Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: November 13, 2018

Contact Information

MCAS Service CenterEmail: mcas@measuredprogress.orgPhone: 800-737-5103
for logistical and technology support, including questions about PearsonAccess Next and TestNav
Student Assessment ServicesEmail: mcas@doe.mass.eduPhone: 781-338-3625
for policy questions, including student participation

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

  1. Training Sessions Announced for 2019
    The Department will hold several webinar training sessions to prepare school staff for test administration and technology set-up as well as the tasks to be done after testing. Descriptions of the webinars and the intended audience for each are now posted. All sessions will be recorded, and recordings will be available approximately one week after the session.

    For 2019, some of the training sessions will be differentiated by level of experience with computer-based testing. Sessions for returning staff will be held prior to the sessions for new staff so that individuals with varying levels of experience can participate in the first session to determine if they need to also participate in the second.

    Sessions on MCAS test security and administration protocols will be held on January 29 and 31. While all principals are encouraged to participate in one of these sessions, new high school principals are expected to participate. Principals who cannot participate on one of those dates may view a recording to fulfill the expectation.

  2. Reminder: Last Year's PearsonAccess Next (PAN) Passwords: Update in Mid-November
    School and district staff who had access to PAN during last school year will need to update passwords, because passwords expire 180 days after initial use (most likely in mid-November). If a user's password does expire, the user will still be able to receive an email with a link to reset the password. More information about PAN accounts will be provided in early 2019.

  3. Graphic Organizers, Checklists, and Supplemental Reference Sheets for Students with Disabilities on Next-Generation MCAS Tests
    As a reminder, the Department does not permit the use of individualized graphic organizers that contain text or supplemental reference sheets for the next-generation ELA and Mathematics tests. This rule applies to all next-generation tests in ELA and Mathematics, including the new high school tests. Students with disabilities using accommodation A9 may only use these supplemental ELA graphic organizers and Mathematics reference sheets. These approved materials may be used as is, enlarged, or with text omitted. It is not permissible, however, to add text or references.

    For the STE tests and high school Biology and Introductory Physics field tests, schools may use the sample STE reference sheets provided by the Department for students with disabilities using accommodation A9 (no additional approval of these sheets is needed). Alternatively, schools may submit a customized reference sheet for approval for STE following the procedures on pages 18–19 of the Accessibility and Accommodations Manual.

For High Schools

  1. New Automatic Pickup for November Retest Administration
    To facilitate the return of materials and to assist principals, an automatic pickup has been prescheduled for schools administering the November retests. A UPS driver will automatically come to the school on the pickup date (November 20).

    Schools will need to schedule their UPS pickup only if they are returning materials before November 20. Instructions can be found on pages 44–45 of the Principal's Administration Manual Download PDF Document, and questions about return shipping can be directed to the MCAS Service Center (see contact information in the header of this update). Schools that have their materials ready for pickup earlier than the prescheduled pickup date must contact the MCAS Service Center to cancel the later pickup.

    Prescheduled pickups will continue for all paper-based testing in 2019 as well.

  2. List of Standards Assessed on Next-Generation Grade 10 Mathematics MCAS Test
    The spring 2019 next-generation grade 10 Mathematics test will assess the standards that overlap Download PDF Document between the Model Algebra I/Model Geometry and Model Mathematics I/Model Mathematics II courses.

Other Important Dates

CategoryDate(s)ItemResources for More Information
Nov. retest administrationNovember 16Last day for regular November retest make-up testingTesting schedule
Required deadline for high schools: Nov. retestsNovember 19Deadline to update SR/PNP information if necessary, and deadline to complete the PCPATesting schedule
Required deadline for high schools: Nov. retestsNovember 20Prescheduled UPS pickup/
pickup deadline
Testing schedule
Required deadline for high schools: Feb. BiologyDecember 3 SR/PNP file of students eligible for the February Biology test posted to DropBoxes in the Security Portal (and SR/PNP window opens)
December 14Deadline to import the SR/PNP for the February Biology test into PearsonAccess Next


Resources Currently Available:

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: November 14, 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.