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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Update on Extensions and Alternate Schedules for Spring 2015 Testing

To:Superintendents, Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, Institutional Settings, and Adult/External Diploma Programs
Copy:MCAS and PARCC Test Coordinators
From:Elizabeth Davis, Associate Commissioner of Student Assessment
Date:February 19, 2015


In follow-up to the Commissioner's recent communication on flexibility for scheduling the statewide tests, I am pleased to provide you with information regarding extensions (provided to all districts) and alternate testing schedules (available to districts that submit a request by February 26) for MCAS, PARCC, and MCAS-Alt in spring 2015. Please note that the dates for the March retest administration will remain the same. The guidelines below summarize the options being offered.

  1. Extensions to Certain MCAS and PARCC Testing Windows

    The Department is extending the testing windows and return deadlines for certain spring test administrations to all districts, as shown below. Schools must return materials by the new deadlines, but are encouraged to return materials as soon as they are finished testing. An updated calendar with all relevant dates will be posted to the Department's website early next week.

     Regular Testing WindowExtended Testing Window
    Spring 2015 MCAS and MCAS Alternate Assessment
    Grades 3-8 ELA Reading Comprehension TestsMarch 23-April 6
    (UPS pickup deadline: April 8)
    March 23-April 13
    (UPS pickup deadline: April 15)
    Grades 3-8 Mathematics and STE TestsMay 4-19
    (UPS pickup deadline: May 21)
    May 4-26
    (UPS pickup deadline: May 28)
    MCAS-AltUPS pickup deadline: April 2UPS pickup deadline: April 8
    Spring 2015 PARCC
    For schools doing computer-based testingPerformance-based assessment (PBA)March 16-April 13March 16-April 17
    End-of-year (EOY)May 4-29May 4-June 5
    For schools doing paper-based testingPBAMarch 23-April 6March 23-April 13
    (UPS pickup deadline: April 17)
    EOYMay 11-22May 11-May 29
    (UPS pickup deadline: June 5)
  2. Alternate Schedules for MCAS Tests with Prescribed Dates
    (The decision to use an alternate schedule must be submitted to the Department by Thursday, February 26.)

    The Department will offer alternate schedules, including extensions to the make-up periods, for MCAS tests with prescribed dates, as shown in the table below.

    Alternate UPS
    ELA Composition
    (Grades 4, 7, and 10)
    March 24April 2April 15
    ELA Composition Make-Up
    (Grades 4, 7, and 10)
    April 2April 8
    Grade 10 ELA Reading Comprehension, Sessions 1 and 2March 25March 31
    Grade 10 ELA Reading Comprehension, Session 3March 26April 1
    Grade 10 Mathematics, Session 1May 12May 19May 28
    Grade 10 Mathematics, Session 2May 13May 20
    High School STE, Session 1June 2June 8June 15
    High School STE, Session 2June 3June 9

    For planning purposes, districts must inform the Department if they wish to use the alternate schedule. District superintendents will receive a password and instructions under separate cover for submitting this decision. The district's decision must be submitted no later than Thursday, February 26, at 5:00 p.m.

    If a district wishes to use this alternate schedule, all the schools in the district must follow the alternate schedule. A district may choose, though, to use the regular schedule for one content area and the alternate schedule for another content area (e.g., a district may choose to use the alternate schedule for the grade 10 Mathematics tests but not the June high school STE tests).

Please communicate this information to all relevant staff. If you have any questions, please contact Student Assessment Services at 781-338-3625 or by email at or

Thank you.

Last Updated: February 19, 2015
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