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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
September 14, 2018

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

Interim Reclassification Guidance for 2018–19

On January 2, 2018, the California Department of Education (CDE) provided guidance regarding reclassification options during the transition from the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) to the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). As set forth in this letter, the CDE continues to provide the same interim reclassification guidance for the 2018–19 school year.

Interim Guidance for the English Language Proficiency Assessment Criterion

Local educational agencies (LEAs) may elect to use Summative ELPAC results to determine whether a student has met the English language proficiency (ELP) assessment criterion, as part of the existing reclassification criteria listed below. The State Board of Education (SBE)-approved preliminary overall threshold scores for the Summative ELPAC are available on the CDE SBE Agenda for November 2017 web page at

Because the threshold scores at this time are preliminary, LEAs may locally determine their own ELPAC threshold scores for reclassification purposed, in combination with the general performance level descriptors provided on the CDE Summative ELPAC General Performance Level Descriptors web page at, It is anticipated that the final threshold scores will be presented to the SBE in November 2018, followed by proposed reclassification criteria in January 2019. After approval of these actions, an updated guidance letter will be provided to LEAs.

Existing Reclassification Criteria

The reclassification criteria set forth in California Education Code Section 313, and further detailed in Title 5 California Code of Regulations (5 CCR) section 11303, remains unchanged. Therefore, LEAs should continue using the following four criteria to establish local reclassification policies and procedures:

  1. Assessment of ELP, using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the state test of 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 based on the performance of English proficient students of the same age.

Pursuant to California Code of Regulations, 5 CCR, 11308 (c)(6) (Advisory Committees), any local reclassification procedures must be reviewed by the school district advisory committee on programs and services for English learners (ELs).

Use of Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment Results for Reclassification

In spring 2015, LEAs administered the first operational Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. The CDE continues to provide the following guidance for LEAs choosing to use those results as a local measure of the fourth criterion:

  • For all grade levels, LEAs can identify local assessments to be used to determine whether English learners are meeting academic measures and are ready to be reclassified.
  • For grade levels 3–8, and 11, LEAs also have the option of using Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment results to determine whether ELs are meeting academic measures and are ready to be reclassified.

If you have reclassification policy questions, please contact the Language Policy and Leadership Office by phone at 916-319-0845. For reclassification information, please visit the CDE Reclassification web page at

For questions related to the assessment of ELs, please contact the English Language Proficiency and Spanish Assessments Office, by phone at 916-319-0784 or by email



Thomas Adams, Ph.D., Deputy Superintendent
Teaching and Learning Support Branch


Keric Ashley, Deputy Superintendent
Performance, Planning, and Technology Branch

TA/KA: sc

cc: Regional Assessment Network
Title III Directors
Title III Regional County Office of Education English Learner Specialists
Bilingual Coordinators Network
LEA ELPAC Coordinators

Last Reviewed: Monday, May 06, 2024

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