English Language Learners » EL Designation & Redesignation

EL Designation & Redesignation

English Learner Designation & Re-designation

Students are designated English Learner at registration. PUSD will assess the student with the ELPAC proficiency test to determine what language support a student may need to do well in school and access the curriculum. 


If a student scores high enough on the ELPAC, then PUSD will designates a student as English Proficient. 


What is the ELPAC?
The ELPAC, or English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, is the state’s required English language proficiency test for students whose primary language is other than English. The ELPAC helps to identify students who need help in learning English, so they can get the language support they need to do well in school and access the full curriculum.  


State and federal law require that local educational agencies administer a state test of English Language Proficiency (ELP) to eligible students in kindergarten through grade twelve.

The California Department of Education (CDE) transitioned from the CELDT to the ELPAC as the state ELP assessment in 2018. The ELPAC is aligned with the 2012 California English Language Development Standards. It is comprised of two separate ELP assessments:

  • The "Initial ELPAC" is given only once at the beginning of a student's tenure in the California school system in order to identify students who need additional help in learning English. The Initial ELPAC is a paper-pencil test administered in six grade spans:  K, 1, 2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. In kindergarten and grade 1, all domains are administered individually by a trained test examiner.  In grades 2–12, the test can be administered in groups except for the speaking domain, which is assessed one-on-one. 

  • The "Summative ELPAC" is administered annually (between Feb. 1 and May 31) to measure a student’s progress in learning English and to identify the student's current level of ELP. The Summative ELPAC is given only to students who have been identified previously as English Learners.  These students will take the assessment every year until they are reclassified as "Fluent English Proficient".  The Summative ELPAC is a paper-pencil test (transitioning to computer-administered in 2019-20) administered in seven grade spans:  K, 1, 2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–10, and 11–12. In kindergarten and grade1, all domains are administered individually. In grades 2–12, the test can be administered in groups exclusive of the speaking domain, which is assessed one-on-one.


On both versions of the ELPAC, all grades/grade spans have test questions in four different domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Students obtain scores in each of these domains, plus overall performance scores in Oral Language and Written Language, and an Overall Performance Score.  

Click here for ELPAC Resources for Parents including a video introduction to the initial ELPAC in English and Spanish, links to parent guides for initial and summative ELPAC, practice tests, and information about understanding initial and summative ELPAC student score reports.

Click on these links for additional information and  resources:

ELPAC Practice Tests

Initial ELPAC Fact Sheet

Summative ELPAC Fact Sheet