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English Language Learners

Standards and Guidance


Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, the state of Iowa will be transitioning to the ELPA21 assessment.

All identified district/building technology and test coordinators should be receiving information directly from the Iowa Department of Education. Information includes mandatory trainings, technology specifications, etc. to aid schools in transitioning to this assessment.

Important Documents:

Frequently Asked Questions:

When is the testing window for ELPA21?

The testing window begins February 15 and ends April 15.

How long will these assessments take?

To find appropriate time allotments for different grade levels, click here.

Are there practice tests available for students?

Practice tests are available within the Iowa ELPA21 Portal. It is recommended that students take the practice tests to familiarize themselves with the online testing format. It is also recommended that practice tests are given no earlier than 1-2 weeks before your district's specific testing date(s).

Are there trainings available? Who has to participate in these trainings?

Technology and test coordinators, along with test administrators, must participate in the appropriate trainings for their roles. Trainings are available through AEA PD Online. To access these trainings:

  1. Go to
  2. Under the "Quick Links" tab, choose "Training System".
  3. Log in to your AEA PD Online account.
  4. In the catalog, either search "ELPA21" or choose "Hosted Trainings."
  5. Trainings for Test Administrators and Technology Coordinators will be there.

I need access to the Iowa ELPA21 Portal. How do I get that?

Test coordinators and test administrators need access to the Iowa ELPA21 Portal. If you do not already have an A&A account, you will need to sign up for one. From there, you will request access to the ELPA21 Portal. For instructions on how to set up the A&A account and request access, click here.



Important Links:

Iowa Department of Education ELPA21 webpage:

Iowa ELPA21 Portal (Do request portal access through an A&A account. This link will help you see the portal layout.):


Who do I contact if I need help?

For portal assistance, contact Jean Alfred:


For ELPA21 Test Assistance, contact the Iowa ELPA21 Help Desk:


ELL Updates from Keystone


Sarah Brincks