Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS)

The Ohio Department of Education (Department) provides districts and schools the Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS) to ensure the timely and accurate identification of students as English learners. The OELPS is the second step in Ohio’s standardized English-learner identification developed under the Every Student Succeeds Act; the first step is the Language Usage Survey. See the guidelines for Identifying English Learners for complete information about Ohio’s English-learner identification procedures.

Districts and schools administer the OELPS to students upon enrollment in grades kindergarten through high school if the student’s language usage survey and student records indicate the student is a potential English learner. The OELPS assesses a student’s skill in four domains: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The OELPS is aligned to Ohio’s English Language Proficiency Standards. Districts and schools will schedule time and provide appropriate equipment to administer the OELPS. The OELPS helps districts and schools assess the English language proficiency of newly enrolled students and determine whether the student is eligible for the school’s English language development program.

The OELPS is an online test, but paper test forms are available to accommodate students and schools that cannot test online. Districts and schools that need to use a paper test (paper-pencil, large-print or braille test) must contact the Department at statetests@education.ohio.gov to determine eligibility and submit their orders.

Districts and schools may administer the OELPS any time during the test window. The OELPS is available August through June annually. See Ohio Test Dates webpage for exact dates. 

Administering the OELPS to Kindergarteners. Districts and schools enrolling students who will enter kindergarten in the fall may administer the OELPS any time after the last day of preschool. For the most valid results, districts and schools should administer the OELPS as close as possible to the beginning of the kindergarten school year when the students are no longer attending preschool.

OELPA and Alt-OELPA. The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) and the Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA) are the summative tests administered annually to determine an already-identified English learner’s proficiency level and readiness to exit the English language development program. Only English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities whose IEP team has decided the alternate assessment is appropriate may be administered the Alt-OELPA. Federal and state laws require all English learners to be administered the OELPA or Alt-OELPA annually, and these summative tests are required in addition to Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
ELPA21. Ohio works with a group of states led by the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) to develop the screener.

Ohio's English Language Proficiency Tests Portal

The test portal is the gateway to state test administration systems and resources for:

The portal is maintained by the Department vendor, Cambium Assessment.

TIDE for Online Administrations

The Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) system stores student demographic information and provides authorized users with tools for administrative tasks. All students being administered the OELPS must be entered in TIDE prior to testing. Refer to the TIDE User Guide for information about registering students for testing and updating student test settings. Preidentification in TIDE. The Guidance Document for Ohio Pre-ID Files is posted on the test portal in the Resources section. The Ohio Pre-ID layout is used to register students in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE).

Resources on the Test Portal

Access any of these resources in the Resources section of the test portal with the exception of the Directions for Administration for Paper-Pencil Tests, which is a secure document delivered with the paper test materials.

Note: Although most information remains consistent from year to year, the Department and Cambium Assessment update many of the resources below during the months preceding each test administration.

Planning the Test Administration

These documents provide district test coordinators and test administrators with a monthly timeline and task checklist to prepare for the administration of the OELPS. 
District Test Coordinator Checklist The District Test Coordinator Checklist is found in Appendix D of the OELPS Test Coordinator Manual listed below.
Test Administrator Checklist  The Test Administrator Checklist is found in Appendix E of the OELPS Test Coordinator Manual listed below.

Manuals, User Guides and Administration Documents

OELPS Test Coordinator Manual The Test Coordinator Manual (TCM) explains policies and procedures for districts and schools administering the OELPS. Refer to the OELPS Test Administration Manual for step-by-step test administration procedures. District test coordinators and building test coordinators must review the OELPS Test Coordinator Manual prior to administering the test and should use the TCM to train assessment staff.
OELPS Test Administration Manual for Online Administration
The Test Administration Manual (TAM) guides test administrators through the online administration of the OELPS. It gives specific procedures, set-up details, instructions for administration and a script with directions for test administrators to follow. Test administrators must review the OELPS Test Administration Manual prior to testing and access it during testing to guide the administration.
Directions for Administration Manual for Paper-Pencil Tests The Directions for Administration (DFA) guides the administration of the paper tests (paper-pencil, large-print, and braille). This manual is a secure document and is not posted on the test portal. It is included with the shipment of paper test materials and must be returned with the paper test materials. Test administrators must review this manual prior to testing and access it during testing to guide the administration.
OELPS Translated Online Test Directions The Department provides translated test directions in Arabic, Somali and Spanish. These scripts and their corresponding audio files are verbatim reproductions of the test directions in the OELPS Test Administration Manual. Audio track numbers below each of the “SAY” boxes in the test administration manual help the test administrator know which track to play. 
Accessibility Manual for OELPS and OELPA The accessibility manual is a comprehensive policy document providing information about the accessibility features of the OELPS and the OELPA. It explains the administrative considerations, universal tools, designated supports, accommodations and domain exemption policies for the OELPS and OELPA.
OELPS and OELPA Data Entry Interface User Guide for Paper Tests This user guide should be reviewed by individuals who will administer the OELPS and OELPA accommodated paper forms. This guide includes step-by-step instructions for accessing the site and submitting student responses and scores into the Data Entry Interface.

scoring and reporting

OELPS Step Two Speaking Scoring Document This document assists test administrators with the scoring of the OELPS speaking items. During the administration of the OELPS, the test administrator is required to score the four speaking items at the beginning of Step Two. The scoring rubrics and student examples for the score points are included in the document. The OELPS Step Two Speaking Scoring document must be available before and during Step Two of the OELPS.
Teacher Assessment Scoring Center (TASC) User Guide The TASC User Guide should be reviewed by district test coordinators (DTCs), building test coordinators (BTCs), district (DAs) and teachers (TEs) who will be administering the OELPS. Staff who have been assigned the allowable user accounts (DTC, BTC, DA, TE) will use the TASC to score responses to hand-scored items for students who complete Step Three of the OELPS. Instructions for accessing the TASC site and submitting student scores can be found in the TASC User Guide. Please note the Test Administrator user account does not have access to the TASC. The TASC User Guide needs to be read after the student has completed Step Three of the OELPS.
OELPS Understanding Results Manual
The manual helps district and school staff by defining and explaining elements of the OELPS score reports and what the results mean for their students.


Test Administrator Certification Course This course provides step-by-step instructions for starting a test session in the Test Administrator Interface, marking student test settings, approving students to test and monitoring a test session. All test administrators are encouraged to complete the course to prepare for the OELPS. The companion document offers Ohio-specific information and clarifications. Please review the companion document in conjunction with the Certification Course.
Test Administrator User Guide This user guide explains how to use the Test Administrator Interface and Test Administrator Practice Site to proctor online and practice tests. It explains tools available to students, online testing rules and the secure browser. 
Webinars Webinars provide information about the OELPS and can be used when preparing staff to administer the OELPS.


TIDE Support Documents This page has many TIDE support documents that help district and school staff with the test administration, such as:
  • TIDE User Guide
  • TIDE Training Modules
  • TIDE Tutorial
  • Ohio Pre-ID File Layout
Tech Guide Technology coordinators and/or test coordinators should refer to the Technology Coordinators page of the portal for technical specifications, including how to use online systems and information on the secure browser.

Resources on the Department Website

Although most information remains consistent from year to year, the Department updates many of the resources below during the months preceding each test administration.
OELPS Frequently Asked Questions This guidance answers the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) received by the Department regarding the OELPS.
Translated Individual Student Reports The translated Individual Student Reports (ISR) are available in the home languages most commonly reported by Ohio schools. The translated ISRs are provided to notify English-learner parents about their child’s level of English proficiency.
Test Dates This page states the test windows dates for the OELPS test administration, as well as other state tests.

 Other Important Information

Last Modified: 6/26/2024 4:52:12 PM