Alternate ELPAC

Background

The California Department of Education and Educational Testing Service are in the early stages of development for the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (Alternate ELPAC) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

The Alternate ELPAC is aligned to the English language development connectors and linked to the 2012 California English Language Development Standards (ELD) through the ELD Connectors. The Alternate ELPAC balances maximum accessibility while maintaining the intended construct(s) to be assessed as defined by the 2012 ELD Standards though reduced in depth, breadth and complexity.

The Alternate ELPAC replaces all locally determined alternate 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:

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

In May 2019, the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved the Alternate ELPAC high-level test design. The Initial Alternate ELPAC will be operational July 1, 2021, and the Summative Alternate ELPAC will be operational February 1, 2022.

Alternate ELPAC Development Timeline

The development timeline leading up to the first operational Summative Alternate ELPAC for upcoming school years is as follows:

2019–2020 School Year

  • Pilot Test and Cognitive Labs: January 14 through January 31, 2019
  • Proposed Test Blueprints to the State Board of Education for Approval: May 2020

2020–2021 School Year

  • Statewide Operational Summative and Initial Field Test: January 12, 2021 through February 16, 2021
  • All LEAs will be required to participate since it is a census Field test.
  • Alternate ELPAC will not assess potential English Learners until 2021-2022 administration year. LEAs must use a locally determined alternate English Language Proficiency assessment or the Initial ELPAC to assess potential English Learners.

2021–2022 School Year

  • First Operational Initial Alternate ELPAC Administration: July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022
  • First Operational Summative Alternate ELPAC Administration: February 1, 2022 to May 31, 2022

High-Level Test Design

The Alternate ELPAC High-Level Test Design external icon was approved and adopted by the State Board of Education on May 8, 2019. The Alternate ELPAC is aligned with California English Language Development Connectors for the Alternate ELPAC (ELD Connectors) which is based on California’s 2012 English Language Development Standards external icon.

Alternate ELPAC Blueprints

The Alternate ELPAC Blueprints 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 High-Level Test Design for the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California external icon web document. Additional Alternate ELPAC resources and materials are also available on the CDE website. Individualized Education Program (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 LevelDescriptor
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.