9-12 District
Test Coordinator

9-12 District
Test Coordinator

Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS)


Name of Ohio Screener 

The name of the Ohio screener is the Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS). AIR will call the screener the ELPA21 Screener for the first year. On the portal, the test administrator will choose ELPA21 Screener through the TA Interface

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. 

Practice Test 

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 Two and Three. 

Test Administration Manual 

The OELPS Test Administration Manual is available on the portal. The OELPS resources are located on the OELPA web page on the portal. The OELPS resources include:
  • Test Administration Manual (TAM);
  • 2018-2019 ELPA21 Screener Step Two Speaking Scoring Document;
  • 2018-2019 Screener ORS Quick Guide;
  • 2017-2018 OELPA/ELPA21 Screener Data Entry Interface (DEI) User Guide;
  • ELPA21 Screener Teacher Hand Scoring System (THSS) User Guide.
The Test Administration Manual (TAM), 2018-2019 ELPA21 Screener Step Two Speaking Scoring Document and ELPA21 Screener Teacher Hand Scoring System (THSS) User Guide are required to be read/reviewed prior to the administration of the OELPS by the test administrator. 

Administration Period 

Districts may administer the OELPS at any time during the administration window, Aug. 1, 2018, through June 28, 2019. 

Students Who are Administrated the OELPS 

Ohio has a two-step identification process to identify students as English learners: Language Usage Survey and the OELPS. Based on the results of the Language Usage Survey, newly enrolled K-12 students who have not been previously screened and may have difficulty with English are required to be screened. Students who have been screened using a vendor screener are not to be re-screened with the OELPS (this would apply to districts who need to use a vendor screener during the transition period). 

Federal Timeline Requirement 

Based on the Language Usage Survey results, the U.S. Department of Education requires that all newly enrolled K-12 students in public schools are screened to determine English language proficiency across the domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
The federal timeline allows 30 calendar days at the beginning of the school year to screen and identify students. Within the 30-day window, parent notification of the screener results is required. The 30-day window begins on the first day of the district’s school year. Following the 30-day window, the district has two weeks to complete the identification process for the newly enrolled student during the school year.
Many districts conduct a Spring Roundup, Early Kindergarten or similar process starting in February through May to identify students who are to be enrolled in kindergarten for the following fall. For these districts, the 30-day window also is in place, as early screening is included in the “beginning of the year.” 

Roles in TIDE 

The district test coordinator should determine if staff will have access to TIDE for the OELPS and assign roles for the OELPS using specific codes to allow staff access. The most frequently used roles for OELPS are the following:
  • TE – teachers obtain results for their students;
  • TA – test administrator enters scores in the THSS for student results in Step 3; and
  • DTC – request Reopen, Reset or Invalidation. 

Mode of Administration 

There is no group administration for any part of the OELPS. During the administration of the OELPS, there is one student and one test administrator in the room.
The student may work though the OELPS using whichever mode of administration is most comfortable:
  • One-to-one: student requires assistance from the test administrator;
  • Independently: student works alone with little or no test administrator assistance. 

OELPS Transition Period 

Districts must pre-identify or register in TIDE students who will be administered the OELPS. The student must have an SSID to be registered in TIDE. Those districts that cannot receive a requested SSID in a timely period may extend the use of their commercial screeners through Sept. 30, 2018. Starting Oct. 1, 2018, all districts must use the OELPS to identify English learners. This extension is for the school year of 2018-2019 only and will not be repeated next year. Districts must review their processes to obtain SSIDs in a timely manner for future use of the OELPS.
An additional reason to use the transition period is the TIDE down-time Aug. 13-21.
The transition period is not a choice for all districts; it applies only to those districts that have a specific reason to use it – SSID or affected by the TIDE down-time. 

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. 

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 the 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 local scoring is provided by the Department through a PowerPoint that is 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. 

General OELPS Information 

The OELPS is required for districts to administer at no cost to the district. The OELPS is the official screener to be used to identify English learners in Ohio. Commercial screeners may be used for functions other than English learner identification.
The OELPS is a secure test. The OELPS is online; however, there will be a paper format for those students who are unable to use the online format. Districts with computer situations (see article on page 2 of this bulletin) 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 

Translations of the Language Usage Survey have been posted.