Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: January 23, 2018

Contact Information

MCAS Service Center
Phone: 800-737-5103
for logistical support, including tech support for PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

Student Assessment Services
Phone: 781-338-3625
for policy questions, including student participation

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

New Resource for the Grade 10 Field Tests

We are pleased to make available a sample letter to send to parents/guardians to inform them about their child's participation in the MCAS grade 10 field test. The letter Download Word Document is attached to this email and posted on the Department's website in the section listing field test resources at the bottom of the page. A Spanish language version will be available soon as well.

Upcoming Training Sessions

Schools are encouraged to view the list of upcoming training sessions on the MCAS Training Opportunities web page. Links to register for January and February sessions now available (and posted on that page). Please note that new principals are expected to participate in the MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols sessions (January 23 for high schools, and February 7 and 8 for grades 3-8). To provide additional support to new principals, a district perspective will be presented during these sessions by Josh Murphy from the Burlington Public Schools.

Student Registration Process for Grades 3-8 and 10

Grades 3-8
Schools must complete the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process for grades 3-8 tests between January 22 and February 2. High Schools
High schools have a number of windows during which to complete the SR/PNP process, although the window for the March retest SR/PNP closed on Monday, January 22. The next SR/PNP window for ordering materials for the operational grade 10 tests in ELA and Mathematics will begin on January 31 and continue until February 13. High schools will also have the opportunity to update the SR/PNP for grade 10 Mathematics in March. In addition, they may complete the SR/PNP process for the operational STE tests in early April, the grade 10 ELA and Mathematics field tests in mid-March, and the voluntary STE question tryouts in late April. (You may wish to review all the dates related to the SR/PNP.) All Schools
As a reminder, 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. We thank schools for completing their orders by deadlines. For support in completing the SR/PNP, use the resources listed in the January 9, 2018 Student Assessment Update under the information about the March retest. Additionally, the Department led a training session on January 18 on the SR/PNP, and the recording will soon be posted on the MCAS Resource Center training page. If you have questions about ordering test materials, please contact the MCAS Service Center via email or call 800-737-5103. If you have questions about policies or guidelines for participation, contact the Office of Student Assessment Services via email or call 781-338-3625.

Reminder: Update PearsonAccess Next Passwords and Accounts

School and district staff who had access to PAN during the last school year need to log into PAN to reset passwords. Accounts that were automatically disabled will receive an error message upon log-in; resetting the password will enable the account. In addition, principals should review the User Role Matrix to confirm that school and district staff have the appropriate PAN accounts.

2018 MCAS-Alt Portfolios-in-Progress Training Sessions

Registration for the MCAS-Alt Portfolios-in-Progress training sessions is now available. These portfolio review sessions are intended for teachers who are conducting the MCAS-Alt with their students with significant disabilities. Please encourage teachers to attend one of the sessions listed below. All sessions are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
February 13
February 14
February 27
February 28
Best Western
Holiday Inn
Note: The "Introduction to MCAS-Alt" session will not be offered.

Important Dates

  • January 22-February 2: SR/PNP initial registration window for Grades 3-8 spring MCAS tests
  • January 29: February Biology test materials arrive in schools
  • January 31-February 13: SR/PNP initial registration window for Grade 10 MCAS ELA and Mathematics (Mathematics registrations can be updated during the March 12-23 window)
  • February 15: November retest parent/guardian reports scheduled to arrive in districts


Download Excel Document
MCAS Grade 10 Field Test Assignments
Download Word Document
Guidance on Selecting Classes to Participate in the Spring 2018 Grade 10 MCAS ELA and Mathematics Field Tests
View HTML Page
MCAS Grade 10 FAQ for Mathematics Field Test (will be posted under Field Test Resources this week)
Download Word Document
FAQs on the Spring 2018 MCAS Field Tests and Question Tryouts

Subscriber Information

Principals, MCAS test coordinators, special education directors, and EL program directors automatically receive this 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, educational collaboratives, and 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." In addition, ESE sends occasional communications regarding state policies that affect educators, parents, and other community stakeholders, as well as opportunities for community members to participate in state initiatives. Please visit our newsletter sign-up page if you are interested in receiving other news and information from the Department. We welcome your questions and feedback at Thank you.

Last Updated: January 25, 2018

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.