Preparing for the Initial ELPAC Administration

This section provides an overview of the various tasks and actions LEAs should complete to prepare for administering the Initial ELPAC.

Student Data

CALPADS is the authoritative source for student enrollment, demographic, and program information for TOMS. The student-level data from CALPADS will be used for administration of the ELPAC. The use of CALPADS data for these assessments underscores the importance of keeping CALPADS up-to-date and accurate.

The minimum data that needs to be correct in CALPADS for a student to start testing is as follows:

  • Name
  • Grade
  • School and LEA information
  • CALPADS enrollment status codes of 10 (primary) or 30 (short-term)
  • Parent/Guardian address (to be printed on SSRs)
  • ELAS
  • Primary language
  • Field 3.13 (education program—if the student is to take an alternate assessment or receive designated supports, accommodations, unlisted resources, or any combination of these)
  • All other demographic fields (if the LEA wants to view these fields in the final student data file that is downloadable from TOMS)

CALPADS documentation, including field names and field codes, and information about CALPADS support are available on the CDE CALPADS web page.

Using TOMS to Prepare for the Initial ELPAC Administration

TOMS is a secure website where authorized users from LEAs can perform a number of tasks for the ELPAC, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Manage Initial ELPAC test administration
  • Add and delete users
  • Assign students’ test settings
  • Access STAIRS to submit testing incident reports
  • Order Writing Answer Books for testing students in kindergarten through grade two (K–2)
  • Download data, including student files and test reports

Usernames and Passwords

Usernames and passwords are created in TOMS after an LEA ELPAC coordinator or site ELPAC coordinator has submitted users for access. ELPAC TEs can use this username and password to log on to the Test Administrator Interface, which is necessary to generate a test session ID and approve students for testing; the DEI, which is where student scores for the Speaking (kindergarten through grade twelve) and Writing (K–2) domains are entered; and the THSS, which is where grades three through twelve students’ Writing responses are scored.

For more information about the different user roles in TOMS, refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide.

Student Test Assignment in TOMS

The LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators must use TOMS to verify that all eligible students have been assigned to take the Initial ELPAC. Student eligibility is based on the student demographic data from CALPADS that is uploaded into TOMS on a nightly basis. It is important for LEAs to keep CALPADS data up-to-date. The LEA ELPAC coordinator or site ELPAC coordinator must designate in TOMS if a student has a domain exemption(s).

Information about setting up student test assignments in TOMS, including using the bulk upload option, can be found in the Upload Students subsection of the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide.

Student Test Settings in TOMS

Embedded and non-embedded accommodations and designated supports are available for students taking the Initial ELPAC. These accommodations and designated supports must be assigned in the [Test Settings] tab of the Student Profile page in TOMS. For more information about available accessibility resources and helpful videos about test setting, refer to the Accessibility Resources web page on the ELPAC website. Use of accommodations and designated supports does not affect student scores.

In addition, unlisted resources are non-embedded supports which may be provided based on the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan. Use of unlisted resources must first be approved by the CDE. The following will apply if the CDE determines the unlisted resource changes the measured construct:

  • The student’s Initial ELPAC score will result in the LOSS for the domain assigned that unlisted resource.
  • An individual score report will still be generated for the Initial ELPAC after the student meets the participation rule of logging on to all four domains.

Configuring student test settings in TOMS ensures that students receive the assigned embedded accessibility resources for the computer-based assessments. Non-embedded resources also must be recorded in TOMS and provided to the student locally. Any changes to student test settings in TOMS must be completed before the student can test. The update, once made, may take up to 24 business hours to appear in the Test Administrator Interface. Failure to correct test settings before testing, which is a testing irregularity, could result in the student not being provided with the needed accommodations, designated supports, or both at the time of testing.

On the day of administration or during the administration, if a TE determines that an Initial ELPAC student needs to have a designated support, the TE can select the appropriate test setting in the Test Administrator Interface. If the need to add a designated support arises in the middle of the administration, the TE must pause the test and log the student off. Then, the TE must log the student on again and assign the appropriate test setting before reentering the test. In the next section, the embedded and non-embedded designated supports available through the Test Administrator Interface are listed.

ELPAC Designated Supports:

  • Embedded:
    • Color contrast
    • Masking
    • Mouse pointer (size and color)
    • Pause or replay audio—Listening domain
    • Pause or replay audio—Speaking domain
    • Permissive mode
    • Print size
    • Streamline
    • Turn off any universal tool(s)
  • Non-embedded:
    • Amplification
    • Color contrast
    • Color overlay
    • Designated interface assistant (DIA)
    • Magnification
    • Medical supports
    • Noise buffers
    • Print-on-demand
    • Read aloud for items (Writing domain)
    • Separate setting
    • Simplified test directions
    • Translated test directions

Information about assigning student test settings in TOMS can be found in the ELPAC Test Assignments subsection of the CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide. Additionally, the Assigning Test Settings in the Test Administrator Interface for the Initial ELPAC video that provides a demonstration of this functionality is available on the ELPAC website.

Technology Requirements

Prior to the computer-based Initial ELPAC administration, LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators must review the technology infrastructure at their schools to ensure it meets the minimum requirements for administering the computer-based Initial ELPAC.

The CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing provides the technical specifications for computer-based testing. This includes information about internet and network infrastructure requirements, hardware and software requirements, and secure browser installation.

Bandwidth Checker

The bandwidth checker, linked on the Network Diagnostics web page, can assist technology coordinators in assessing network readiness by performing a real-time check of a device’s readiness for testing on its current network. Note that technology coordinators may want to run this test more than once, and at different times of the day, because estimates change as the network conditions change.

The CDE also hosts a Smarter Balanced Technology Readiness Resources web page, which includes links to tools, requirements, and topics that LEAs will find useful in planning for computer-based ELPAC testing.

The Secure Browser

All students must use a secure browser to access the computer-based Initial ELPAC. All testing devices must have the correct secure browser installed prior to assessment.

The secure browser is designed to support test security by prohibiting access to external applications or navigation away from the assessment.

School technology coordinators are responsible for ensuring that each device to be used for testing at the school is properly secured by installing the most current secure browser. Secure browsers are available for download on the Secure Browsers web page. Information about installing and configuring the secure browsers is available in the CAASPP and ELPAC Technical Specifications and Configuration Guide for Online Testing.