Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Request for Schools to Order Materials for the March 2017 MCAS Retests and Spring 2017 MCAS Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics Tests between January 12-26

To:Superintendents, High School Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, Institutional Settings, and Adult/External Diploma Programs
Copy:MCAS Test Coordinators
From:Michol Stapel, Associate Commissioner for Student Assessment
Date:January 9, 2017

I am writing to request that high school principals order test materials for the March retests and the spring 2017 grade 10 ELA and Mathematics tests. High schools will be ordering test materials via the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process in PearsonAccess Next (PAN) as follows:
  • March Retest SR/PNP window: January 12-26. Schools must import a pre-populated file of students into PAN. This is the same process that was used for ordering February Biology test materials.
  • Spring Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics SR/PNP window: January 12-26. The Department will complete the initial import of students into PAN, based on October 2016 SIMS. Schools can make any necessary edits to student data during the ELA/Mathematics SR/PNP window.
All high school principals must go online to PAN to complete the SR/PNP for both administrations, including schools that do not have students participating in the March retest administration. In addition, superintendents must ensure that educational collaboratives and approved private special education schools order materials via the SR/PNP process for their students in out-of-district placements.

March Retests

To assist schools in determining which students will be participating in the March retest, on January 12 the Department will be posting a file of eligible students in grades 10-12 who have not earned their Competency Determination in ELA and/or Mathematics in the MassEdu Gateway (formerly the Security Portal) to schools' DropBox Central in the "MCAS 2017" folder. Schools will need to remove students from the file who will not take the March retests, add any new students who will be participating, and enter PNP information. The file will then need to be imported into PearsonAccess Next by January 26 in order for schools to receive test materials, including Student ID Labels. If no students are participating in the March retest, schools must complete the process by checking the "Enrollment Counts Entry Complete" checkbox, as indicated in the SR/PNP Guide referenced below.

Spring Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics Tests

For the spring 2017 ELA and Mathematics test administrations, the Department will import students' records into PAN based on October 2016 SIMS, including PNP accommodations based on spring 2015 grade 8 testing (MCAS or PARCC). For both tests, the file that the Department imports into PAN will also be posted at MassEdu Gateway for reference. Principals are responsible for ensuring that all students' records have been loaded and students are listed with the correct accommodations. Detailed instructions are provided in the SR/PNP Guide referenced below.

Resources to Support Schools

The Department will host a conference call on January 12, 10:00-11:30 a.m., to provide an overview of the SR/PNP process and answer questions. Registrations for the conference call session may be submitted until 3:00 p.m. on January 11. In addition, step-by-step instructions will be provided via two methods that will be available on January 12:
  • a training module, which will be posted at the MCAS Service Center (Click "MCAS.")
  • Guide to the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) Process, which will be posted on the PearsonAccess Next website (Log in, and then click "Support" and then "Documentation.")
Principals may want to refer to the Department's website for participation guidelines to assist in making determinations for ordering materials, as well as for a schedule of test administration dates and other administration deadlines. Additional guidance is included in the Principal's Administration Manual Download PDF Document (PAM) for the fall/winter administrations, and will be coming early this winter for the spring high school administrations.

Security Requirements for Receiving Secure MCAS Test Materials

As you know, administrators' leadership in maintaining the security of test materials is essential to a successful test administration. After orders for materials are placed, it is important for superintendents and principals to prepare for the arrival of secure test materials in school buildings by completing the following activities:
  • Principals should carefully review the MCAS test security requirements (Part I of the PAM).
  • Principals should establish a document tracking system according to the guidelines in the PAM.
  • Principals should designate a central locked area to store test materials.
  • Superintendents should review their principals' plans for maintaining test security in their school buildings to become comfortable with principals' procedures. A sample form that can be used to guide the review is included in the PAM.
If you have questions about logistics, please contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103. If you have policy questions or questions about participation guidelines, call the Student Assessment Services unit at 781-338-3625. Adult/external diploma programs, test sites, DYS/SEIS, and other high schools with a special situation should contact the MCAS Service Center to place an order for a total amount of materials instead of using the SR/PNP process. (Other high schools will be directed to follow the SR/PNP process.) Thank you.

Last Updated: January 11, 2017

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