Alternate ELPAC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These FAQs contain questions that pertain to the 2021–22 Operational Field Test and the 2022–23 Initial Alternate ELPAC.

About the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

What is the purpose of the Alternate ELPAC?

State law (California Education Code section 313 Link to external site and California Education Code section 60810 Link to external site ) and federal law (Titles I and III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) require that local educational agencies (LEAs) administer a state test of English language proficiency (ELP) 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.

The Alternate ELPAC is the state ELP assessment for California public school students identified with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose individualized education program (IEP) indicates the use of an alternate assessment. LEAs can refer to the CDE Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance Link to external site to help determine whether the California Alternate Assessments (CAAs) and the Alternate ELPAC would be the most appropriate assessments for an individual student with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

The Alternate ELPAC replaces all locally determined alternate ELP assessments and, for the first time, provides a consistent, standardized measurement of ELP across the state for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

The purpose of the Alternate ELPAC is twofold:

  1. The Initial Alternate ELPAC provides information to determine a student's initial classification as an EL or as initial fluent English proficient. The annual testing window for the Initial Alternate ELPAC will be from July 1 through June 30 beginning in 2022.
  2. The Summative Alternate ELPAC provides information on annual student progress toward ELP and supports decisions on student reclassification as fluent English proficient. The annual testing window for the Summative Alternate ELPAC will be from February 1 through May 31 following the operational field test window.

Can parents/guardians opt their child out of the Alternate ELPAC?

No. Parents/Guardians cannot opt their child out of the Alternate ELPAC. State law (California Education Code section 313 Link to external site and California Education Code section 60810 Link to external site ) and federal law (Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act) require that all students whose primary language is a language other than English be assessed for ELP. The legal basis for requiring ELP testing is that all students have the right to an equal and appropriate education, and any English language limitations left unidentified or unaddressed could preclude a student from accessing that right.

Will there be an Alternate ELPAC Parent/Guardian Notification Letter template?

The notification letter template is in progress; it will be available soon and translated for parents and guardians. The Alternate ELPAC Parent/Guardian Notification Letter Template Link to external site web document will be available on the CDE ELPAC Link to external site web page.

What does the Alternate ELPAC measure?

The Alternate ELPAC is aligned to the 2012 California English Language Development (ELD) Standards Link to external site via ELD Connectors. The ELD Connectors are reduced in depth, breadth, and complexity as appropriate for the population.

To ensure EL students with the most significant cognitive disabilities can fully access and participate in the Alternate ELPAC, the four domains of Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing are assessed via students' individually preferred receptive (Listening and Reading) and expressive (Speaking and Writing) communication modes:

  • Receptive test items require the student to demonstrate comprehension of a stimulus by selecting a response from two or three options. The student is not required to generate any language. The student is allowed to respond using the student's preferred individual communication mode.
  • Expressive test items require the student to communicate understandings and ideas related to the stimulus using the student's individually preferred expressive mode of communication. Note that picture cards are provided by the Sacramento County Office of Education and available for download in the Test Operations Management System for students to select responses.

Receptive test items icon showing pictures of headphones and a person reading a book; Expressive test items icon showing pictures of a speech bubble and a pen and paper

Which students are required to take the Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

The Alternate ELPAC operational field test will meet the requirement of annually assessing a student's ELP in 2021–22. Students who have the most significant cognitive disabilities, as determined by their IEP team, and who are also ELs are required to take the Alternate ELPAC operational field test. Students will continue to be assessed annually with the Summative Alternate ELPAC until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient by the LEA.

Note that once a student is identified for an alternate assessment, the student will then take the alternate assessment for all standardized state assessments, including the CAA for English language arts/literacy, mathematics, and science, and the Alternate ELPAC.

Which students are required to take the Alternate ELPAC?

Students in kindergarten through grade twelve, up to age twenty-two, with the most significant cognitive disabilities and whose primary language is a language other than English, as determined by a home language survey, must take the Initial Alternate ELPAC. Note that the decision to administer an alternate assessment must be written in the student's IEP. Please use the guidance listed on the CDE Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance Link to external site web page to determine if an alternate assessment is appropriate for the student.

Beginning with the 2022–23 school year:

  • If a student fits the preceding description and the student's ELP has not been assessed, that student must take the Initial Alternate ELPAC to determine initial classification.
  • If a student is classified as an EL after taking the Initial Alternate ELPAC, that student would take the Summative Alternate ELPAC annually until the reclassification criteria are met.

Should students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, as determined by their IEP, who require initial identification take the Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

No. For the 2021–22 academic year only, students with the most significant cognitive disabilities as determined by their IEP team and whose primary language is other than English, as determined by a home language survey, and who have an English language acquisition status of To Be Determined, must take the general Initial ELPAC and specify which domains will be administered using an LEA's locally determined alternate assessments prior to the start of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test. Beginning on July 1, 2022, students will take the Initial Alternate ELPAC, and locally determined alternate assessments will no longer be allowable for identification.

Do we test students in year one of a two-year kindergarten program (frequently referred to as "transitional-kindergarten")?

Yes. LEAs are required to administer the ELPAC or Alternate ELPAC to eligible students in kindergarten—or year one of a two-year kindergarten program, also referred to as transitional kindergarten.

What is the difference between a task type and item type?

For the Alternate ELPAC, the term "task type" is used to categorize a group of test items based on their content and the evidence of a student's language proficiency with the language task they are designed to assess (e.g., "Recognize and Use Common Words"). In contrast, the term "item type" is used to describe items based on the form they take in the test delivery system (e.g., selected response or constructed response). The Definitions of Task Types for the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California Link to external site document provides details on the task types used on the Alternate ELPAC.

The test questions, or items, within a task type are aligned to one or more of the primary and secondary ELD Connectors. A student may use the student's preferred mode(s) of communication to indicate response(s) to items in a task type. Some examples include verbal responses, nonverbal responses, pointing, eye gaze, or using an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device. Therefore, the test examiner should be familiar with the student's preferred modes of communication to identify a valid response that will count toward participation.

What are threshold scores for the Alternate ELPAC?

The Alternate ELPAC threshold scores refer to the overall score given to a student based on the student's performance on the test, including all receptive and expressive test questions.

Threshold scores are anticipated to be brought to the State Board of Education (SBE) in May 2022 for consideration and approval.

About the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test

When will my local educational agency (LEA) need to complete administration of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

The Alternate ELPAC operational field test window is open from November 1, 2021, through May 31, 2022.

Does my LEA need to participate in the 2021–22 Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

Yes. All LEAs are required to participate in the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, as this is a census field test. The mandatory administration of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test will be administered to all eligible students from November 1, 2021, through May 31, 2022.

How long does it take to administer the Alternate ELPAC?

The Alternate ELPAC is untimed; test items will be administered to the student over the course of one or more testing sessions, as needed, for the student to complete the assessment. The estimated cumulative testing time for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test is 40 to 60 minutes. This estimated testing time includes the presentation of student directions, stories, and test questions. The estimated testing time does not include the time used by the test examiner for logon and device setup.

About the Initial Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

What is the testing window for the Initial Alternate ELPAC?

The Initial Alternate ELPAC annual testing window is open from July 1 through June 30 each year. For the 2022–23 administration, the Initial Alternate ELPAC testing window will open on July 5, 2022, and close on June 30, 2023.

Does my local educational agency (LEA) need to participate in administering the 2022–23 Initial Alternate ELPAC?

Yes. All LEAs must administer the Initial Alternate ELPAC to any eligible student, as it is a federal requirement.

Test Administration

How is the Alternate ELPAC operational field test administered?

The Alternate ELPAC operational field test is delivered on a computer-based test delivery platform identical to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress and the ELPAC computer-based assessments. The administration process will follow the same one-on-one protocols as the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) administration.

How is the Initial Alternate ELPAC administered?

The Initial Alternate ELPAC is delivered on a computer-based test delivery platform identical to the ELPAC computer-based assessments and the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. The administration process will follow the same one-on-one protocols as the administration of all alternate assessments.

Who can administer the Alternate ELPAC?

Per California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 11518(I) Link to external site, the ELPAC can be administered only by test examiners (TEs), defined as employees or contractors of a local educational agency (LEA) or nonpublic school who are proficient in English, have received the virtual Alternate ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training, and have signed a Test Security Affidavit. In addition, for the Initial Alternate ELPAC, it is highly recommended that the TE be someone who is familiar with the student's preferred mode of communication.

How are eligible students assigned to take the Alternate ELPAC operational field test in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS)?

To be assigned the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, students must first meet the eligibility requirements described in the About the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Link to external site section of the FAQs.

The students must have the fields set in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) as follows:

  • an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act indicator of "Yes"
  • a valid primary disability type
  • English language acquisition status of English learner
  • Primary Language Code other than English or American Sign Language; and
  • enrollment in kindergarten through grade twelve (as a student who is under twenty-two years of age)

If all of these conditions are met in CALPADS, then the LEA ELPAC coordinator will be able to assign the student for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test in TOMS.

Add or Remove Test Assignments section in TOMS with a checkbox for the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test

If a student is assigned to the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, then that student will be assigned to the CAAs as well (and vice versa).

If a user removes a student's Alternate ELPAC operational field test assignment, that student's CAA assignment will also be removed (and vice versa), so long as testing has not begun.

How are eligible students assigned to take the Initial Alternate ELPAC in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS)?

To be assigned the Initial Alternate ELPAC, students must first meet the eligibility requirements described in the About the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) section of the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test FAQs web page, and the CDE Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance Link to external site page. A student should be assigned the Alternate ELPAC only if the student's IEP indicates the use of an alternate assessment.

To be eligible, students must have all of the following fields set in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS):

  • An Individuals with Disabilities Education Act indicator of "Yes"
  • A valid primary disability type
  • A home language survey indicating a primary language other than English
  • A Primary Language Code other than English or American Sign Language
  • Enrollment in kindergarten through grade twelve (as a student who is under twenty-two years)

If all of these conditions are met in CALPADS, the LEA ELPAC coordinator will be able to assign the Initial Alternate ELPAC to the student in TOMS. (Refer to the Add/Remove Alternate ELPAC Test Assignment Link to external site subtopic in the TOMS User Guide Link to external site for details about this process.)

If a student is assigned to the Alternate ELPAC, then that student will be assigned to the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) as well (and vice versa, if the student is eligible for the Alternate ELPAC). If a user removes a student's Alternate ELPAC test assignment, that student's CAA assignment will also be removed (and vice versa), as long as testing has not begun.

How does the TE use the Directions for Administration (DFA) to interact with the student while administering the Alternate ELPAC?

The TE must use the DFA to administer the test to a student by reading the test questions to the student from the DFA. The DFA contains grade-specific directions and scripts for each test question. The DFA also includes alternative text to describe images for students with visual impairments as well as directions for optional individualization for students who would benefit from the use of manipulatives, objects, or picture cards. Note that TEs will need to use the guidance in the DFA to locally score constructed-response items.

The operational field test DFAs are available in the Test Operations Management System Link to external site (secure logon credentials required for access).

What is individualization?

Individualization is the process of adjusting the delivery of a test question to meet individual student needs based on the educator's knowledge of the student. For example, a student's expressive communication mode may be picture cards or an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. TEs would follow the optional individualization provided in the DFA to administer a test question using printed picture cards or picture cards loaded onto an AAC device.

What are the rules for pausing during testing?

If the student is not engaging with the items, the TE can pause and resume the test as many times as necessary, including over multiple days. Be sure to keep in mind that the test will expire at the end of the testing window. LEAs can refer to the Response Options for Alternate Assessments Link to external site flyer for more information on when to pause and resume during the assessment.

Does my LEA need to administer a locally determined English language proficiency (ELP) assessment for 2021–‍22 or just administer the operational field test?

All eligible students identified for the Summative Alternate ELPAC will take the Alternate ELPAC operational field test. Although LEAs may use a locally determined alternate assessment for making decisions throughout the academic year, it will not fulfill the requirement to administer the state's annual ELP assessment, which is now the Alternate ELPAC.

Can anyone with training administer the Alternate ELPAC, or should the test be administered by special education teachers or staff?

The California Department of Education highly recommends that the test be administered by a test examiner who knows the student well (i.e., primary teacher) and is familiar with the student's preferred mode of communication.

TEs should review the Test Examiner Checklist to administer the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test.

What form is my LEA assigned to?

LEAs can use the lookup tool on the ELPAC website to determine which form assignment they are assigned to. Note, all students in grades K–2 are now assigned to Form 1. If you are LEA does not appear on the lookup tool, then you are defaulted to Form 1.

Participation Criteria

What are the participation criteria for the 2021–22 Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

To ensure that English learner students with the most significant cognitive disabilities are counted toward participation, these students must be administered, at a minimum, one Receptive item and one Expressive item from anywhere within the assessment. Please note that a "Mark as No Response" is also considered a valid response and, therefore, counts as a completed item. Local educational agencies can refer to the Alternate ELPAC Participation and Scoring flyer Link to external site for more information.

What are the participation criteria for the 2022–23 Initial Alternate ELPAC?

The participation criteria for the Initial Alternate ELPAC and the Summative Alternate ELPAC are the same. Students must be administered, at a minimum, one Receptive item and one Expressive item from anywhere within the assessment. Please note that "Mark as No Response" is also considered a valid response and, therefore, counts as a completed item. Local educational agencies can refer to the Alternate ELPAC Participation and Scoring Link to external site flyer for more information.

Second Scoring

What is second scoring?

A subset of local educational agencies (LEAs) that have students taking the Alternate ELPAC will be selected to participate in second scoring. This means that a second test examiner (TE) will be present at the time of testing to score each student's responses to certain items. LEAs will be chosen to participate annually, on a rotating basis. Please refer to the How to Second Score for the Alternate ELPAC to obtain more information on second scoring.

How can I find out whether my LEA is selected for second scoring?

The Alternate ELPAC Second Scoring Assignment List is available on the Alternate ELPAC Second Scoring Assignment web page to find out whether your LEA or school has been selected to participate in second scoring for the 2021–22 school year.

Why is second scoring required for the Alternate ELPAC?

Critical Element 4.4 of A State's Guide to the U.S. Department of Education's Assessment Peer Review Process Link to external site requires that any scoring involving human judgment, including scoring conducted by TEs, must contain evidence that the scoring of these items includes adequate procedures and criteria for ensuring and documenting interrater reliability. Second scoring is the process of having another educator score the same student's rubric-scored items simultaneously, yet independently, from the student's primary TE. The purpose of second scoring is to establish and document standardized scoring procedures, and second scoring is one method of providing scorer reliability evidence.

What are the requirements and responsibilities of the second scorer?

The secondary TE (second scorer) must meet the same criteria as the primary TE. The secondary TE must be credentialed and have signed the security affidavit in the Test Operations Management System Link to external site. Ideally, the secondary TE is also a teacher familiar with the student's individual testing needs. Please refer to the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test Manual Link to external site for details on roles and responsibilities. The secondary TE can refer to the Alternate ELPAC Secondary Test Examiner Checklist to prepare for second scoring.

How is second scoring conducted?

In addition to the student's primary TE, a secondary TE who is familiar with the student will need to be present at the time of testing to observe and score the student's response to any rubric-scored items. The secondary TE's score should reflect the examiner's independent judgment using the rubric provided in the Directions for Administration (DFA). The DFA will have a section specifically for the secondary TE, with instructions on how to second score. All second scores will need to be entered into the Data Entry Interface (DEI). LEAs can refer to the Entering Student Responses and Scores into the Data Entry Interface (DEI)) video for guidance on how to use the DEI. For information on the DEI, please refer to the Scoring and Entering Responses Link to external site section within the FAQs.

LEAs can refer to the Preparing for Second Scoring Link to external site section within the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test Manual Link to external site for detailed information on second scoring.

Student Accessibility Resources and Test Settings: Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations

Will student test settings that are assigned in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) for the Alternate ELPAC also apply to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)?

No. The accessibility resources for the two programs differ. Although the process for establishing the student test settings in TOMS is the same for both assessments, test settings must be entered or uploaded separately for the Alternate ELPAC and CAASPP. However, if a student is designated eligible for alternate assessments in TOMS, this designation is valid for all CAASPP and ELPAC assessments.

What designated supports and accommodations are available for Alternate ELPAC testing?

To complete one or more questions, students may need testing resources such as universal tools, designated supports, or accommodations. Educators and test examiners (TEs) should refer to the California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix Link to external site web page on the California Department of Education Assessment Information Link to external site web page and the Student Accessibility Resources Link to external site web page.

All accessibility resources must be loaded in the Test Operations Management System Link to external site using the TOMS upload file, Individual Student Assessment Accessibility Profile Tool, or manual selection. Designated supports are available to all students when determined for use by an educator or team of educators (with parent/guardian and student input, as appropriate) or specified in the student's individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. Accommodations for the Alternate ELPAC must be permitted to all eligible students if specified in a student's IEP or Section 504 plan. Local educational agencies (LEAs) can refer to the following videos for information on how to configure student test settings in TOMS.

Educators should use the Online Practice and Training Tests web page to provide students with the opportunity to use these accessibility resources within the test delivery system.

Is there a braille version available for the Alternate ELPAC?

There is no braille version for the Alternate ELPAC. The TE can request print-on-demand functionality within the test delivery system for each student to produce a braille version of the test locally. Print-on-demand is delivered at the item level and must be requested in advance of the test administration; otherwise the print-on-demand function will not be enabled. The Directions for Administration contain additional guidance on the standardized use of print-on-demand (e.g., use or misuse of printed items, enlargement, etc.). Please refer to the Student Accessibility Resources and Test Settings Link to external site section of the FAQs for more information on how to set test settings such as print-on-demand as a non-embedded designated support for your students. Note that all printed test content must be destroyed after the completion of that student's test administration.

Will there be text-to-speech options for students with an IEP?

No. Text-to-speech is an accommodation that is not available for the Alternate ELPAC. Given this is a one-on-one administration, the TE should verbalize test content to the student as appropriate.

What kind of response options are allowed on the Alternate ELPAC?

Students assigned to take alternate assessments comprise a diverse population with a variety of needs, skills, and abilities. Decisions on how to administer a test to this population should be informed by the TE's knowledge of the individual student. Educators who work with this student population best understand their students' needs. LEAs can refer to the Response Options for Alternate Assessments Link to external site flyer to determine when to pause, resume, use the "Mark as No Response" option, and when to end the test.

What if my student is deaf or hard of hearing?

The Alternate ELPAC is designed to be accessible for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The use of receptive and expressive task types on the Alternate ELPAC allows maximum flexibility for students to demonstrate their English language proficiency through the means that are most consistent with how they are able to communicate in the classroom. Students are allowed to respond using their preferred individual communication mode. For example, students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use American Sign Language or similar in the classroom can have the test directions signed to them.

User Management in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS)

Do I have to add each individual who will be administering the Alternate ELPAC?

Yes. Local educational agency ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators need to add each individual educator as a test examiner (TE). Coordinators have the option to add TEs one at a time through the user interface or all at once via batch file upload. Coordinators can download a template from TOMS and then manually enter users or copy users from the previous administration. Every newly added TE must sign an electronic Test Security Affidavit upon logging on to TOMS. The following resources provide information on adding users in TOMS.

Scoring and Entering Responses

Is the Data Entry Interface (DEI) used for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

The DEI is a tool used by the second scorer to enter student scores for expressive items with a rubric, as outlined in the Directions for Administration. Local educational agencies can refer to the ELPAC Data Entry Interface User Guide Link to external site for information on how to use the DEI as well as the following resources.

Score Reporting

Will there be scores from the 2021–22 Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

Yes. Summative scores will be produced from the results of the 2021–22 Alternate ELPAC operational field test. Scores will be released in summer 2022, after standard setting is complete and the threshold scores are approved by the California State Board of Education.

Will the Alternate ELPAC Student Scores Reports (SSRs) look different from the Initial ELPAC or Summative ELPAC SSRs?

Since the Alternate ELPAC uses integrated domains (i.e., receptive and expressive items), it will look different from the SSRs for the Initial ELPAC and Summative ELPAC. Also, the Alternate ELPAC has its own performance levels. Threshold scores will be developed at the standard setting in February 2022 and proposed to the SBE in May 2022 for approval.

Administration and Scoring Training (AST)

What is the AST?

Statewide training is mandatory, and each local educational agency (LEA) that has eligible students for the Alternate ELPAC will be required to complete the online LEA certification annually. LEA ELPAC coordinators and other test examiners (TEs) can fulfill their training requirements by accessing the virtual training modules within the Moodle Training Site (Moodle) Link to external site. The Moodle Training Site Link to external site is a learning management system for training and calibration resources. One representative from each LEA is required to complete the online LEA Certification course. This certification meets the training requirement for the LEA. A certificate of completion will be produced upon completion of the LEA Certification course. In addition, the TE course is set up in a course completion format where LEA ELPAC coordinators can monitor the training of their own TEs.

The online Test Examiners Certification course needs to be completed prior to setting up a testing session. To elicit the most reliable responses, it is necessary that the TE be very familiar with each student and each student's primary communication mode. It is strongly recommended that only an educator familiar with the student serve as the TE. LEAs will be responsible for tracking the progress of TEs going through the Test Examiners Certification course. For any technical issues accessing Moodle, please reach out to moodlesupport@scoe.net Link to external site. More information about the Alternate ELPAC AST can be found on the Alternate ELPAC Administration and Scoring Trainings web page.

Are TEs required to attend the official Alternate ELPAC training, or can they be trained at the school site?

The regulations state, to administer the Alternate ELPAC, LEAs have the responsibility of training TEs. To accomplish this, the California Department of Education, along with ETS and the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), have created training modules in the Moodle Training Site Link to external site.

Are test examiners (TEs) required to train to administer the Initial Alternate ELPAC?

The regulations state that local educational agencies (LEAs) are responsible for training TEs to administer the Initial Alternate ELPAC. To accomplish this, the California Department of Education, along with ETS and the Sacramento County Office of Education, have created training modules that are available on the CAASPP-ELPAC Moodle Training Site Link to external site. These modules may be completed online or in person at locations identified by the LEA. The training must be completed annually and prior to testing.

Resources that are specific to the Initial Alternate ELPAC are also available on the Moodle Training Site Link to external site.

When I train TEs, will they have to do the calibration in the Moodle Training Site? Can they do it on paper and give me their calibration sheets to keep for accountability?

Either option is fine, as long as TEs make sure they are certified to be TEs prior to administering the Alternate ELPAC operational field test beginning November 1, 2021.

What if my LEA has completed the AST certification? Will we need to do it again?

LEAs that have completed the Alternate ELPAC LEA and TE certification courses in Moodle do not need to certify again for the 2021–22 Alternate ELPAC operational field test. However, it is strongly recommended that LEAs complete a refresher training prior to the opening of the operational field test window next year. The decision to complete a refresher training is at the LEA's discretion. Please note that the Moodle website will remain open for the continued training and certification of TEs. The draft Directions for Administration (DFAs) posted in Moodle can be used for training and preparation for TEs.

What does my LEA ELPAC coordinator need to complete to prepare for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test administration?

LEA ELPAC coordinators need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the appropriate Alternate ELPAC LEA Certification course by October 15, 2021.
  2. Give lead trainers and TEs enrollment key(s).
  3. Ensure that all TEs have a Moodle account.
  4. Request reporting access for up to three LEA leads.
  5. Verify that TEs have completed certification by obtaining the completion certificate from the TE or by verifying completion via the Activity Completion Report in Moodle.
  6. Order binder(s).
  7. Order picture cards.

To obtain the Moodle enrollment keys, an email was sent out by SCOE with the registration access code. The LEA ELPAC coordinator must log on to the ELPAC AST registration site and select the [Alternate ELPAC Moodle Training Site] button to access the enrollment keys.

What does my LEA ELPAC coordinator need to complete to prepare for the Initial Alternate ELPAC administration?

LEA ELPAC coordinators need to complete the following steps:

  1. Identify eligible students, which includes the completion of the home language survey by parents/guardians.
  2. If the student is eligible in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System and has an individualized education program that designates the use of an alternate assessment, assign the Initial Alternate ELPAC to the student in the Test Operations Management System.
  3. Ensure that all TEs are certified to administer the Initial Alternate ELPAC.
  4. Order picture cards. (This step is optional.)
  5. Ensure that the TE is familiar with the student's preferred mode(s) of communication.

What is the difference between an access code and an enrollment key?

The LEA ELPAC coordinator must log on to the Administration and Scoring Training Link to external site website and select the [Alternate ELPAC Moodle Training Site] button to obtain the Moodle enrollment keys, using the registration access code provided by SCOE via email. If you did not receive an email from SCOE, are having technical issues accessing Moodle, or do not have the access code, please reach out to moodlesupport@scoe.net.

There are two different types of Alternate ELPAC Moodle enrollment keys.

  1. LEA Certification: This enrollment key allows the LEA ELPAC coordinator or the LEA ELPAC coordinator's designee to log on and access the CDE-mandated training for LEA certification.
  2. Examiner's Certification: This enrollment key allows TEs for the Alternate ELPAC to automatically become part of the LEA's user group. The user group is set up to retain TEs' certification results and provide reports for LEA leads and trainers to monitor TE training progress within Moodle Link to external site. TEs must complete the certification before they can set up an administration of the Alternate ELPAC. At least two weeks prior to testing is recommended.

Please note that the LEA's Alternate ELPAC enrollment keys are different than the Summative and Initial ELPAC enrollment keys. Therefore, the LEA ELPAC coordinator will need to issue the appropriate enrollment key for TEs in each program.

Where can my LEA order training binders and picture cards?

Each LEA can request to receive in the mail a printed copy(ies) of the Alternate ELPAC AST binder. Training binders will be shipped at no cost to LEAs upon request until the close of the testing window. Training materials contain printed PowerPoint slides for each module along with draft Alternate ELPAC operational field test DFAs for training purposes.

The picture cards are part of optional individualization for the Alternate ELPAC and are for students who regularly use picture cards or an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device as an expressive mode of communication during daily instruction. Picture cards should be printed or uploaded to the student's AAC device in advance of testing. Test questions with optional picture cards are marked in the DFA so TEs know how to prepare for the test administration. These picture cards must be kept secure at all times. There are 12 sets of picture cards, one for each grade level or grade span in each Form (1 and 2). On average, there are 25 cards per grade level or grade span bound together in sets for a TE. Please make sure to have the grade appropriate set of cards for students to be tested in the 2021–22 administration.

Picture cards are available, for download as a PDF within Moodle and in the Test Operations Management System for LEAs to print; or mailed by request on the ELPAC AST Link to external site website. Upon request, picture cards will be shipped at no cost to LEAs until the close of the testing window. The ordering window will be open August 15, 2021, through May 31, 2022. Please allow up to 10 business days for shipping. Note that picture cards from the 2020–21 administration are unchanged thus LEAs can use them for the 2021–22 administration.

LEA ELPAC coordinators must complete the online request process for both the training binder(s) and picture cards and include the address where the material will be sent. This address may be different from the address listed for the LEA and can be a home address. As these are secure materials, an email will notify the LEA ELPAC coordinator when the training binder(s) or picture cards have been shipped. A training binder will not be sent unless SCOE receives a registration record from the LEA ELPAC coordinator confirming an address for shipment.

As in past years, the training binder is available for download as PDFs within Moodle Link to external site.

Training and Information

What training resources are available?

A variety of resources are available to help local educational agencies, schools, and students prepare for the administration of the Alternate ELPAC:

Practice and Training Tests

Practice and training tests are available on the Online Practice and Training Tests web page. The practice tests provide examples of task types that are administered in each grade level or grade span. They also provide a sense of how the 2012 California English Language Development Standards Link to external site are assessed.

Alternate ELPAC Resources web page

The Alternate ELPAC Resources web page contains a variety of resources available for the Alternate ELPAC.

Manuals and Instructions

The Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test Manual Link to external site, TOMS User Guide Link to external site, ELPAC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) web page, and other text resources are posted under the Test Administration drop-down list and Resources drop-down list on the ELPAC website.

Informational Videos

Informational and overview videos for parents/guardians and educators are available on the ELPAC Videos web page.

English Only (EO) Study

If the student is eligible for either the Initial or Summative ELPAC, will the student be able to participate in the EO study?

No, if a student is eligible for either the Initial or Summative ELPAC, then the student will be given a registration for the Initial or Summative ELPAC instead of a registration for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test for EO students.

How do we register the EO students to take the Alternate ELPAC?

Participating EO students will need to be assigned the Alternate ELPAC operational field test in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS). The local educational agency (LEA) ELPAC coordinator must ensure the appropriate demographic information for the EO student is in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) and verify in TOMS to administer the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, based on the student's individualized education program (IEP). It is ultimately the IEP team's decision to determine whether a student is eligible for an alternate assessment. The student's Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Indicator field must state "Yes" and Primary Disability Type must indicate a valid primary disability type for the student to be able to select an alternate assessment in TOMS.

This is particularly important because if CALPADS requirements are not met (Special Education is not equal to Yes and Primary Disability code is null), then the LEA will not be able to select Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test in TOMS. Accurate student information in each system will allow the student to be assigned the Alternate ELPAC operational field test in TOMS. Please refer to the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test Manual Link to external site for information on the EO study and the registration process for EO students.

Verifying the test assignment in TOMS with the Current Active Test Assignments table and Add or Remove Test Assignments section

Does my student have to be assigned an alternate assessment for all assessments?

Yes, if the student is not eligible for alternate assessments, the student will not be given a registration for the Alternate ELPAC. If the student has a current alternate assessment assigned, such as an alternate assessment for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the student will automatically be registered for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test if the student meets other validation criteria.

Note that alternate assessment eligibility is determined by the student's IEP. Based on the IEP, the student must be defined as having an IDEA of "Yes" and a valid primary disability type.

What if my student does not currently have an alternate assessment assignment in TOMS?

The IEP team must first determine the student is eligible for an alternate assessment. The LEA must then make sure the appropriate fields are completed in CALPADS, which will transfer to TOMS; for more information, refer to the "How do we register the EO students to take the Alternate ELPAC?" Link to external site question of the FAQs.

If the student does not have a current alternate assessment assigned in TOMS, the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test option will be made available for selection in the ELPAC [Test Assignments] tab in TOMS. Authorized ELPAC users can use the [Test Assignments] tab to assign the student to the Alternate ELPAC operational field test for EO students. This can only be done once the appropriate paperwork is completed with the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE).

Please note that a student's test assignments cannot be modified once the test window for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test has ended on May 31, 2022.

What is the Alt for All rule, and how does it apply to the EO study?

The cross-program alternate assessment designation rules will be applied for students participating in the EO study. For example, when a user assigns a participating student to the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, the student's CAASPP registrations will be changed from general assessments to alternate assessments. Conversely, if a user unassigns a participating student from the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, the student's CAASPP registrations will be changed from alternate assessments to general assessments.

Can I change the test assignment for my student once testing begins?

As per the existing cross-program alternate designation rules, once a student begins testing for CAASPP, the student's ELPAC registration cannot be changed. For example, once a student begins an alternate assessment in CAASPP, the student's registration for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test cannot be removed.

If an LEA needs to remove a student's Alternate ELPAC operational field test assignment after the student has started a California Alternate Assessment, the LEA needs to call the California Technical Assistance Center to remove the test assignment.

What accessibility resources are available for the EO students?

EO students registered for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test will have the same set of accommodations and designated supports available as the students who are English learners and are registered for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test.

If there are any additional questions regarding the Alternate ELPAC EO study administration or compensation, contact Salina Donek, SCOE Alternate ELPAC operational field test coordinator, by phone at 916-228-3301 or by email at elpac@scoe.net.