New name for English proficiency test

students do work at a table
The ELPAC may have a new name, but the test will be familiar to schools.

By Richard Swerdlow
SFUSD Achievement Assessments Office

ELPAC. The name may be new, but the idea is familiar.

This year, about 3,000 new SFUSD students will take ELPAC (English Language Proficiency Assessment for California). This assessment, previously known as CELDT (California English Language Development Test), is designed to assess the English proficiency of incoming students.

ELPAC takes 30-60 minutes, assessing student English proficiency levels in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students are scored in 3 levels.

Results are provided to parents, and are used by SFUSD schools to plan and deliver English Language Development services to help students learn English.

California public schools are required to administer ELPAC, and the assessment is administered at every SFUSD school. Students take ELPAC based on home language information parents provide at enrollment. After a year of intensive English classes, students take an end-of-year version of ELPAC to assess progress. This assessment takes about 45-120 minutes, with student scores listed in proficiency levels ranging from 1- 4. Students continue to take ELPAC each year until they are completely proficient in English. Each year, about 13,000 students are administered the summative ELPAC, and an impressive 2,000 SFUSD students are reclassified as fluent English proficient.

With students who speak more than 50 languages, and with 27% of our students learning English, the new ELPAC is a very important part of ensuring student success in the SFUSD.

“The goal is for students to really be fluent in both languages - English and their home language,” says Rachana Sidhu, Program Administrator for ELPAC. “ELPAC really helps our students learn English.”