9-12 District
Test Coordinator

9-12 District
Test Coordinator

NEW! Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS)



The OELPS is an online screener. However, there is a paper format for those students who are unable to use the online format. Districts with computer situations should contact the Ohio Department of Education at statetests@education.ohio.gov to start the process to determine eligibility for an exception to online testing. Paper tests must be ordered when the enrolled students’ needs become identified.
Districts are not permitted to order multiple copies of the paper format to store until it is known that a student needs to be screened. The student responses on the paper test must be entered in the Data Entry Interface (DEI), which is the same procedure as the OELPA.

Language Usage Survey 

Ohio defines a student who is an English learner as one who has a primary or home language other than English and needs special language assistance to effectively participate in school.
Districts (including community schools) are required to identify and serve students who are English learners. The uniform process begins with the administration of Ohio’s Language Usage Survey to all new students upon registration in the school or district. After identifying potential English learners with the Language Usage Survey, schools assess these students’ English language proficiency with the OELPS. A school employee then validates the survey and assessment results to complete the identification.
The Department provides translations of Ohio’s Language Usage Survey to assist schools with the identification of potential English learners, as well as immigrant children and youth and students with limited or interrupted formal education.

Districts Must Administer OELPS to Potential English Learners 

Districts must administer the OELPS to students who are potential English learners. Vendor screeners are not to be used to identify students as English learners. Students who have been screened using a vendor screener are not to be re-screened with the OELPS.

OELPS and Vendor Screeners 

The OELPS is the state screener that districts (including community schools) are required to use to identify potential English learners. A district may use a vendor screener to gain additional information, but vendor screeners may not be used in part or entirely for identification of English learners. Chartered nonpublic schools may use the OELPS but are not required to do so.

Accessing the OELPS

The test administrator must use the TA Interface on the portal to access the OELPS. The test administrator will create a test session for the student. The student will access the OELPS through the district secure browser.

Scoring the OELPS 

Districts locally hand score the OELPS constructed-response items in the speaking and writing domains. All other items will be scored by machine immediately after the response has been submitted.
In Step 2, the test administrator will hand score the speaking questions using the 2018-2019 ELPA21 Screener Step Two Speaking Scoring Document. Step 2 hand scoring is completed while the student is taking the OELPS.
It is important that the test administrators read the Teacher Hand Scoring System User Guide before starting the OELPS. In Step 3, the test administrator will hand score the speaking questions using the scoring rubric presented in the THSS. Directions for the hand scoring and the rubric are on page 7 in the THSS User Guide. Please note, the Step 3 rubrics are specific to the items which is why the rubrics are not posted on the portal. The range of points for Step 3 items are 2-5. Step 3 hand scoring is completed after the student logs off. The test administrator must log in to the THSS.
The hand and machine scores are merged for the final score.

No Practice Test for OELPS 

There is no practice test for the OELPS. Test administrators who would like to review the screener items and the online functions should review the OELPA practice site for test administrators. Test administrators should not log in the OELPS as a practice session and use student names. This action could be a potential security violation. The OELPS is a secure state test for Steps 2 and 3.

OELPS Reports and Results 

Students will have individual results reported in an Individual Student Report (ISR). The ISR is available in the Online Reporting System (ORS) on the same day of testing, approximately three hours following completion of the test. The information reported on the ISR is as follows:
  • Date of screener;
  • Domain scores (L, R, S, W) – range 1 – 5; and
  • Overall – Emerging, Progressing, Proficient – range 1 – 3.
OELPS results are not reported to EMIS, although the code is entered in EMIS to indicate students identified as English learners.


Accommodations are permitted on the OELPS but must be listed on the IEP or 504 Plan. If the IEP or 504 Plan is not available prior to the screening, accommodations are not allowed. The domain exemption is an accommodation and follows the same policy regarding the IEP or 504 Plan.


Training for the OELPS is provided by the Department through a PowerPoint posted on the OELPA webpage. Please direct questions to Paula Mahaley at paula.mahaley@education.ohio.gov and Kurt Taube at kurt.taube@education.ohio.gov. Districts that would like a Skype presentation on the training may contact Paula Mahaley.