Assessment and Accountability » English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

NEW!! “Starting Smarter” Family Website for the ELPAC


To help empower parents/guardians and families to become partners in their children’s academic success, the California Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have created the “Starting Smarter” family website for the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).


Using this website, families can become involved in their child’s progress and:

  • Learn more about the performance areas in each subject and grade.
  • See sample test questions.
  • Prepare for parent-teacher conferences with a useful downloadable

guide.

  • Access high-quality resources to support learning at home.

"Starting Smarter" for the ELPAC can be found in English and in Spanish at https://elpac.startingsmarter.org/.


In fall 2019, the Starting Smarter website will be updated to include Student Score Reports.

New for 2019:  You Can Now Access CAASPP and ELPAC Student Score Reports Electronically!
The California Department of Education has developed a new way to share student scores for CAASPP and ELPAC in 2019. All State Assessment Student Score Reports will be available electronically through the Parent Portal of Q instead of through the mail.

Parents and guardians can access these reports by logging into the Parent Portal and clicking on the Testing tab. Learn more! 

 

English Learner Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

What is the ELPAC?
The ELPAC, or English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, is the state’s required English language proficiency test for students whose primary language is other than English. The ELPAC helps to identify students who need help in learning English, so they can get the language support they need to do well in school and access the full curriculum.  

State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of English Language Proficiency (ELP) to eligible students in kindergarten through grade twelve.
 
The California Department of Education (CDE) transitioned from the CELDT to the ELPAC as the state ELP assessment in 2018. The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. It is comprised of two separate ELP assessments:
 
  • The "Initial ELPAC" is given only once at the beginning of a student's tenure in the Calfornia school system in order to identify students who need additional help in learning English. The Initial ELPAC is a paper-pencil test administered in six grade spans:  K, 1, 2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. In kindergarten and grade 1, all domains are administered individually by a trained test examiner.  In grades 2–12, the test can be administered in groups except for the speaking domain, which is assessed one-on-one. 
  • The "Summative ELPAC" is administered annually (between Feb. 1 and May 31) to measure a student’s progress in learning English and to identify the student's current level of ELP. The Summative ELPAC is given only to students who have been identified previously as English Learners.  These students will take the assessment every year until they are reclassified as "Fluent English Proficient".  The Summative ELPAC is a paper-pencil test administered in seven grade spans:  K, 1, 2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–10, and 11–12. In kindergarten and grade1, all domains are administered individually. In grades 2–12, the test can be administered in groups exclusive of the speaking domain, which is assessed one-on-one.

 

On both versions of the ELPAC, all grades/grade spans have test questions in four different domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Students obtain scores in each of these domains, plus overall performance scores in Oral Language and Written Language, and an Overall Performance Score.  

Click here for ELPAC Resources for Parents including a video introduction to the initial ELPAC in English and Spanish, links to parent guides for initial and summative ELPAC, practice tests, and information about understanding initial and summative ELPAC student score reports.

Click on these links for additional information and  resources:

ELPAC Practice Tests

Initial ELPAC Fact Sheet

Summative ELPAC Fact Sheet

Understanding Your Child's Student Score Report, Initial ELPAC (PDF)
Entendiendo el informe de puntaje estudiantil de su hijo, ELPAC Inicial (PDF) 
Other translations of the Understanding Your Child's Student Score Report, Initial ELPAC

Guide to Understanding the Summative ELPAC Student Score Report External link opens in new window or tab.

Summative ELPAC Student Score Report Video: English External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 6:58) (Posted 7/23/18)

Como interpreter el reporte de puntuaciones de su estudiante del ELPAC: Spanish External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 8:42) (Posted 7/23/18)

2018-2019 ELPAC Information Guide  

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) About the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC):

What is the purpose of the ELPAC?

State law (California Education Code sections 313 and 60810) and federal laws (Titles I and III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [ESEA]) require that local educational agencies (LEAs) administer a state test of English language proficiency 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 (SA). For California’s public school students, this test is the ELPAC.

The ELPAC is used to assess and monitor EL students’ progress toward English language proficiency. EL students continue to take the ELPAC SA annually until they meet their LEA’s reclassification criteria.

Can parents/guardians opt their child out of the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)?
No. Parents/Guardians cannot opt their child out of the ELPAC. State and federal law (California Education Code sections 313 and 60810 and federal law Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act) require that all students whose primary language is other than English be assessed for English language proficiency. The legal basis for requiring English language proficiency testing is that all students have the right to an equal and appropriate education, and any English language limitations (left unidentified and/or unaddressed) could preclude a student from accessing that right.
Which students are required to take the ELPAC?

Students with a primary language other than English, as determined by a home language survey, who have not taken the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) or ELPAC before and who have not been previously classified as an EL, must take the ELPAC Initial Assessment (IA).

Students designated as ELs via the CELDT or ELPAC IA are required to take the ELPAC SA annually until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient.

Do we test students in year one of a two year kindergarten program (frequently referred to as "transitional kindergarten")?
Yes. Students in year one of a two year kindergarten program will take the kindergarten test. All students enrolled in the LEA in year one of a two year kindergarten program, whose primary language is other than English, as determined by a home language survey, must be administered the ELPAC within 30 calendar days of enrollment or 60 calendar days prior to instruction, but not before July 1.
If a student enters CA partway through the school year,  takes the ELPAC IA (initial exam) and is classified as an EL during the ELPAC Summative Assessment (SA) administration window, will the student be required to take the ELPAC SA as well?
Yes, if a student takes the ELPAC IA and is classified as an EL prior to May 31, 2018, the student will be required to take the ELPAC SA as well during that testing window.
Will the Summative ELPAC Student Score Report (SSR) be translated into various languages?
For the 2017–18 administration, the SSR for the Summative ELPAC will be available in English only. However, the Understanding Your Student Score Report guides will be available in English, Spanish, Mandarin (Putonghua), and Vietnamese. These guides will be posted electronically on the ELPAC web site on the Score Reporting web page under the [Test Administration] tab. Beginning with the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC administration, the SSRs will be translated into Spanish.
Are there guidelines for individualized education program (IEP) teams to determine the necessary accommodations for students with disabilities?

Test Resources

Students may need testing resources in order to complete one or more domains of the ELPAC, such as universal tools, designated supports, accommodation(s), or an alternate assessment. IEP teams and Test Examiners who are accessing resources for test administration should refer to Matrix Four: Universal Tools, Designated Supports, and Accommodations for the ELPAC external icon , which is found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Assessment Information external icon web page.  There is a Braille version of the ELPAC.  

Accommodations

Accommodations or alternate assessments should be noted in a student’s IEP or Section 504 plan.
Is there an alternate assessment that is recommended by the state?

IEP teams may determine that a student is unable to participate in one or more domains of the ELPAC, even with accommodations, due to short- or long-term disabilities. In this instance, the IEP team may determine that the student should be tested with an alternate assessment. Students who take an alternate assessment will receive the Lowest Obtainable Scale Score (LOSS) for each ELPAC domain marked as an alternate assessment.  If a student takes an alternate assessment for all domains, the Overall Scale Score will also be the LOSS.  The student score report will indicate that the student received an alternate assessment.