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Alternate ELPAC

California’s statewide alternate assessment for English language proficiency (ELP) for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Program Overview

The California Department of Education (CDE) is developing the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, or Alternate ELPAC. The purpose of the Alternate ELPAC is twofold: the Initial Alternate ELPAC will provide information to determine a student’s initial classification as an English learner (EL) or as initial fluent English proficient (IFEP) and the Summative Alternate ELPAC will provide information on student annual progress toward ELP and support decisions for students to be redesignated fluent English proficient (RFEP).

The Alternate ELPAC will be aligned to the English language development connectors and are linked to the 2012 California English Language Development Standards.

The Alternate ELPAC will replace all locally determined alternate assessments and provide a consistent, standardized measurement of ELP across the state for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

The following table provides a high-level development timeline for the Alternate ELPAC:

Year Development Activity
May 2019 State Board of Education (SBE) approved the high-level test design
January 2020 Pilot test and cognitive labs
May 2020 Proposed test blueprints to the SBE
January – March 2021 Statewide operational field test
July 2021 Operational Initial Alternate ELPAC
February 2022 Operational Summative Alternate ELPAC

Refer to the following table for suggestions on what your local educational agency (LEA) can do to prepare for the transition to the statewide Alternate ELPAC, by school year:

School Year What To Do
2019–20
  • Use locally determined alternate ELP assessments for initial and summative purposes.
  • Have individualized education program (IEP) teams plan for ELs with the most significant cognitive disabilities to take the Alternate ELPAC statewide field test in 2020–21.
2020–21
  • Have IEP teams identify ELs with the most significant cognitive disabilities to take the Alternate ELPAC statewide field test.
  • No longer use locally determined alternate ELP assessments for initial and summative purposes.
2021–22
  • Use the operational Alternate ELPAC for initial and summative purposes.

Resources and Communication Material

Alternate Assessment IEP Team Guidance - Guidelines for IEP teams regarding participation in the California Alternate Assessments and the Alternate ELPAC.

The administration of an ELP assessment is required by law.

California Education Code Section 313 External link opens in new window or tab.
California Education Code Section 60810 External link opens in new window or tab.

Final regulations were adopted by the Office of Administrative Law for the ELPAC administration; see California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 11517.6 through 11519.5. External link opens in new window or tab.

Technical Documents

High-level Test Design Alternate ELPAC (PDF)

Questions:   English Language Proficiency and Spanish Assessments Office | elpac@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0784
Last Reviewed: Friday, August 23, 2019
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