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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.

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 will open March 16 and close April 28. 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.
2015 ELPA21 Update2015 KSDE Annual Conference, 10/26/15. Expectations for ELPA21 as of October 23. Details subject to change.
2015 ESOL/ELPA Update2015 KSDE Annual Conference, 10/26/2015. Introductory PowerPoint for Assessments PreConference session "Measuring Student Learning in English Language Proficiency"
Accommodations PNP ChartThe Test Administrator must prepare appropriate accommodations and/or choose designated feature settings for students with IEPs or 504 plans. This guidance page will be further explained in a forthcoming Administration Manual.
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.
ELPA21 Hardware SpecificationsThe ELPA21 assessments can be delivered on desktops, laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks that meet these specifications.
Headset SpecificationsHeadset specifications and features to consider.

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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