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NSCAS Resources

Statewide Assessment Department


Linguistic Supports for English LearnersNSCAS Summative Alternate Accessibility Manual

To accompany the NSCAS Summative Alternate Accessibility Manual, the following is a short webinar and PowerPoint that explain Tool 2: Linguistic Supports for English Learners (PowerPoint).


Standards, Assessment, and Accountability (SAA) Winter 2018

ELPA21 Screener

Nebraska’s English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) Screener Information

ELPA21 is currently working on the development of an ELPA21 screener.  As soon as information is available about the screener, NDE will update this page.

ELPA21 Screener Guidance 2017 (August 2017)

Final Screener Pilot Recruitment Letter

ELPA21 Screener Important Info (August 2017)

ELPA21 Assessment

Nebraska’s English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21)

Table of Contents
Important Dates
Technical Requirements
Reporting and Interpreting Scores
Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)

Nebraska is a member of the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century, ELPA21, a group of states that designed and developed an assessment system for English learners.  The system is based on the NE ELP Standards and addresses the language demands needed to reach college and career readiness.  The ELPA21 assessment system currently includes screener and summative assessments.  For a one-page quick guide for each of these assessments, click below:

ELPA21 Screener Guidance NDE

ELPA21 Summative Guidance

AIR is the vendor for ELAP21 in Nebraska.  All resources, materials, and system access for the screener and summative assessments can be found on the NE AIR portal at:

Nebraska ELPA21 Help Desk
Hours: 7:00AM to 7:00PM Central Time, Monday – Friday (except holidays)
Phone: 1.866.287.5617

ELPA21 Important Dates

2018 ELPA21 Test Window – February 5th – March 16th

ELPA21 Updates

ELPA21 Update May 2017

ELPA21 Update April 2017

ELPA21 Update March 2017

ELPA21 Update Jan 2017

ELPA21 Technical Requirements

Additional ELPA21 Headset Information – Operational

ELPA21 Hardware Specifications – Operational (2)

Headset Specifications – Operational

ELPA21: Reporting and Interpreting Scores  

Score Reporting Webinars

AIR Online Reporting System Webinar Recording

ELPA21: Score Report Webinar

Score Reporting Documents

NE ELPA21 Score Interpretation Guide

ELPA21 Score Reporting FAQ

ELPA21 Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs)

Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs) are available to use in interpreting the ELPA21 scores for both educators and parents. ALDs describe achievement in terms of skills measured and demonstrated on the ELPA21. They are broken out by domain and grade band. Also, included on the ALDs are the scale score ranges by specific grade. No translations are available this year.

Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs), also known as Performance Level Descriptors, describe what students know and can do by domain based on the assessment. These indicators can be used by educators to target instruction for each of the four domains, and to inform parents and students of the expectations for students to be considered proficient in English at a particular grade level or grade band. The final Achievement Level Descriptors for ELPA21 are the result of the work of ELPA21 member-state education department staff and panelists at the standards setting event in July 2016.

Updated Approved Kinder ALDsFinalized Kinder ALDs
Finalized Grade 1 ALDsFinalized Grade 1 ALDs
Finalized Grade Band 2-3 ALDsFinalized Grade Band 2-3 ALDs
Finalized Grade Band 4-5 ALDsFinalized Grade Band 4-5 ALDs
Finalized Grade Band 6-8 ALDsFinalized Grade Band 6-8 ALDs
Finalized Grade Band 9-12 ALDsFinalized Grade Bank 9-12 ALDs


Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Requirements

Schools’ Civil Rights Obligations to English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents

Important Notice, Updated January 15

New Guidance from Departmarts of Education and Justice on Equitable Educational Access for English Language Students (January 2015)

Fact Sheet II: Additional Questions and Answers Enrolling New Immigrants Students (pdf)
This fact sheet supplements the August 2014 publication “Education Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States” (below)

Fact Sheet: Education Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the United States (pdf)
Fact sheet on educational services for immigrant children and those recently arrived to the United States. The fact sheet identifies existing resources that may be helpful to communities enrolling immigrant children, including newly arrived immigrant children.

Contact Us

Terri Schuster
Title III Director, ELL Programs and Assessment


Brooke David
Title III Consultant

Nebraska Department of Education / 301 Centennial Mall South / Lincoln, NE  68509

English Learner Programs

The purposes of Title III are to:

  1. Improve the education of English Learners by assisting them attain English proficiency, attain high levels of academic achievement in English and meet challenging academic standards. AND
  2. Provide enhanced instructional opportunities for immigrant children and youth.

Contact Information

Terri Schuster, 402-471-4694
Brooke David, 402 471-2451

English Learner Newsletter

Winter 2017
Fall 2017


Title III Update – IMPORTANT – 4.19.2018

Upcoming Events

NDE Secondary Working Group Meeting
 When: March 1, 2018
Where: Firespring Lincoln, NE
Time: 9:00-3:00
Contact for information:

Classroom Instruction that Works with English Learners Training Modules 6-9
When: April 4, 2018
Where:  ESU 3 LaVista, NE
Time:  8:00-3:00
Contact for information:

Statewide ELL Professional Development Team Meeting
When: April 5, 2018
Where:  ESU 3 LaVista, NE
Time:  8:00-3:00
Contact for information: (closed to DPD members only)