California English Language Development Test
Annual Assessment Testing Window
July 1st - October 22nd

Federal law (Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) and state law (California Education Code sections 313 and 60810) require that school districts administer a state test of English language proficiency

(1) to newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English and

(2) to students who are English learners as an annual assessment.

For California public school students, this test is the California English Language Development Test (CELDT).  All newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English must take the CELDT within 30 calendar days after they are enrolled in a California public school for the first time. The CELDT must also be given once each year to English learners until they are reclassified.

What is the purpose of the CELDT?
The CELDT has three main purposes:

  • Initial Identification
  • To monitor a student's progress in developing English proficiency
  • To assist in determining proficiency in English and to serve as one criterion for reclassification to RFEP
Who can administer the test?
Only test examiners who are employees of Paradise Unified, are proficient in speaking English, have received formal CELDT training, and have completed the test security affidavit may administer the CELDT.
Do English learners with disabilities take the CELDT?
Yes. English learners, and newly enrolled students who have a home language other than English, with disabilities must be tested. Students with disabilities who participate in the CELDT may use variations, accommodations, and/or modifications as specified in their individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans. 
Do foreign exchange students take the CELDT?
Yes. The law does not specify that any student(s) may be exempted.
Do students in transitional kindergarten classes take the CELDT?
Yes. These students are to take the kindergarten test. All students enrolled in PUSD in the first year of a two-year kindergarten program (i.e. transitional kindergarten), whose primary language is other than English as determined by a home language survey, must be administered the CELDT within 30 calendar days of enrollment or 60 calendar days prior to instruction, but not before July 1.
The CELDT-CalEdFacts page provides a more detailed overview of the test.
To learn more about the successor to the CELDT, visit the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) Web Page for the latest information.


California is in the process of transitioning from the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) to the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). The CELDT will continue to be administered until the ELPAC becomes operational. The table below shows a brief comparison between the CELDT and the ELPAC. For more information, see the CELDT to ELPAC Proposed Transition Timeline Web page.

Chart comparing the current CELDT to its successor, ELPAC, as the state ELP assessment in 2018.ELPAC/CELDT Comparison Chart (Links to an external site.)

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