Student Assessment Update: September 20, 2016- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: September 20, 2016

Contact Information

Student Assessment Services
Phone: 781-338-3625

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

MCAS and Students with Disabilities

Register now for one of four Department-sponsored Administrators Overview workshops. Each workshop will cover:

  • Accommodations and Accessibility Features for Next-Generation MCAS (manuals for grades 3–8 and high school MCAS tests are now available)
  • MCAS-Alt, including activities described in the new Principal's Manual for MCAS-Alt Download MS WORD Document
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for students with disabilities

The workshops will be held on October 4, 5, 6 and 13 from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

In addition, training sessions for educators responsible for conducting the MCAS-Alt will be held on September 26, 27, 28, and 29; as well as on October 4, 5, 6, and 13 from 8:30 a.m. – noon. See the flyer faxed to your school or the DESE website for locations. Registration is conducted on the MCAS Service Center website. Click on "MCAS Alternate Assessment," then "Registration for Training."

ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Training

Districts may register up to two test coordinators per district (unless your district was notified otherwise) to attend a 2017 ACCESS test coordinator training session, as described below:

  • Holyoke Community College — Friday, September 30, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (face-to-face)
  • Devens Common Center — Monday, October 3, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (face-to-face)
  • Conference call — Tuesday, October 18, 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Massasoit Community College, Brockton — Friday, October 28, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (face-to-face)

November MCAS Retest Materials

Principals were expected to complete the online enrollment verification form for ordering test materials for the November retest administration by Friday, September 16. If your school did not order test materials by the deadline, you must contact the MCAS Service Center by phone at 800-737-5103 as soon as possible (this week). When you call, be sure to have your school's enrollment information for ordering test materials, including the number of students with disabilities who need special editions (e.g., Braille, large-print).

As a reminder, superintendents must ensure that private special education schools and educational collaboratives order materials for students in out-of-district placements.

Please contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 with any questions about ordering materials. For policy-related questions, please contact the Student Assessment Services Unit at

Guidance on 2017 MCAS Computer-Based Testing (CBT) for Grades 3–8

Department staff led a conference call session on Monday, September 19, to provide guidance on computer-based testing. Slides from the presentation are will be posted shortly, and you may wish to view them along with the recording, which is available upon request (please email

John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Letters

High schools will soon be receiving a delivery of letters for students who have qualified to receive the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. Schools should make copies of the letters for students' files for future reference.

Important Dates

  • September 26: Official district and school-level PARCC, MCAS, and MCAS-Alt results released to the public
  • September 27: Printed PARCC, MCAS, and MCAS-Alt parent/guardian reports received in districts
  • October 14: Deadline for districts to submit decisions on testing mode for grades 3–8
  • October 14: Deadline for completed CBT waiver requests
  • October 24–November 10: ACCESS for ELLs materials-ordering window

Additional Resources

View HTML Page
Transition Plan for MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Tests
View HTML Page
Statewide Assessment Calendar with Test Administration Deadlines for the 2016–2017 School Year
View HTML Page
MCAS Device Calculator for Computer-Based Testing


Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, special education directors, and ELL directors receive the Student Assessment Update based on contact information submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member who serves in one of these roles, 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).

For others who wish to subscribe, email with the following information in the body of the email: "subscribe SASUpdate Your_Name" (Example: subscribe SASUpdate John_Smith). To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with the following information in the body: "unsubscribe SASUpdate."

We welcome your questions and feedback at Thank you.

Last Updated: September 21, 2016

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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