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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: January 26, 2016

Schedule for the 2016-2017 School Year

The Department typically releases the testing schedules a year in advance so that districts and schools can align local schedules accordingly. Since plans for spring 2017 MCAS testing are still in development, the spring testing schedule is delayed. The grade 10 and retest schedules for 2016–2017 will be posted soon (they will be very similar to 2016). The Test Administration Workgroup will be discussing scheduling, and the Department is planning to post a schedule, based on input from the workgroup, in the next month. Thank you for your patience.

Preparing for Students to Participate in Spring Testing

We encourage schools to prepare lists of students who will need to test in the spring to avoid a situation where a student does not participate in testing because he or she was overlooked.

  • We encourage schools to review students IEPs and 504 plans to determine whether students need to participate in alternate assessments or testing with accommodations (a different determination can be made for each subject area).
  • Schools may wish to use the claiming process in the Department's data warehouse to view prior years' test results for transfer students.
  • High schools are encouraged to check data from the November retests (released January 13 and posted in Dropbox Central) and the Competency Determination file which shows the students who still need to meet CD graduation requirements.

PARCC Accessibility and Accommodations Policies

For districts and schools that will be administering PARCC assessments to students this spring, particularly those giving PARCC for the first time, important guidance and materials regarding students with disabilities and English language learners are available on the Department's PARCC website.

PARCC Training Sessions: Save the Dates

PARCC training sessions for district leaders to prepare for the spring 2016 test administration will be held on the following dates:

  • February 23 in Marlborough
  • February 24 in Holyoke
  • February 25 remote session
  • February 26 remote session

More information will be provided under separate cover to district administrators in PARCC districts. For a remote session, districts may invite several additional staff members—including school-level staff—to participate together in a room.

Important Dates

  • January 4–February 3: Additional materials ordering window for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
  • January 7–February 10: Testing window for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
  • February 25: November 2015 MCAS Retest Parent/Guardian reports scheduled to be received by districts.

Additional Resources

View External Link
2016 PARCC Unit Testing Times
View External Link
PARCC Technology Guidelines version 5.2
View External Link
Spring 2016 PARCC Resources on Avocet


Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, PARCC test coordinators, special education directors, and ELL directors receive this update based on contact information 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 private special education schools: submit the new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator.
  • Test sites, adult education programs, out-of-state schools, SEIS-DYS programs: go online to the EOE Information Technology web page (select "District/School Information Update" as the subject) to submit your update (be sure to include your District and School Code).

In addition to this update, PARCC districts may find the biweekly PARCC bulletins to be useful.

We welcome your feedback at

Last Updated: January 28, 2016
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