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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
June 13, 2023

Dear County Superintendents, District Superintendents, and Direct-funded Charter School Administrators:

Guidance for Reclassification with the Summative Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California for 2022–23

The California Department of Education (CDE) developed the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (Alternate ELPAC) to provide a consistent, standardized measurement of English language proficiency (ELP) across the state for English learner (EL) students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The Summative Alternate ELPAC became operational on November 1, 2021, and the State Board of Education (SBE) approved the Summative Alternate ELPAC threshold scores in May 2022.

The Summative Alternate ELPAC replaces all locally determined alternate ELP assessments for eligible EL students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. Eligibility for the Alternate ELPAC is determined by the student’s individualized education program (IEP) team. Guidelines for IEP teams regarding participation in the Alternate ELPAC are available on the CDE Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance web page at

Existing Reclassification Criteria

The reclassification criteria set forth in California Education Code (EC) Section 313 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 ELP using an objective assessment instrument developed pursuant to EC Section 60810, which, in California, is the Summative ELPAC and Summative Alternate ELPAC;
  2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the student’s curriculum mastery;
  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.

Guidance for Summative Alternative ELPAC Criterion

In May 2023, the SBE approved the use of Summative Alternate ELPAC Overall Performance Level (PL) of Fluent English Proficient, or PL 3, as the statewide standardized ELP criterion for reclassification beginning with the 2022–23 Summative Alternate ELPAC administration for kindergarten through grade twelve. Thus, for EL students who are administered the Summative Alternate ELPAC, LEAs shall use Overall PL 3 to satisfy reclassification Criterion 1.

LEAs determine local processes and measures used to meet Criterion 2 through 4. Pursuant to 5 CCR, Section 11308 (c)(6), these local reclassification procedures are one of the topics for review and comment by the school district’s advisory committee on programs and services for EL students, where applicable.

For reclassification information and frequently asked questions, please contact the Language Policy and Leadership Office by email at, or visit the CDE Reclassification web page at

For questions related to ELP assessment, please contact the English Language Proficiency and Spanish Assessments Office by email at



Sarah Neville-Morgan
Deputy Superintendent, Opportunities for All Branch


Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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