Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

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 developed the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, or Alternate ELPAC. The purpose of the Alternate ELPAC is twofold: (1) the Initial Alternate ELPAC provides information to determine a student’s initial classification as an English learner (EL) or as initial fluent English proficient (IFEP) and (2) the Summative Alternate ELPAC provides information on student annual progress toward ELP and support decisions for students to be redesignated fluent English proficient (RFEP).

The Alternate ELPAC is aligned with 2012 California English Language Development Standards via the English Language Development Connectors (DOCX) which are reduced in depth, breadth, and complexity for this population.

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

Preparing for Test Administration

The following information are suggestions that local educational agencies (LEAs) can do to prepare for administrating the statewide Initial Alternate and Summative Alternate ELPAC.

  • Have individualized education program (IEP) teams determine well in advance of the testing window which English language proficiency assessment is most appropriate for their students.
  • If the student is determined to have the most significant cognitive disabilities and their primary language is other than English, then they should be assigned:
    • the Initial Alternate ELPAC upon enrolling in a California school for the first time, or
    • if they are already an English learner, the Summative Alternate ELPAC.

Resources and Communication Material

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

Alternate Assessment Decision Confirmation Worksheet (PDF)

Summative Alternate ELPAC Fact Sheet (PDF)

Initial Alternate ELPAC Fact Sheet (PDF)

Alternate ELPAC Parent Guide to Understanding (PDF)

Alternate ELPAC Task Type Information Sheet (PDF)

The Correction of Classification Process – At-a-Glance (PDF)

Alternate ELPAC Scale Score Ranges (PDF)

Test Administration

Alternate ELPAC Participation and Scoring (PDF)
A resource designed to provide testing scenarios that indicate when a student is counted toward participation and receives a Student Score Report.

Scoring and Results Reporting

The Alternate ELPAC 2021–22 Scale Score Ranges document provides the Overall scale score ranges and the weighting of the Overall score by grade/grade span.

Laws, Regulations, and Requirements

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

Initial Alternate ELPAC Threshold Score Validation Report (DOCX)

2021–22 Summative Alternate ELPAC Technical Report (DOCX)

English Language Development Connectors for the Alternate ELPAC (DOCX)

Alternate ELPAC Test Blueprint (PDF)

High-level Test Design Alternate ELPAC (PDF)

Alternate ELPAC Task Type Definitions (PDF)

Alternate ELPAC In-Test Survey Results – An Interpretive Report for Educators (PDF)
This study analyzes the results from the in-test survey conducted during the Alternate ELPAC operational field test. Performance skill profiles were produced that begin to lay important foundational knowledge about what skills English learner students with the most significant cognitive disabilities can do at each level of proficiency.

Questions:   English Language Proficiency and Spanish Assessments Office | elpac@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0784
Last Reviewed: Friday, August 18, 2023
Related Content
  • Summative ELPAC
    Information about the Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).
Recently Posted in Testing

  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 250 (added 17-Oct-2023)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 13, 2023.
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 249 (added 10-Oct-2023)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, October 6, 2023.
  • California Assessment System (added 10-Oct-2023)
    List of the tests for the California Assessment System for students in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12).
  • Assessment Spotlight, Issue 248 (added 02-Oct-2023)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) email update, September 29, 2023.