Student Assessment Update: May 13, 2014- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: May 13, 2014

June High School STE MCAS Testing Will Affect Adams Scholarship Eligibility for Students in Grades 9 and 10

Beginning with the class of 2016, a student's score on a high school Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) MCAS test will be added to the eligibility criteria for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. Therefore, the score for a grade 9 or 10 student who takes one of the June 2014 STE MCAS tests will count toward his or her scholarship eligibility.

The Department strongly recommends that schools notify students and their parents or guardians in writing about this new criterion if students will be participating in the June STE MCAS testing. Please refer to the Department's website for more information about the Adams Scholarship. See the Principal's Administration Manual Download PDF Document for detailed participation guidelines (page 14).

Assessment Decision Due June 30 and May PARCC Conference Calls

As you know, districts will have the choice to administer either PARCC or MCAS tests in ELA and Mathematics for students in grades 3-8 in spring 2015. The deadline for registering an early decision is June 30 (October 1 is the deadline for the decision, pending availability). Information to assist in decision-making will be presented during conference calls this month.

Reminder about the Test Administrator Manual for PARCC Paper-Based Testing

Please remember to inform your test administrators that the following sentence on page 128 of the PARCC Test Administrator Manual for Paper-Based Testing needs to be replaced. (The sentence is found near the middle of the page.)

Original SentenceFind the page after the first STOP sign Test Booklet and follow along while I read the directions for Session 2.
Replacement SentenceTurn to the first page of the Test Booklet and follow along while I read the directions.

New Technology Checklist and Updated Infrastructure Trial Guide Now Available

Pearson recently made two guides available to help schools and districts prepare for and administer the PARCC online EOY assessment. The Quick Start Checklist for Computer-Based Testing, organized by task and staff role, identifies the sequence of steps to set up, administer, and complete the online field test. It also includes an appendix of reference materials for online test preparation and training. The Infrastructure Trial Readiness Guide (Version 1.2) provides a step-by-step instruction manual for conducting an infrastructure trial on the Pearson Access PARCC Training site. Both guides are available on the non-secure Pearson Access site, on the Support tab, under Manuals and Documents.

Spring 2015 PARCC Test Administration Dates

Spring 2015 PARCC testing dates for Massachusetts schools are now available. The dates are included on page 5 of the Statewide Testing Schedule and are as follows:

Performance-based Assessment (PBA)
Test Administration Window
End-of-Year Assessment (EOY)
Test Administration Window
Computer-based testPaper-based testComputer-based testPaper-based test
March 16-April 10March 23-April 3May 4-29May 11-22

Considerations in scheduling the PARCC testing windows were maximizing instructional time prior to testing, providing adequate time for schools administering the computer-based test (CBT) version, and maintaining comparable testing periods across participating states. As a reminder, administrators are expected to give priority to this schedule in establishing district and school calendars. Also remember that state and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodations for the needs of students and staff members who observe religious holidays. Please contact the Student Assessment Services unit at 781-338-3625 with questions about the schedule.

Important Dates


  • May 5-20: Mathematics test sessions for grades 3-8
  • May 6-20: Science and Technology/Engineering test sessions for grades 5 and 8
  • May 13 and 14: Mathematics test sessions for grade 10
  • May 16: Early pickup of test materials (prescheduled for high schools: see MCAS Principal's Administration Manual page 62 for more information)
  • May 19: High schools receive test materials for Science and Technology/Engineering

   PARCC End-of-Year (EOY) Assessment

  • May 9: Recommended completion of online test session setup
  • May 5-June 6: Administration window for the EOY test
  • Available Now: Proctor Caching for online testing

About This Update

The Student Assessment Update provides important information about the state's testing programs. The update is scheduled to be distributed to schools on a bimonthly basis (less frequently in the summer). We welcome your feedback at

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, and ELL directors receive this update via email based on contact information that your school submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public school districts, public schools, charter public schools, collaboratives, approved special education schools: Submit the new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator, who is responsible for submitting contact information to the Department.
  • MCAS test sites, adult education programs, out-of-state schools, SEIS-DYS programs: Submit an email address (along with your District and School Code) to the Department at

Last Updated: May 14, 2014

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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