Test Security for the Initial ELPAC

The ELPAC is a secure test. All LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators are required to read and electronically sign the ELPAC Test Security Agreement and ELPAC Test Security Affidavit prior to accessing test materials. All ELPAC TEs (including local scoring correspondence administrators and local scoring data entry) with access to TOMS administration are required to read and electronically sign the ELPAC Test Security Affidavit prior to testing and handling test materials. Proctors and other school staff assisting in the test administration that have no access to TOMS are required to read and electronically sign the Test Security Affidavit for Non-TOMS Users prior to testing and handling test materials.

Security of the Test Environment

The secure browser is a secure online testing environment in which a device is restricted from accessing prohibited computer applications (local or internet based), copying, or otherwise sharing test data. The purposes of this environment are to maintain test security and provide a stable testing experience for students across multiple platforms. The security of assessment instruments and the confidentiality of student information are vital to maintaining the validity, reliability, and fairness of the results.

All test items and test materials are secure and must be appropriately handled. Secure handling protects the integrity, validity, and confidentiality of assessment items, prompts, and student information. Any deviation in test administration must be reported as a test security incident to ensure the validity of the assessment results.

It is the responsibility of each person participating in the administration of the Initial ELPAC to immediately report any violation or suspected violation of test security or confidentiality. The site ELPAC coordinator is responsible for immediately reporting any security violation to the LEA ELPAC coordinator.

In the case of a student cheating, the TE must stop the cheating; however, the student may be allowed to complete the remainder of the test. After testing, the TE must notify the site ELPAC coordinator. Do not call the CDE or the LEA Success Agent to report student cheating. The LEA ELPAC coordinator or site ELPAC coordinator must, instead, report an incident using the STAIRS/Appeals process.


TEs and site ELPAC coordinators or other individuals who have witnessed, been informed of, or suspect the possibility of a test security incident that could potentially affect validity of inferences from test results or the integrity of the assessments or the data, should review the information in the Identifying Testing Improprieties, Irregularities, and Breaches subsection of this manual; and then refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide web document for additional instructions. Note that only LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators may report the incident using the STAIRS/Appeals process and, if directed, file an Appeal.

Table 1 through table 4 describe security requirements for the test environment during various stages of testing. The test environment refers to all aspects of the testing situation while students are testing and includes what a student can view, hear, or access (including access via technology).

Before Testing

Table 1. Requirements of the Test Environment Before Testing

Requirement Description
Instructional materials removed or covered Instructional materials must be removed or covered, including, but not limited to, information that might assist students in answering questions. This includes material that is displayed on bulletin boards, chalkboards, dry-erase boards, or charts (for example, wall charts that contain literary definitions, maps, mathematics formulas, graphic organizers, etc.).
Student seating

For group administrations, students must be seated so there is enough space between them to minimize opportunities to look at each other’s work—for example, students may be assigned staggered seating or be seated in every other chair or workstation position—or they should be provided with tabletop partitions.

For K–2, one-on-one administration, it is recommended that the TE sit side by side with the student for the Listening, Reading, and Writing domains, and face-to-face or at a 90-degree angle for the Speaking domain. However, decisions about student seating should be determined in conjunction with local county health directives and incorporate suggestions from the Suggested Guidelines for Physically Distancing Test Administration.

Because of COVID-19, student seating should be set according to local state and federal guidelines.


If helpful, place a “TESTING—DO NOT DISTURB” sign on the door or post signs in halls and entrances rerouting hallway traffic to promote optimum testing conditions.

Site ELPAC coordinators or ELPAC TEs should place “Unauthorized Electronic Devices May Not Be Used at Any Time During the Testing Session” signs so that they are clearly visible to all students.

During Testing

Table 2. Requirements of the Test Environment During Testing

Requirement Description
Quiet environment Provide a quiet environment free of talking or other distractions that might interfere with a student’s ability to concentrate or might compromise the testing situation or environment.
Student supervision Students must be actively supervised by a trained TE (and proctor, if applicable) and are prohibited from accessing or using unauthorized electronic devices that allow access to outside information, communication among students or with other individuals outside the testing environment, or photographing or copying test content. This includes any device with cellular, messaging, or wireless capabilities, but is not limited to cell phones, smart watches, personal digital assistants, tablets, iPods or other mp3 players, cameras, and electronic translation devices.
Access to allowable resources only Students must only have access to, and use of, allowable resources (refer to the Establishing Appropriate Testing Conditions subsection for examples) that are permitted for each specific test (or portion of a test). This includes access to medical supports and devices that may be integrated into other technology devices. Use of such devices may require additional monitoring or a separate test setting to maintain test security.
Access to assessments Unauthorized staff or other adults (including students’ parents/guardians) must not be in the room during testing. Only students who are testing may view items. In some instances, a trained TE may also have limited exposure to items in the course of properly administering the assessments; however, even this TE and other trained staff may not actively review or analyze any test items.
Testing through secure browser Administration of the computer-based ELPAC is permitted only through the secure browser.

During and After Testing

Table 3. Requirements of the Test Environment During and After Testing

Requirement Description
No access to responses LEA ELPAC coordinators, site ELPAC coordinators, ELPAC TEs, and other staff are not permitted to review student responses to the Initial ELPAC in the testing interface or students’ notes on scratch paper.
No copies of test materials Unless needed as a print-on-demand designated support or braille accommodation, no copies of the test items, stimuli, reading passages, or writing prompts may be made or otherwise retained.
No access to digital, electronic, or manual devices No digital, electronic, or manual device may be used to record or retain test items, reading passages, or writing prompts. Similarly, these materials must not be discussed with, or released to, anyone via any media, including fax, email, text message, social media websites, etc.
No retaining, discussing, or releasing test materials Descriptions of test items, stimuli, printed reading passages, or writing prompts must not be retained, discussed, or released to anyone.
No reviewing, discussing, or analyzing test materials LEA ELPAC coordinators, site ELPAC coordinators, ELPAC TEs, and other staff may not review, discuss, or analyze test items, stimuli, reading passages, or writing prompts at any time, including before, during, or after testing. Students should be informed that they may not discuss or share test items, stimuli, reading passages, or writing prompts with anyone during or after testing.
Keeping all test materials secure at all times Printed materials such as Writing Answer Books for kindergarten through grade two, print-on-demand designated supports, scratch paper, the DFAs,Examiner’s Manuals, Test Books, and documents with student information must be kept in a securely locked room or locked cabinet that can be opened only with a key or keycard by staff responsible for test administration.
No retaining of test “tickets” or any materials created to assist students with logging on to the assessments All students’ ID information must be collected at the end of each test session, stored securely, and then destroyed securely.

After Testing

Table 4. Requirements of the Test Environment After Testing

Requirement Description
No test materials used for instruction Test items, stimuli, reading passages, or writing prompts must not be used for instruction.
Destroy test materials securely Upon a student’s completion of the test, printed test items or passages, scratch paper, and notecards or paper that include student logon information must be collected and inventoried, and then immediately shredded. Printed DFAs must be shredded at the end of the Initial ELPAC testing window. Unused Writing Answer Books for K–2 should be handled per the information in the Administering the K–2 ELPAC Writing Domain subsection, Handling of Test Materials.
Return materials securely (only for RSVP LEAs) RSVP LEAs will return materials according to the instructions on the Initial ELPAC RSVP Test Materials Handling After Testing web document or the RSVP subsection of this manual.
Maintain security while entering student results into the DEI LEA staff entering student results into the DEI should be in a private location, away from students. Staff entering information must have signed the Test Security Affidavit online.