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English Language Proficiency Assessment

An English Language Proficiency Assessment measures the proficiency of English Language Learners (ELLs) in four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. All ELLs, grades K-12, must be assessed annually regardless of whether a district receives any Title III or Kansas ESOL-Bilingual funds and regardless of whether or not the student receives specific ESOL services.

2016 ELPA21

Kansas is a member of the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century, ELPA21, a group of states committed to supporting educators, member states, and the public as they adopt and implement the new English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and college- and career-ready standards. The consortium is developing an assessment system based on the ELP Standards that will inform instruction so that all English language learners (ELLs) leave high school prepared for college and career success.

The ELPA21 assessment system measures and reports on student’s English language proficiency overall, as well as in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and comprehension. It is being designed to be interactive for students; reduce turnaround time on reporting results; improve efficiency of data collection and management; increase security of test content and student data; and reduce administrative burdens on school and district staff.

Learn how ELPA21 is working to support English language learners as well as their parents and teachers.

  • Download our summary one-pager, which is also available in Spanish.
  • See the timeline of major ELPA21 milestones in the development and implementation of the ELPA21 assessment system.
  • Learn about the new ELP Standards and the assessment being developed at www.elpa21.org.
  • Take a look at the ELPA21 informational brochure for families, which is also available in Spanish.
  • Sign up to receive the ELPA21 Insider Newsletter.
  • View the ELPA21 FAQ page.

2016 Interactive Demonstration Tests

Students should become familiar with ELPA21 Assessments in advance of the operational test. Interactive Demos do not save answers, but will familiarize teachers, students, and their families with a variety of tasks and the online testing tools.
ELP21 Interactive Demo InstructionsInstructions include the live link and how to set up practices sessions.
Kindergarten Lesson Plan, LongFor ELLs with least familiarity with computers.
Kindergarten Lesson Plan, ShortFor ELLs with some familiarity with computers.
Grade 1 Lesson PlanThis teacher's guide ensures that students practice all the tools and functions available.
Grade 2-3 Demo Lesson PlanThis teacher's guide ensures that students practice all the tools and functions available.
Grade 4-5 Demo Lesson PlanThis teacher's guide ensure that students practice all the tools and functions available.
Grade 6-12 Demo Lesson PlanThis teacher's guide ensure that students practice all the tools and functions available.

Preliminary Administrative Information

In order to prepare, tentative information is provided below. Final instructions will be announced here, on the Assessment Coordinators listserv, and on the ESOL listserv as soon as the assessment has been officially adopted by the BOE. The Kansas 2016 testing window is set to open February 22 and close April 1. Districts identify students to test by uploading a KELPA TEST request to the Kansas Individual Data on Students (KIDS) system by January 8, 2016. For more information about Kansas' involvement in ELPA21, contact Phyllis Farrar at pfarrar@ksde.org or 785-296-1891.
__ELPA21 Administration Site Overview Training Module Approx. 4 minutes. Audience - District Test Coordinators and Test Administrators, Use Google Chrome to open this SWF file. Temporarily available here 2/9 to 2/22/16.
__ELPA21 Platform Overview Training ModuleApprox. 3.5 minutes. Audience - Test Administrators. View using Google Chrome. Temporarily available here from 2/9 to 2/22/2016.
__ELPA21 Troubleshooting Training ModuleApprox. 3.5 minutes. Audience - District Test Coordinator, Test Administrator, and Technical staff. View using Google Chrome. Temporarily available here, 6/9 to 6/22/2016.
__ELPA21 Workstation Preparation Training ModuleApprox. 2.5 minutes. Audience-District IT Coordinator and District Test Coordinator. Use Google Chrome to open this SWF file. Temporarily available here, 2/8/16 to 2/22/16.
_Adding Kansas Students to NexteraDirections found in the Test Coordinators Manual, Appendix B, for adding Kansas students to Nextera rosters.
Directions for Administration1/20/16. Test administrator's manual provided by QUESTAR for ELPA21.
ESOL/ELPA Update1/26/16. This webinar reviewed the two Questar webinars given on 1/15 and 1/20 and added clarifications as needed. The recording, Ppt slides, and Q&A summary are on the ESOL resources webpage.
Recorded QUESTAR Webinar #2Recorded on 1/20/16. QUESTAR Webinar #2: "District Testing Coordinators and ESOL Directors Training."
QUESTAR Training Webinar1/20/16. QUESTAR Webinar #2: "District Testing Coordinators and ESOL Directors Training."
Accessibility and Accommodations ManualELPA21 manual with adjustments for QUESTAR/Nextera and Kansas shown in Appendices.
Recorded QUESTAR Webinar #1Recorded 1/15/16. QUESTAR Webinar #1, "Processes and Technology Readiness"
QUESTAR Technology Webinar1/15/16. QUESTAR Webinar #1, "Processes and Technology Readiness"
Headset SpecificationsHeadset specifications and features to consider.
ELPA21 Hardware Specifications1/14/16. QUESTAR's technical requirements for the NEXTERA testing platform for ELPA21.
2015-2016 ELPA Fact SheetCurrent year summary of Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment required for all K-12 English Language Learners.
Comments from the Field on ELPA21 Field TestAttendees at the KSDE Conference session were asked for comments about their Field Test experiences. These provide insight into 'demonstration' lessons that help students acclimate to online language proficiency testing.
2016 ELPA21 Update WebinarRecording of the 12/15/15 Title III/ESOL and ELPA Update presentation.
2015 ELPA21 UpdateExpectations for ELPA21 as of December 15, 2015. Details subject to change.

Supporting Documents and Links

KELPA-P Scoring GuidanceScoring rules and weighted calculations will determine a score of "Proficient" or "Not Proficient" for a particular grade level.
KSDE-Approved English Language Proficiency ScreenersEvery K-12 student new to the district must complete a Home Language Survey. If use of languages other than English is indicated on the survey, then the student must be assessed for English proficiency using one of the four screeners approved by KSDE
KELPA-P (Placement)Instructions for how to locate and use the short version of KELPA, which one of several approved screening tools to identify English Language Learners.
KELPA/KELPA-P Examiner TrainingIn order to administer the KELPA or KELPA-P, each examiner must complete this set of self-training podcasts well in advance of actual examination dates. If preferred the training is also available on CD by request from pfarrar@ksde.org.
Sample Parent Letter about KELPA 
Sample Parent Letter about KELPA (Spanish version) 
(ESOL) Bilingual Education Support Services (Title III) 
English Learners and State Assessments Fact Sheet"Must my English Learners take the state ELA and Math assessments?" Answers to these and other common questions about state assessment requirements for ELLs are updated annually in August.
The Kansas Assessment Program (KAP) 

World Language & ESOL
Program Consultant

Phyllis Farrar
(785) 296-1891

Deputy Commissioner
Division of Learning Services
Brad Neuenswander
(785) 296-2303

Career, Standards and Assessment

Scott Smith
(785) 296-3142

Assistant Director
Career and Technical Education
Jay Scott
(785) 296-0979

Assistant Director
Academic Standards
Jeannette Nobo
(785) 296-2078

Assistant Director
Beth Fultz
(785) 296-2325

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