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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.

Professional Development Update

One of ELPA21’s top priorities is to provide high-quality professional development opportunities and resources to all English language learner (ELL) teachers and content teachers so that their students can experience the full benefits of the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and the ELPA21 assessment system.
The ELPA21 Professional Development (PD) Task Force is working with ELL experts and educators from ELPA21 states to develop materials and guidance that can be used in group trainings and accessed by individual teachers. This comprehensive toolkit will consist of six online training modules that focus on classroom implementation of the ELP Standards. They will address topics for both ELL and content teachers, including ELP Standards implementation, English language application, and students’ understanding of language and content.

In March 2015, 16 educators met with members of the ELPA21 PD Task Force to officially kick off the content development process. Release of the materials is expected in the fall of 2015. Please check the ELPA21 Professional Development page for more news about professional development resources and the ways that ELPA21 is working with teachers and other educators to serve English language learners.

The 2016 testing window lasts from early February to the end of April. Districts identify students being tested using the Kansas Individual Data on Students (KIDS) system by uploading a KELPA TEST request. It has not been determined which test will be used. Information will be posted here, on the Assessment Coordinators listserv, and on the ESOL listserv as soon as an assessment is approved.

For more information about Kansas' involvement in ELPA21, contact Phyllis Farrar at pfarrar@ksde.org or 785-296-1891.

Supporting Documents and Links

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 Scoring GuidanceScoring rules and weighted calculations will determine a score of "Proficient" or "Not Proficient" for a particular grade level.
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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