Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA)

Overview. The Department of Education and Workforce provides its schools the Alternate Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alt-OELPA) to measure the English language proficiency of eligible English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades K-12. The Alt-OELPA assesses proficiency across four language domains (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and includes the academic English language students need to access and make progress in 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 that is based on alternate proficiency expectations for English language development. The Alt-OELPA is aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards-Extended for English Language Proficiency, which are guidelines for planning teams to support students’ English language development and complement extended learning standards in the academic subject areas (mathematics, science, social studies, and English language arts).

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. These purposes are consistent with the requirements for assessing and reporting students’ acquisition of English language proficiency under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Ohio Revised Code.

Students’ Alt-OELPA results provide important information about what students know and can do in English.  The also can help families and educators establish appropriate English language proficiency expectations and inform decisions about appropriate services and instruction. 

For more information about the Alt-OELPA, including which students are eligible for the assessment, refer to the resources on the Alt-OELPA Resources page of the test portal.

ELPA21. Ohio works with a group of states managed by English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) to develop and maintain the Alt-OELPA. The Alt-OELPA was developed with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. ELPA21 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.

Current News

For important updates and announcements about the Alt-OELPA, please visit the Announcements page of the Ohio English Language Proficiency Tests Portal.

Important Dates

The Alt-OELPA test window is eight weeks and typically coincides with the months of February and March. Results become available to districts and school in the Centralized Reporting System in mid-May.
View the Test Dates page on the Department’s website and the Important Dates page of the Ohio English Language Proficiency Tests portal for exact dates.

Ohio's English Language Proficiency Tests Portal

Ohio’s English Language Proficiency Tests Portal is the gateway to state test administration systems and resources for: The portal is maintained by the Department’s vendor, Cambium Assessment, Inc.

Alt-OELPA Resources

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.


ELPA21 Training Courses for the Alt-OELPA Ohio’s membership in ELPA21 provides Ohio educators administering the Alt-OELPA with three, self-paced, online training courses. Test coordinators and test administrators working with the Alt-OELPA complete the training annually.
Alt-OELPA Participation Guidelines This document outlines the student participation criteria for the Alt-OELPA to guide individualized education program (IEP) teams in determining eligibility for participation.
Alt-OELPA Accessibility and Accommodations Manual The accessibility manual reiterates the participation guidelines and guides the selection and administration of appropriate universal features, designated supports, accommodations, and domain exemptions for the Alt-OELPA. The appendices provide useful information and tools for educators determining the supports students may need to access the test, including a participation checklist, a participation flowchart, and accessibility planning tools.
Alt-OELPA Test Administration Manual This manual provides information about the Alt-OELPA, including an overview of the test and item types, directions for test administrators, and a script of student directions to be read by test administrators. The test administration manual is needed during test administration.
Alt-OELPA Translated Test Directions for Administration These scripts and the corresponding audio files are verbatim translations of the Directions for Administration found in the Alt-OELPA Test Administration Manual. The translations include Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese for each domain test (listening, reading, speaking, and writing).
Alt-OELPA Test Administrator Directions and Scoring Rubrics Booklets
(SECURE – not posted publicly)
Test administrators must have these booklets before beginning any Alt-OELPA domain test. These secure booklets contain specific directions and the test administrator’s script for each domain test and grade band. There are 24 booklets, one booklet for each of the four domain tests in each of the six grade bands. The booklets for the speaking and writing domains also contain scoring rubrics that test administrators will use to score student responses during the test. To access the booklets, the district test coordinator must download the booklets from the General Resources tab in TIDE and distribute them to test administrators via TIDE’s Secure File Center. The booklets are highly secure and must be deleted or destroyed after testing. Refer to the Alt-OELPA Test Administration Manual or contact the Ohio Help Desk at 1-877-231-7809 for more information.
Alt-OELPA Technology Skills Checklist This document lists the technology skills that students being administered the Alt-OELPA may need to perform, though test administrators can help students navigate the test and its tools as needed.
Alt-OELPA Tool Button Image and Description Sheet This document explains the various controls students may see when taking the test. This sheet was created to support students when test administrators proctor the Alt-OELPA Practice Tests.
Alt-OELPA Practice Test Resources These documents guide the administration of the Alt-OELPA sample items from the Practice Test Site and include test administrator directions, scoring rubrics, and a practice test guidance document.
Alt-OELPA Webinar This page features the webinars regarding the Alt-OELPA.


Alt-OELPA Student Reports: A Quick Guide for Educators The quick guide helps educators understand students’ Alt-OELPA results and the Individual Score Report (ISR).
Alt-OELPA Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) This document describes what English learners’ language usage looks like at each performance level for each of the four language domains across the grade bands.
Alt-OELPA Parent Guide to Student Reports This guide explains the Alt-OELPA results on the Individual Student Report (ISR) to parents and guardians. The guide is available in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, English, Karen, Marshallese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese
Alt-OELPA – Default Centralized Reporting System (CRS) Layout for Data File for Each Test This is the default layout of student results reported in the CRS.
Alt-OELPA – Default Centralized Reporting System (CRS) for Combined Data File This is the default layout of student results reported in the CRS.

ELPA21 Resources

Ohio's Alt-OELPA Community of Practice

The Department acknowledges and thanks 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 2021 to provide feedback, participate in training, and support the Alt-OELPA pilot test. Collectively, the members’ service has helped bring this assessment to fruition. For information about joining the Alt-OELPA Community of Practice, please contact Katie Crow.

Last Modified: 4/22/2024 11:57:22 AM