Dear Family Members,

If your child is enrolled in your school’s English language development (ELD) program, part of the program services include participating in the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21). The ELPA21 assesses English language skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. In past years the assessment has been administered in February and March. This year, to allow schools and districts to reopen safely and set health and safety protocols during testing, the assessment window has been scheduled for March 22, 2021 through June 4, 2021. White Salmon Valley School District will begin administering the ELPA 21 assessment on April 12, 2021.

While families have the right under federal law to refuse standardized assessments, the Department of Education still requires districts to assess 100% of their qualifying students with the ELPA21, therefore OSPI strongly encourages families to participate in annual testing this year, taking into account the circumstances of COVID-19. The results a student earns on the ELPA21 Assessment help determine whether their English skills and knowledge are sufficient to exit the English language development program at school. State identified English learners who do not test, continue to be eligible for English development services at school regardless of their skill level in English. For some students, not taking the assessment may mean remaining in a language program longer than is needed.

Districts are working with local and state public health authorities to maximize health and safety protocols at school to protect against the spread of COVID-19. These protocols are in place for students who are participating in in-person learning opportunities, as well as distance learning students who would come to schools for testing.

If you do choose to refuse ELPA21 testing this year, please communicate your intent in writing in one of the following ways:

  • Deliver it to the office of your student’s school
  • Email your intent to Debbie Lewis at debbie.lewis@whitesalmonschools.org
  • Fax your intent to (509) 493-8214
  • Mail your request to:

White Salmon Valley School District

 Attn: Debbie Lewis
 PO Box 1279 
 White Salmon, WA 98672

Finally, we want to thank you for the continued partnership and shared goal of helping your child do well in school. During these uncertain times, we remain committed to helping our multilingual students access a robust English language development program and an equitable education.

If you have any questions, please contact Brenda Hope at brenda.hope@whitesalmonschools.org or (509) 493-1560.