Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
June 14, 2021

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

Guidance for Reclassification: 2020–21 Testing Window Extension

This letter provides guidance on reclassification specific to the testing schedule of the Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). The adjusted testing schedule was the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior guidance was issued by the California Department of Education (CDE), in a letter to the field dated July 1, 2020, regarding Criteria 1 and 4 as well as the suspension of the California summative assessments for English language proficiency (ELP).

In 2019, the CDE provided guidance on the Summative ELPAC threshold scores and the policy decision of the State Board of Education (SBE) to standardize the ELPAC criterion used to make decisions about reclassifying English learner (EL) students as ELPAC Overall Performance Level (PL) 4.

Existing Reclassification Criteria

The reclassification criteria set forth in both California Education Code Section 313 and Title 5 California Code of Regulations Section 11303 remain unchanged. Local educational agencies (LEAs) should continue to establish reclassification policies and procedures in accordance with the following four criteria:

  1. Assessment of ELP (ELPAC Overall PL 4 is the statewide standardized ELP criterion used to determine whether a student has met this criterion);
  2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the student’s curriculum mastery (locally determined);
  3. Parent opinion and consultation (locally determined); 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 (locally determined).

Extension of the ELPAC Testing Window

On March 17, 2021, the SBE approved an extension of the testing administration window through July 30, 2021, for both the ELPAC and the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. Please note the following information about the 2020–21 ELPAC testing windows:

  • No action is needed by LEAs to extend the 2020–21 Summative ELPAC testing window. The Summative ELPAC testing window will be available for all LEAs through July 30, 2021.
  • For the 2020–21 Initial ELPAC administration, all responses and scores must be entered into the Teacher Hand Scoring System and Data Entry Interface by June 30, 2021. Failure to do so will result in students not receiving a student score report and having to retake the Initial ELPAC the following year.
  • The Initial ELPAC will not be available from July 1 through July 5, 2021, in order to allow for the transition of the test delivery system to the new school year.
  • The paper-pencil Initial ELPAC will be available only for students with individualized education programs or plans specifying the accommodation.

Reclassification can happen at any time during the academic year. In order to be included in the 2020–21 Re-designated Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) Count, reclassification prior to June 30, 2021, is recommended. In 2020–21, the official RFEP count transitioned from a count of students who were reclassified from Census Day to Census Day, to a count of students reclassified during the school year, from July 1 to June 30. This will align the RFEP count with the timeframe used for the English Learner Progress Indicator (ELPI) on the California School Dashboard.

RFEP counts are determined as follows:

  • For the 2019–20 year, students with RFEP start dates from October 2, 2019 through October 7, 2020 are counted (as certified on the 2020–21 Fall 1 Submission)
  • For the 2020–21 year, students with RFEP start dates from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 are counted (as certified on a report available in the spring of 2021)

Questions regarding ELPAC administration testing windows should be directed to the California Technical Assistance Center by phone at 800-955-2954 or by email at

For ELPAC questions, please contact the English Language Proficiency and Spanish Assessments Office by email at

For questions about the reclassification process, please contact the Language Policy and Leadership Office at 916-319-0845.

More information is also available on the CDE Reclassification web page at and the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Update Flash #189 at



Sarah Neville-Morgan, Deputy Superintendent
Opportunities for All Branch


Regional Assessment Network
Title III Directors
Title III Regional EL Specialists
Bilingual Coordinators Network
LEA ELPAC Coordinators

Last Reviewed: Thursday, December 28, 2023

Recently Posted in English Learners