acquisition status (ELAS) is TBD is administered the Initial Alternate ELPAC to determine whether the student has a status of EL or IFEP. There is no parent/guardian opt out or medical exemption for this assessment.
To be eligible for the Initial Alternate ELPAC, a student must have
- an individualized education program (IEP) that indicates the student has significant cognitive disabilities and should take alternate assessments; and
- a home language survey that indicates the student has a primary language other than English, which results in an ELAS of TBD.
The Initial Alternate ELPAC provides initial classification. A student classified as IFEP does not need to take the Summative Alternate ELPAC. A student classified as EL must take the Summative Alternate ELPAC.
The Alternate ELPAC Test Blueprint and Definitions of Task Types for the Alternate ELPAC were approved by the State Board of Education on May 7, 2020. The Initial Alternate ELPAC and Summative Alternate ELPAC follow a single test blueprint, as described in the Proposed High-Level Test Design for the Alternate ELPAC web document. Additional Alternate ELPAC resources and materials are available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Alternate ELPAC web page.
IEP team guidelines for participation on alternate assessments are available on the CDE Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance web page.
|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.
- Introduction to the Alternate ELPAC for Parents Video: English (Video; 09:26) (Updated 02/03/23)
- Introduction to the Alternate ELPAC for Parents Video: Spanish (Video; 10:38) (Updated 03/03/23)