The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California and Alternate ELPAC Communications Toolkit

As part of California’s ongoing mission to equip all students with 21st century skills, the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) will be transitioning into a computer-based assessment. The new computer-based ELPAC, which will be administered to students in kindergarten through grade twelve, will allow for more dynamic item types, foster educators’ use of technology in the classroom throughout the year, provide students with access to new technology with enhanced accessibility resources, and allow for a faster delivery of test scores. Like the assessments that comprise the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the ELPAC will be administered online. Students in grades three through twelve will receive all ELPAC domains online. Students in kindergarten through grade two will receive the Writing domain as a paper-pencil test and all other ELPAC domains online.

California is also developing a new assessment, the Alternate ELPAC, which will provide a consistent, standardized measure of English language proficiency students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. For the first time, California will have a statewide assessment of English proficiency for students eligible to take an alternate assessment. The new Alternate ELPAC will be aligned to Connectors adapted from the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. The Connectors offer a reduction in the depth, breadth, and complexity of the standards, as appropriate for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Like the ELPAC, the test will be computer-based and consist of an Initial Assessment and a Summative Assessment.

To help local educational agencies (LEAs) transition from the paper-pencil to the computer-based ELPAC and to help introduce the new Alternate ELPAC, California is providing a communications toolkit. This toolkit can be used by LEAs in their outreach efforts to parents and guardians. The toolkit contains the following components:

  • Key Messages—An overview of the benefits of transitioning to the computer-based ELPAC and an introduction to the Alternate ELPAC. This document is intended to aid LEAs with their outreach materials and to help maintain consistent messaging about the computer-based ELPAC and Alternate ELPAC.
  • Frequently Asked Questions—A document LEAs can use to help address parent/guardian questions about the transition to the computer-based ELPAC and Alternate ELPAC.
  • Timeline—A high-level overview of the transition to the computer-based ELPAC and the rollout of the Alternate ELPAC:
    • Computer-based ELPAC Timeline
      • April 2019—Usability pilot
      • October 2019—Field test, accessibility pilot, and cognitive labs for English learners with disabilities
      • February 2020—Summative ELPAC goes operational
      • July 2020—Initial ELPAC goes operational
    • Alternate ELPAC Timeline
      • January 2020 (Pilot test and cognitive labs)
      • 2021–22 (Statewide operational field test)
  • Resources for Parents and Guardians—A list of available resources for LEAs and parents/guardians regarding the ELPAC.