Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: October 1, 2019

Contact Information

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

for policy questions, including student participation

Latest Updates from Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

  1. Reporting of Results from the Spring 2019 MCAS Tests
    Results from the spring 2019 MCAS tests were released last week. Department staff led a session discussing the results.

    MCAS Parent/Guardian Reports are available in an electronic format for students in grades 3–8 and 10. If your district has the appropriate software systems to extract and securely distribute PDF files, we encourage sharing these records with families.

    The electronic reports are only accessible to PAN users with the school or district test coordinator role, and also to users with the Published Reports role, on the Reports>Published Reports page in the "Spring 2019 MCAS Gr. 3–8" and "Spring 2019 MCAS Gr. 10 ELA and Math" test administrations.

    PAN users with the school and/or district test coordinator role may grant access to the reports to additional users, as needed, by adding the Published Reports role to the PAN user's account profile. For assistance in managing user roles, click on the "User Information" dropdown on the PearsonAccessnext page in the MCAS Resource Center.

  2. Reminder: Important ACCESS for ELLs Dates
    Below are important upcoming dates for ACCESS for ELLs. See the previous update for additional information.

    ACCESS Test Coordinator online training sessions Returning Test Coordinators:
    • November 19, 2019, at 1:00–2:30 p.m.
    • November 20 at 1:00–2:30 p.m.
    • December 13 at 10:00–11:30 a.m.

    New Test Coordinators:
    • December 5 at 10:00–11:30 a.m.
      (Test Coordinators should complete their online training modules and certification quizzes prior to attending)
    ACCESS test materials arrive in schoolsJanuary 2, 2020
    Additional materials ordering windowJanuary 2–31
    ACCESS test administration windowJanuary 6–February 7
    Deadline for schools to return test materialsFebruary 7
  3. Reminder: Requests for a Waiver from MCAS CBT Expectation Due October 11
    Requests for a waiver from the CBT expectation must be submitted by Friday, October 11. Districts/organizations may apply for a waiver if they have technology constraints or related issues, or if all the students will take paper-based tests as an accommodation and/or all the students will take the MCAS-Alt, in accordance with students' IEPs/504 plans.

For High Schools

  1. 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. The letter is important because students must provide a copy of it along with their completed FAFSA application each year. Without this letter, the college/university will not apply the tuition credit.

    Letters regarding student eligibility for the scholarship are scheduled to be posted on the MCAS Service Center on October 8. Paper copies are scheduled for delivery to district offices on October 25.

    Schools will need to do the following:
    • Make copies of the letters for students' files for future reference.
    • (Recommended) Designate an individual in the school to be the point of contact for the letters.
    • Inform students of the name of the person at the school whom they can contact with any questions about the scholarship or the letter.

  2. Accessibility and Accommodations Training This Friday
    Register by Thursday, October 3, for the training session that will be held on Friday, October 4, from 10:00–11:30 a.m.

    The following topics will be covered:
    • MCAS participation requirements and decision-making guidelines for students with disabilities
    • Accessibility and accommodations available for students with disabilities and English learners on the paper-based November retests
    • Making decisions about accessibility and accommodations for spring computer-based MCAS tests

    Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators, special education administrators and supervisors, and test administrators are invited to participate. The session will be geared for new staff or those who want a full refresher. Another session is planned for January in preparation for the spring tests.

  3. Reminder: Registration for the November Retests Ends in Early October
    Schools should complete the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process by October 4 if possible, but may still register students through October 10 if needed. This extension is intended to accommodate additional steps that schools may need to take for certain students (see the September "On the Desktop" message).

    The following resources are available to support schools:

    Schools received a memorandum via email on September 24 with additional instructions for completing the SR/PNP, and further guidance related to the "On the Desktop" message will be emailed to high schools shortly. Questions about the process may be directed to the MCAS Service Center (see the contact information in the header of this update).

Other Important Dates

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: October 1, 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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