Appendix A. Frequently Used Terms

This section defines frequently used terms that are related to the ELPAC.

Term Definition
Accommodation

An accommodation is a change in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the administration of the ELPAC. Assessment accommodations generate valid assessment results for students who need them; they allow these students to show what they know and can do. Accommodations are available for students with documented IEPs or Section 504 plans. Approved accommodations do not compromise the learning expectations, construct, grade-level standard, or intended outcome of the assessments.

Refer to the California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix for complete information.

Appeal Authorized users—LEA ELPAC coordinators and site ELPAC coordinators—may submit and view requests for resetting, reopening or invalidating students’ summative assessments in accordance with state policy. These requests must result from a test security incident or incorrect test setting that impacted summative testing and is reported using the STAIRS/Appeals process; Appeals are also submitted through TOMS. Appeal requests must be approved either by the CDE (Grace Period Extension) or CalTAC (Reset, Restore, and Re-open).
Breach

A breach is a security event that poses a threat to the validity of the summative assessments. Examples may include such situations as a release of secure materials or a security or system risk. These circumstances have external implications for ETS, the CDE, or both, and may result in a decision to remove the test item(s) from the available secure bank. The LEA ELPAC coordinator must report the breach immediately by calling CalTAC at 800-955-2954. In addition, the LEA ELPAC coordinator must report the incident using the STAIRS/Appeals process within 24 hours.

For more information on how to proceed using the STAIRS/Appeals process when an incident has occurred, please refer to the subsection Using the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System of this manual and the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide.

Break There is no limit on the number of breaks or the length of a break that a student may be given according to the student’s unique needs. However, for some portions of the test, breaks of more than 20 minutes will prevent the student from returning to items already attempted by the student.
Designated support

A designated support is a type of accessibility resource of the assessments available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator or team of educators working with the parent/‌guardian and student.

Refer to the California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix for complete information.

Grace Period Extension

A Grace Period Extension Appeal allows the student to review previously answered questions upon logging back on to the assessment after expiration of the pause rule. A Grace Period Extension Appeal is applicable to the Reading and Listening domains only.

Note: A grace period extension will only be granted in cases where the test had been paused for 20 minutes or more because there was a disruption to a test session, such as a technical difficulty, fire drill, schoolwide power outage, earthquake, or other act beyond the control of the test examiner.

Irregularity

An irregularity is an unusual circumstance that impacts an individual or group of students who are taking the Summative ELPAC and may potentially affect student performance on the tests, test security, or test validity. These circumstances can be corrected and contained at the local level, but reported using the STAIRS/Appeals process for resolution of the Appeal.

For specific details on how to proceed using the STAIRS/‌Appeals process when an incident has occurred, please refer to the subsection Using the Security and Test Administration Incident Reporting System of this manual and the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide.

Item A test question or stimulus presented to a student to elicit a response.
LEA ELPAC coordinator The LEA ELPAC coordinator is an LEA-level staff member who is responsible for the overall administration of the ELPAC—Initial, Summative, and Alternate—in an LEA. LEA ELPAC coordinators should ensure that the site ELPAC coordinators and test examiners in their LEAs are appropriately trained and aware of policies and procedures. LEA ELPAC coordinators are designated by their LEA superintendents or the administrator of their independently testing charter school and must have a signed ELPAC Test Security Agreement and Test Security Affidavit in TOMS.
Pause A pause is an action taken by a student or test examiner to temporarily halt the test during any part of the test, as needed. Pauses of more than 20 minutes will prevent the student from returning to items already attempted, completed, flagged for review, or any combination of these statuses in the Listening and Reading domains.
Re-open

A Re-open Appeal is a specific Appeal type that applies to a test that has already been submitted or has expired and allows the student to access the previously closed test.

For example, a domain(s) may be reopened if a student started a test and became ill and was unable to resume testing until after the testing opportunity expired.

Permission for a Re-open is initiated by first reporting an incident and then submitting an Appeal using the online STAIRS/Appeals process through TOMS. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide for more information on the Appeals process.

Reset

A Reset Appeal is a specific Appeal type which, when applied, removes a student’s test from the system and enables the student to start a new test. Any work previously done on the test would be lost.

A valid reason for a Reset would be, for example, if a student’s test event was administered inconsistently with the student’s IEP (this would include both embedded and non-embedded accommodations).

Permission for a Reset is initiated by first reporting an incident and then submitting an Appeal using the online STAIRS/‌Appeals process in TOMS. Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide for more information on the Appeals process.

Restore

A Restore Appeal is a specific appeal type for the Summative ELPAC in the Appeals system that restores a test from the “Reset” status to its prior status when, for example, the test was inadvertently or inappropriately reset as result of a Reset Appeal submitted earlier. This action can only be performed on assessments that have been reset following a Reset Appeal. When restored, the student’s assessment will resume at the last unanswered item.

An LEA ELPAC coordinator must contact CalTAC to submit a Restore appeal on behalf of the LEA. The CDE approves a Restore Appeal and grants permission to restore a test(s). Refer to the CAASPP and ELPAC Security Incidents and Appeals Procedure Guide for more information on the Appeals process.

Secure browser The secure browser is a software application that is downloaded and installed on a device prior to a student beginning the test. The secure browser is specifically designed for use with the ELPAC online assessments to provide secure access and prevent students from accessing specific hardware and software functions (for example, web browsers, screenshot programs) that are not allowed during the assessments. The current version of the secure browser, 12.5, does not have auto update capability and must always be updated manually.
STAIRS/‌Appeals process The STAIRS/Appeals process is the means by which LEAs and schools report a test security incident or other testing issue that interferes with the administration and completion of the summative assessments and then, if required, submit an Appeal request. The first step is reporting the incident using the STAIRS/Appeals process in TOMS; an Appeal cannot be requested without the submission of this data-entry screen. The system returns an email with a summary of the information submitted that the recipient should retain for at least a year. The STAIRS/Appeals process is used to report incidents that occur with the ELPAC.
Session A session is a timeframe in which students actively test in a single sitting. The population of a test session may vary per domain and type of administration, group versus one-on-one. The Summative ELPAC domain assessments are not timed, and an individual student may need more or less time overall. Further, individual students will have unique needs regarding the length of a test session.
Site ELPAC coordinator The site ELPAC coordinator is the school staff member responsible for monitoring the test schedule, process, and test examiners for the ELPAC—Initial, Summative, and Alternate. Site ELPAC coordinators also are responsible for ensuring that test examiners have been appropriately trained and that testing is conducted in accordance with the test security and other established policies and procedures. Site ELPAC coordinators must have a signed ELPAC Test Security Agreement and Test Security Affidavit in TOMS.
SSID An SSID is a unique, non-personally identifiable number linked to a given individual student within the California public kindergarten through grade twelve educational system. SSIDs are used to maintain data on individual students, such as linking students to statewide assessment scores and tracking students in and out of schools and LEAs to determine more accurate dropout and graduation rates.
Stimulus/Stimuli A stimulus (plural, stimuli) is material or materials used in the test context that forms the basis for students to answer connected test items. Many items or tasks for the assessments include a stimulus along with a set of questions to which the student responds. Examples of stimuli include: traditional reading passages or texts viewed on a computer screen; images with audio presentations for students to listen to; and charts and graphs for certain task types.
Test examiner An ELPAC test examiner is an employee or contractor of an LEA or of a nonpublic, nonsectarian school who has been trained to administer the Summative ELPAC in a secure manner in compliance with the policies and procedures outlined in this manual and the secure Directions for Administration. Test examiners are required to have submitted an electronically signed ELPAC Test Security Affidavit in TOMS.
TOMS

TOMS is the management system used for the ELPAC and CAASPP assessments. This is the system through which users interact with and inform the test delivery system. This management system provides administrators with the tools to add and manage users and students participating in the ELPAC and CAASPP assessments, including assigning tests, student test settings, and user roles; and ordering test materials. This system uses a role-specific design to restrict access to certain tools and applications based on the user’s designated role.

The CAASPP and ELPAC TOMS User Guide is available on the Manuals and Instructions web page on the ELPAC website.

Universal tool

A universal tool is an online resource that is available to all students during testing based on student preference and selection.

Refer to the California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix for complete information.

Unlisted resource

An unlisted resource is an instructional resource that a student regularly uses in daily instruction, assessment, or both that has not been previously identified as a universal tool, designated support, or accommodation. The California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix includes a list of unlisted resources that have already been identified and are preapproved.

Unlisted resources shall be made available if specified in the eligible student’s IEP or Section 504 plan and only on approval by the California Department of Education. An LEA ELPAC coordinator or site ELPAC coordinator can request one of the preapproved unlisted resources for a student in TOMS.

Refer to the California Assessment Accessibility Resources Matrix for complete information.