Alternate ELPAC

Postponement

The new Alternate ELPAC testing window will be open from November 1, 2021, through February 15, 2022. This window was determined after consulting with our Technical Design Advisory Team, members of our Technical Advisory Group, and local educational agencies (LEAs) with the largest numbers of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Additional considerations provided by the LEAs included but were not limited to

  • allowing more time for teachers to become familiar with their students, as well as their individual needs; and
  • allowing LEAs to have more time to train and administer assessments during the testing window, which will benefit students and test examiners.

For the 2020–21 school year, LEAs will continue to administer their locally determined alternate assessments, while following state, county, and local health requirements. The testing window for these locally determined alternate assessments will be from February 1, 2021, through May 31, 2021. If students were already assigned to the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, LEAs will not need to reassign them to the locally determined alternate assessment, as the system will automatically reassign those students. LEAs will still need to register any eligible students for the locally determined alternate assessments who had not yet been registered for the operational field test. The process for registering students for the locally determined alternate assessment is the same as it was for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, but instead of selecting the operational field test assignment, LEAs will need to select the option for the locally determined alternate assessment. For more information regarding the postponement of the Alternate ELPAC operational field test, please refer to the Alternate ELPAC Frequently Asked Questions web page which will be updated by the end of January.

Background

The California Department of Education and Educational Testing Service are currently developing 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 2012 California English Language Development Standards (2012 ELD Standards) through the English Language Development Connectors (ELD Connectors). For each of the 2012 ELD Standards at each grade or grade span assessed on the ELPAC, the ELD Connectors provide an aligned expectation of student ELP that has been reduced in depth, breadth, and complexity in order to be appropriate for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The ELD Connectors can be found in Appendix A of the Alternate ELPAC Blueprints external icon.

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

This assessment is intended only for students who have a significant cognitive disability and whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) team has decided that the student should take alternate assessments, in addition to being identified as an EL or potential EL. The Alternate ELPAC operational field test is a census field test, meaning all students who would be eligible to take the Summative Alternate ELPAC are required to participate in the administration.

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. Following the Alternate ELPAC operational Field Test, there will be an Initial Alternate ELPAC and Summative Alternate ELPAC.

Alternate ELPAC Forms Assignment

Form assignments for the Alternate ELPAC operational field test administration will be available August 2021 on the Alternate ELPAC Forms Assignments web page. Use the lookup tool to search for an LEA; the search returns the form number to which the LEA has been assigned. In some cases, large LEAs will be assigned to multiple forms; these will be displayed accordingly.

Alternate ELPAC 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 secondary test examiner (TE) will be present at the time of testing to score each student's responses to rubric scored items. LEAs will be chosen to participate annually, on a rotating basis.

The Alternate ELPAC Second Scoring Assignment List will be available in August 2021 to find out if your LEA/school has been selected to participate in second scoring for the 2021–22 school year.

Alternate ELPAC Resources

LEAs can access the Alternate ELPAC Resources webpage for newly created resources for the Alternate ELPAC, such as videos, checklists, flyers, etc.

Alternate ELPAC Development Timeline

The development timeline leading up to the operational field test for upcoming school years is as follows

2020–21 School Year

  • Statewide Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test: Postponed to the 2021–22 school year
  • The Alternate ELPAC Administration and Scoring Training (AST) in Moodle available for LEAs and test examiners to complete training and certification for the 2021–22 operational field test

2021–22 School Year

  • Statewide Alternate ELPAC Operational Field Test: November 1, 2021, through February 15, 2022
  • All LEAs will be required to participate since it is a census field test
  • The Alternate ELPAC will not assess potential English learners until after the operational field test. LEAs must use a locally determined alternate English language proficiency assessment or the Initial ELPAC to assess potential English learners.

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 7, 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 and task type definitions 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 Level Descriptor
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.