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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: April 13, 2016

Customer Service Contacts for Spring 2016 Test Administrations

Logistics and Administration Support
MCAS Service Center
Phone: 800-737-5103
PARCC Support Center
Phone: 888-493-9888

Policy Questions (MCAS and PARCC)
Student Assessment Services
Phone: 781-338-3625

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

Since April vacation coincides with the next scheduled Update, we are sending this special edition ahead of the break; regular updates will resume the week of May 2. We wish you and your school communities an enjoyable school vacation week.

Recruitment for MCAS Assessment Development Committees (ADCs)

In preparation for the transition to the next-generation MCAS test to be administered beginning in spring 2017, the Department has started the recruitment process for the ADCs, as well as the Bias and Sensitivity Committee. The committees are invaluable to the development of the MCAS tests; members are directly involved in assisting the Department with the process of developing and reviewing MCAS test items. This is a rewarding professional development opportunity for educators who are interested in learning about large-scale, standards-based assessment. The deadline for applications is April 29.

Reminder to Return MCAS Grades 3–8 ELA Materials

Schools that administered MCAS ELA tests are reminded that April 13 is the deadline for scheduling a pickup, and that the pickup deadline is April 14. The Principal's Administration Manual Download PDF Document  Download TXT Document contains instructions on packing and arranging for pickup.

Reminder to Register for PARCC "Office Hours"

To help prepare schools for the upcoming PARCC test administration window, Department staff will be holding the second "office hours" session on April 25. Please register no later than April 22 in order to receive materials ahead of the call.

PARCC Additional Materials Orders

As a reminder, the PARCC additional materials ordering window is now open (orders are placed online using PearsonAccess Next). Materials can be ordered throughout test administration; if you need to place an additional order, please keep the following in mind:

  • It takes approximately five business days for an order to arrive in schools. Orders can be tracked through PearsonAccess Next by clicking the blue information circle next to your order number and viewing the shipments tab.
  • Please ensure that any orders for test booklets for grades 4-8 also include the corresponding answer documents and math tools, if appropriate.
  • When ordering any additional materials, please verify that you have enough return materials for use at the end of administration. All return materials can be ordered through the system as well.
  • Paper orders are not automatically generated for PNP changes made since March 11. If a new student has been added or an accommodation has been changed, an additional materials order must be placed in order to receive the appropriate materials.

An FAQ document which includes a list of return materials to order, a packing list for kits, and step-by-step guidance for placing additional materials orders can be found on Avocet.

Important Dates

  • April 25–May 27: PARCC administration window for paper-based testing (PBT)
  • April 25–June 6: PARCC administration window for computer-based testing (PBT)

Additional Resources

Guidance for Testing Transfer Students


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).

We welcome your feedback at

Last Updated: April 13, 2016
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