Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA)

The Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA) measures the English language proficiency of eligible English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades K-12. The Alt-OELPA assesses proficiency across the four recognized language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and includes the academic English language students need to access and achieve grade-appropriate content taught in English.

The Alt-OELPA offers English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities a way to demonstrate their English language proficiency on an assessment based on alternate achievement expectations for English language development. The Alt-OELPA is aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards-Extended for English Language Proficiency

Schools administer the Alt-OELPA annually to assess eligible students’ progress toward the attainment of English language proficiency and readiness to exit the English language development program. This purpose is consistent with the requirements for assessing and reporting student achievement of English language proficiency under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The assessment's results are intended to provide important information about what students know and can do in English. The results can help parents and educators establish appropriate English language proficiency expectations and inform decisions about appropriate English language services and related instruction.  

Collaborative for the Alternate Assessment of English Language Proficiency (CAAELP)

Ohio worked with a group of states managed by the Collaborative for the Alternate Assessment of English Language Proficiency (CAAELP) to develop the Alt-OELPA. The CAAELP Project was awarded grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2019 to develop an alternate summative assessment of English language proficiency for English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities. CAAELP refers to the assessment as the Alternate English Language Proficiency Assessment or Alt ELPA. Ohio refers to the assessment as the Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment or Alt-OELPA.

Which students are eligible for the Alt-OELPA?

The Alt-OELPA Participation Guidelines assist IEP teams in determining a student’s eligibility for the Alt-OELPA. The Alt-OELPA is designed for English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities, who are unable to participate in the Ohio’s general English language proficiency assessment (the OELPA) even with accommodations. The vast majority of English learners with disabilities will participate in the general OELPA rather than the Alt-OELPA.
English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities are students:
  • who are not proficient in the English language and have been identified as needing English language development services;
  • who meet the Federal definition of an English learner (ESEA as amended by ESSA §8101(20) and 20 USC 20));
  • who meet the state definition for having a most significant cognitive disability; and
  • whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams have determined an alternate assessment is appropriate for the student.
When IEP teams have determined that a student will participate in the Alt-OELPA, the IEP must document this decision in Section 12 of the IEP and the student’s pre-identification record in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) should be set to the Alt-OELPA. Please refer to the TIDE User Guide or contact the Ohio Help Desk for assistance at 1-877-231-7809 or OHHelpDesk@cambiumassessment.com.

2022-2023 Alt-OELPA Timeline and Important Dates

September 2022
  • Alt-OELPA resources posted on the Department’s website
October 2022 November 2022 December 2022
  • Training modules for test coordinators and test administrators
January 2023
  • Training modules for test coordinators and test administrators
  • Jan. 10: OELPA and Alt-OELPA Webinar with Ohio Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages TESOL (virtual)
February 6, 2023-March 31, 2023
  • Alt-OELPA test window (eight weeks)
September 2023
  • Alt-OELPA results reported in Centralized Reporting System

Test Format

The 2023 Alt-OELPA operational field test is an online test. Students requiring paper tests accommodations may use the print-on-request feature.
The assessment consists of four, fixed-form domain tests: listening, reading, speaking and writing. Each domain test includes 10 items (or test questions).

Resources

Ohio's Alt-OELPA Community of Practice

The Ohio Department of Education would like to acknowledge and thank Ohio’s Alt-OELPA Community of Practice members for contributing experience, expertise, and insight toward the development of the Alt-OELPA. These educators have been volunteering since May 13, 2021 to provide feedback, participate in preliminary training and support the Alt-OELPA pilot test. Collectively, the members’ service have helped bring this assessment to fruition.

Last Modified: 9/9/2022 11:38:15 AM