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Reclassification FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Reclassification.
  • Did the law describing reclassification procedures change? What should districts use for reclassification criteria?

    No, the law did not change. The reclassification criteria set forth in California Education Code (EC) Section 313 External link opens in new window or tab. and Title 5 California Code of Regulations (5 CCR) section 11303, remain unchanged. Local educational agencies (LEAs) should continue using the following four criteria to establish reclassification policies and procedures:

    1. Assessment of English language proficiency (ELP), using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the state test of English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC); and
    2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the student’s curriculum mastery; and
    3. Parent opinion and consultation; and
    4. Comparison of student performance in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills of English proficient students of the same age.
  • If the law did not change, what did the state board approve on January 9, 2019?

    The State Board of Education (SBE) approved the use of ELPAC Overall Performance Level (PL) 4 as the statewide standardized ELP criterion for reclassification beginning with the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC administration for grades K–12 (see Criterion 1 in FAQ A above). The transition from the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) to the ELPAC made it necessary to determine ELPAC threshold scores. This criterion is now standardized and will no longer be locally determined.

  • Do the three other remaining reclassification criteria continue to be locally determined?

    Yes. The SBE did not adopt a new policy for Criteria 2, 3, or 4 (see Criteria 1–4 in FAQ A above), so they continue to be locally determined. For further information, please see the Updated Reclassification Guidance for 2018–19 on the California Department of Education (CDE) Reclassification web page at and page 22 of the 2018–19 ELPAC Information Guide (PDF).

  • Can we still use local criteria to determine whether a student has met the ELP criterion (Criterion 1)? When do LEAs statewide begin to use ELPAC Overall PL 4 to determine whether a student has met the ELP assessment criterion for reclassification?

    No. The local criteria are no longer applicable beginning with the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC administration for grades K–12. If a student was administered the Summative ELPAC during the 2018–19 administration, a student must attain a score of Overall PL 4 in order for the LEA to determine whether that student has met the ELP assessment criterion (see Criterion 1 in FAQ A above). All other criteria remain locally determined (see Criteria 2–4 in FAQ A above). LEAs statewide will begin to use ELPAC Overall PL 4 when the ELPAC Summative assessment window begins. The ELPAC Summative assessment window is February 1 through May 31.

  • If a student is being considered for reclassification based on the results of the 2017–18 administration of the Summative ELPAC, but the process is not yet complete, can our district complete the reclassification process using the locally determined ELP criterion prior to the administration of the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC?

    Yes. If a student met the locally determined ELP criterion based on Summative ELPAC scores from the 2017–18 administration, then the locally determined criterion can be used for the reclassification process. If a student will be taking the Summative ELPAC during the 2018–19 administration, then the locally determined criterion cannot be used for the reclassification process.

  • Which Summative ELPAC threshold scores should LEAs use?

    Beginning with the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC administration, LEAs will use the Summative ELPAC 2018–19 Scale Score Ranges (PDF) approved by the SBE in November 2018. These are available on the CDE ELPAC web page, to determine level designation for English Language proficiency. Although the new policy takes effect with the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC administration, the California Department of Education recognizes that LEAs may need time to transition.

  • How are those threshold scores different from the preliminary scores released previously?

    The Summative ELPAC 2018–19 Scale Score Ranges are identified for each grade level for (K–8) and by grade span for grades 9–10 and 11–12.

  • Do all of the reclassification criteria apply to all grades K–12? Do they apply to students with exceptional needs?

    Yes, the reclassification criteria apply to all English learners in grades K–12, including K–2 and students with exceptional needs. For further information, please see page 24 of the 2018–19 ELPAC Information Guide (PDF).

  • My district reclassified students using a local measure for the ELP assessment criterion before January 18, 2019. Are those reclassifications still valid?

    Yes. This policy change is not retroactive. The statewide ELP criterion is effective for the Summative ELPAC results beginning with the 2018–19 Summative ELPAC administration for grades K–12. The 2018–19 Summative ELPAC assessment window is February 1 through May 31.

  • Does a student have to score an Overall PL 4 to be considered for reclassification?

    Yes. If a student will be taking the Summative ELPAC during the 2018–19 administration, then that student must score an Overall PL 4. The SBE approved the use of the ELPAC Overall PL 4 as the statewide standardized ELP criterion (see Criterion 1 in FAQ A above) for reclassification on January 9, 2019.

  • If listening, speaking, reading, or writing domain scores are less than four but still average an Overall PL 4, can those students still be reclassified?

    Yes, those students can still be reclassified. Only ELPAC Overall PL 4 was approved as the statewide standardized ELP criterion. Thresholds for the individual domains were not presented or approved.

  • Can LEAs still use local measures for Criterion 4, comparison of student performance in basic skills?

    Yes. At this time, Criterion 4 (see Criterion 4 in FAQ A above) is still locally determined. For further information, please see the Updated Reclassification Guidance for 2018–19 on the CDE Reclassification web page.

  • Are LEAs required to present the district reclassification policy to the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC)?

    Yes, LEAs are required to present the reclassification policy to the DELAC in order to solicit advice on reclassification procedures. The DELAC shall review and comment on the school district reclassification procedures, pursuant to 5 CCR, 11308 (c)(6) (Advisory Committees). For further information, please visit the CDE DELAC web page.

Questions:   Language Policy and Leadership Office | 916-319-0845
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 18, 2019
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