English Language Proficiency Assessments for California
“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
- See explanations of sample Student Score Reports
"Starting Smarter" for the ELPAC can be found in English and in Spanish at Starting Smarter ELPAC's website.
You Can Access CAASPP and Initial/Summative ELPAC Student Score Reports Electronically!
Each year all students who are English Learners are assessed annually on their English Language Proficiency through the English Learner Proficiency Assessment in California (ELPAC). The California Department of Education has developed an electronic process for each school district to share student scores for ELPAC. All State Assessment Student Score Reports are available electronically through the Parent Portal of our Student Information System, 'Q'. Please note that due to the Shelter in Place Order and global pandemic the 2020 ELPAC and 2020-21 CAASPPs were not administered. In the spring of 2021, the MAP Growth local assessment was used in lieu of the 2021 CAASPP. Consequently, there are no reports for ELPAC/CAASPP for these years in ‘Q’.
Currently, all Student Score Reports for the previous three years of ELPAC are available in the parent portal of our Student Information System, Aequitas Solutions, better known as "Q". All parents and guardians can access these reports by logging in to the Parent Portal and clicking on the Testing tab (on the left hand side of the dashboard), then scrolling down to "CA Electronic Score Reports" to view downloadable PDFs of the ELPAC and CAASPP score reports. It is recommended to access the parent portal with a desktop, laptop or tablet for optimal viewing.
Parents and guardians can access these reports by logging into the Parent Portal and clicking on the Testing tab, as illustrated in these links:
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 who have a primary language other than English in their household. 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 test is also administered to students in the first year of a two-year kindergarten program, otherwise known as "Transitional Kindergarten" (TK).
The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards, and consists of four domain areas: Speaking, Listening, 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. There are two versions of the ELPAC which are administered at different times in a student's academic career:
- The "Initial ELPAC" is given only once at the beginning of a student's tenure in the California school system in order to identify students who may need additional support in learning English. The Initial ELPAC is a computer-administered test administered in six grade spans: TK/K, 1, 2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. In TK through grade 2, all domains are administered individually by a trained test examiner, except that the grade 2 Writing Domain can be administered in small groups. In grades 3-12, the test can be administered in groups except for the Speaking Domain, which is assessed one-on-one at all age levels. For grades TK-2, the writing portion of the test is completed in a paper and pencil format. The results of the Initial ELPAC identify a student either as "Initially Fluent English Proficient (IFEP), in which case the student will not be considered to be an English Learner in CA public schools, or as an English Learner at either the "Novice" or Intermediate" levels.
- 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 on the Initial ELPAC. These students will take the assessment every year until they are reclassified as "Fluent English Proficient (RFEP)". The Summative ELPAC is a computer-administered test administered in seven grade spans: TK/K, 1, 2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12. In TK through Grade 2, all domains are administered individually except that the grade 2 Writing domain can be administered in small groups. In grades 3-12, the test can be administered in groups exclusive of the Speaking domain, which is always one-on-one. For grades TK through 2, the writing domain is completed in a paper and pencil format.
Parent Information Resources
View 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.
The ELPAC Parent Guide to Understanding is published in English and also in the following translations:
- Arabic: English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)
- Chinese (simplified): English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)
- Chinese (traditional): English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)
- Pilipino (Tagalog): English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)
- Russian: English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)
- Spanish: English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)
- Vietnamese: English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)
- What is the purpose of the ELPAC?
- Can parents/guardians opt their child out of the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)?
- Which students are required to take the ELPAC?
- Do we test students in year one of a two year kindergarten program (frequently referred to as "transitional kindergarten")?
- 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?
- Are there guidelines for individualized education program (IEP) teams to determine the necessary accommodations for students with disabilities?
- Is there an alternate assessment that is recommended by the state?
The Starting Smarter websites help parents understand student scores and reports, view sample test questions, and provide additional free resources to support your child’s learning.
- Understanding the Summative ELPAC Score Report: English
- Understanding the Summative ELPAC Score Report: Spanish
This video will walk viewers through how to understand a student’s Summative ELPAC Score Report. The video walks the viewer through the score report of a sample student describing the meaning of the information contained in each section.