Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: May 8, 2019

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. Release of the 2019–2020 MCAS Testing Schedule
    We are pleased to release the 2019–2020 MCAS testing schedule. Districts and schools should review the test dates planned for the next school year, along with the guidance provided on the testing schedule webpage.

  2. Clarification on Test Security Protocols
    This notice is to provide clarification about the steps that schools should take if a student reports a concern about an MCAS test question. If a student reports to a teacher or other educator that he or she has a concern with a test question (e.g., the student thinks there is a problem with the question, the student is uncomfortable with the content of the question for a non-academic reason), the school should call Student Assessment Services for consultation and guidance, as needed. Students and school staff should continue to refrain from discussing secure test content among other students or educators, except as needed to report the issue.

  3. Deadline to Apply for Standard-Setting Panels Extended until May 17
    DESE is pleased to invite educators and other stakeholders to apply to participate in a standard-setting meeting for the next-generation MCAS tests for grades 5 and 8 STE and grade 10 ELA and Mathematics. The meeting will take place August 5–7, 2019.

    The deadline to apply has been extended to Friday, May 17, 2019. Principals are encouraged to share the application information with educators at their schools.

For Grades 3–8

  1. End-of-Administration Tasks for Grades 3–8 ELA
    At the end of the ELA testing window, schools were expected to update student information in PearsonAccess Next (PAN) according to the instructions in Appendix D of the Principal's Administration Manual Download PDF Document (PAM). Schools should also complete the following steps:
    • Stop all PAN Sessions and, if necessary, remove students from "ready" status in PAN.
    • Mark students' tests "Complete" in PAN as described on pages 65–66 of the PAM and in the April 2 edition Student Assessment Update.

    Schools should have completed the tasks through the end of the day on May 7, but if they have not, they may do so by the end of this week.

    Schools doing paper-based testing should have given all of their paper-based ELA materials to the UPS driver during the prescheduled May 7 pickup (unless they scheduled an earlier pickup). May 7 was the deadline for pickup of materials, so schools should contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 as soon as possible if a pickup was not made as expected.

For High Schools

  1. MCAS Performance Appeals: May 31 Deadline
    The next deadline for submitting MCAS cohort appeals is Friday, May 31. Appeals will be reviewed in early June, with notification of findings sent to superintendents by June 7. This will be the final MCAS cohort appeals review for the 2018-2019 school year. Questions may be directed to

  2. Resource for the High School Biology and Introductory Physics Field Tests
    Schools may want to send letters to parents/guardians to provide information about the upcoming field tests. Here are sample letters in English Download Word Document and Spanish Download Word Document.

Other Important Dates

Grades 3–8Now–May 24Mathematics test sessions
Now–May 24STE test sessions (grades 5 and 8)
May 7, if not done previously
  • Deadline for updating SR/PNP information for ELA, if necessary
  • Deadline to mark students' tests complete for ELA , if necessary
May 7For PBT accommodations: prescheduled UPS pickup for ELA materials (and deadline)
MCAS/EPP Mathematics TestMay 6–15Score students' answer sheets
Grade 10 MathematicsMay 7Receive manuals and PBT materials for accommodations
May 7–17
  • Order additional manuals and PBT materials for accommodations, if necessary
  • Report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments, if necessary
May 7–20Precache operational test content for spring 2019 computer-based testing
February Biology and March RetestsMay 20February Biology and March retest Parent/Guardian Reports delivered to districts

Additional Resources

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: May 9, 2019

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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