Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test Postponement FAQs

Administration of the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

Due to the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Alternate ELPAC operational field test was postponed for the 2020–21 school year. The Alternate ELPAC operational field test is now scheduled to be administered during the 2021–22 school year and the testing window will be available on November 1, 2021, through February 15, 2022. As COVID-19 continues to have impacts in education and beyond, there are still many unknowns for the future. ETS, in collaboration with California Department of Education (CDE) and other stakeholders, continues to plan and prepare for Alternate ELPAC operational field test administration for the 2021–22 school year but it should be understood that details about the test administration are subject to change.

Since the Alternate ELPAC operational field test has been postponed, how will local educational agencies (LEAs) assess English learner (EL) students with the most significant cognitive disabilities for the 2020–21 school year?

As in previous years, LEAs will continue to administer a locally determined alternate assessment for EL students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. All students should be tested following county health guidelines.

What is the deadline to administer a locally determined alternate assessment in place of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

Districts must administer a locally determined alternate assessment during the Summative ELPAC testing window from February 1, 2021, through May 31, 2021.

Can a locally determined alternate assessment be administered remotely? Are there any guidelines?

The CDE does not govern the administration of locally determined alternate assessments. This is a local decision. The CDE recommends administering all alternate assessments in person.

Will form assignments change for the 2021–22 Alternate ELPAC operational field test administration?

Form assignments will be reevaluated and may change for next year. Assignments will be posted on the Alternate ELPAC web page in August 2021. Be sure that preparation for each individual student is reconsidered once form assignments have been posted for the next administration as form assignments are subject to change.

Registration of Students in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS)

Has the registration process changed due to the postponement of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

Students who have already been registered for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test have been automatically reassigned to the locally determined alternate assessment in TOMS.

For students who are eligible and who were not assigned to an alternate assessment by the local educational agency (LEA), the following steps should be taken:

  • LEAs can assign an individual student to the locally determined alternate assessment from the Test Assignment screen or assign multiple students using Test Assignment upload in TOMS.
  • Students who were assigned to take the California Alternate Assessments by the LEA CAASPP coordinator are automatically assigned to the locally determined alternate assessment if they meet the eligibility criteria, such as being an English learner.
  • Locally determined alternate assessment assignments apply to all four domains. LEAs are required to administer an alternate form of assessment for all four domains.

Current Test Assignments screen in TOMS with Locally Determined Alternate Assignment program assigned

Will my student receive a Student Score Report (SSR) for the 2020–21 administration year?

Students assigned to a locally determined alternate assessment will receive a Lowest Obtainable Scale Score (LOSS) with a Performance Level of "1" on their Student Score Report (SSR). Reporting will continue to be the same as in previous years where students who are assigned a locally determined alternate assessment will be treated as tested with scores and contribute to the LEA's participation goals.

SSR production and student data file reporting for students are scheduled to begin at the end of April 2021. SSRs shall be reported weekly to the LEAs thereafter.

An SSR for a student taking a locally determined alternate assessment will be reported with alternate assessment caution text. Student scores will also be made available in the California Educator Reporting System (CERS) at approximately end of April 2021.

Can my student take the general ELPAC and the California Alternate Assessments?

No. If the IEP team determines the English learner student would benefit from an alternate assessment, then the student must take all California state alternate assessments, including the locally determined alternate English language proficiency (ELP) assessment as well as the California Alternate Assessments appropriate for the student's grade level.

Administration and Scoring Training (AST)

Should we continue to train and certify test examiners in preparation for the 2021–22 administration?

Yes. The Alternate ELPAC AST Moodle Training Site is open and will remain open for training and certification through the entirety of the new field test window. If local educational agencies (LEAs) have not yet completed the LEA certification course, this spring and summer should be used to prepare for the upcoming operational field test and train staff members on test administration.

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 test examiner 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.

If there are any changes to the Alternate ELPAC operational field test administration, additional training may be needed, and LEAs will be notified.

Can LEAs still order training binders?

Yes. The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) will continue to ship, at no cost, as many training binders as LEAs require to train test examiners this spring and summer. LEAs may submit a request to receive training binders at the ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training external icon registration web page. To place a request, LEAs will need a logon with the LEA's access code.

What if my LEA ordered picture cards?

If an LEA received picture cards, securely store the picture cards until it is once again time for the operational field test.

If an LEA ordered picture cards and did not receive them, the order has been cancelled. SCOE has stopped shipping picture cards due to the postponement of operational field test.

For more information on picture cards, please contact SCOE at elpac@scoe.net.

When can LEAs order picture cards for the 2021–22 administration?

LEAs will be notified when the order form has reopened in August 2021 and may submit a new order at that time. Please note that form assignments will be reevaluated and may change for next year, which could potentially change the picture cards that LEAs need to order.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Are local educational agencies required to attach an addendum to IEPs to designate a locally determined alternate assessment in place of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test?

An addendum to the IEP is not necessary to administer a locally determined alternate assessment in place of the Alternate ELPAC.

English Only (EO) Study

Since the operational field test is postponed, will the Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test EO Students Special Study also be postponed?

Yes. The EO study will be postponed to the 2021–22 school year. It is hoped that local educational agencies (LEAs) are still willing to test one or more EO students at that time. More information regarding this important study will be provided in the upcoming months.

For more information on the EO study, please contact the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) at elpac@scoe.net.

Can an LEA still volunteer to participate in the EO study for the 2021–22 administration?

Yes. LEAs will be able to sign up for the EO study at any time of the year. Please be sure to consider students in the LEA who will be eligible for the EO study during the 2021–22 school year.

LEAs that are interested in participating in the EO study, may contact SCOE at elpac@scoe.net.