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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Register for Spring 2012 MCAS and MEPA Test Administration Training Sessions by January 27, 2012

To:Superintendents, Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, Institutional Programs, and Adult External Diploma Programs
Copy:MCAS Test Coordinators
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:January 9, 2012


To help ensure that principals and test coordinators are aware of new test security requirements and to provide training on administration protocols, the Department will conduct face-to-face and conference call training sessions beginning early next month. New for 2012, principals are required to participate in one of the following options for training.

Below is a schedule of training sessions, which will begin promptly at the times listed. For face-to-face sessions, the registration table will be open one hour before the start time.

Friday, February 3, 2012Conference CallNA8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Tuesday, February 7, 2012Face-to-FaceSpringfield8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Wednesday, February 8, 2012Face-to-FaceWorcester8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Thursday, February 9, 2012Face-to-FaceDanvers8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Monday, February 13, 2012Conference CallNA1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012Face-to-FaceTaunton8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon
Thursday, February 16, 2012Face-to-FaceNorwood8:30 a.m.-12:00 noon

Guidelines for Registration

For the toll-free conference calls, principals may invite several additional staff members to participate together in a room with a speaker-phone (one phone line per school, please). Instructions and a pass code will be sent by email before the call. For face-to-face training sessions, principals as well as the school's testing coordinator or another staff member from the school or district (as designated by the superintendent or principal) may attend if space is available. Driving directions are available through a link when registering for a face-to-face session.

Registration Instructions for Face-to-Face and Conference Call Sessions

To register, complete the form posted online at between January 17 and 27, 2012 by following the steps below:

  • Select MCAS from the menu.
  • Select Registration for Training from the list of options.

You will be prompted to print a confirmation of your registration. Please note that only confirmed registrants will be guaranteed access to conference calls and admission to face-to-face sessions.

Cancellation Policy

In case of severe weather conditions, face-to-face sessions will be canceled if the district in which the training is scheduled to take place cancels school for the day. If there is a delayed opening for schools in the district, the training will take place as scheduled. The conference call sessions will be canceled if a state of emergency has been declared for Massachusetts.

Training Presentation

The training presentations will include information about the following topics:

  • updates on the MCAS and MEPA testing programs, including information on future directions for assessing English language learner (ELL) students
  • test security requirements for principals, test administrators, and students
  • protocols to follow before, during, and after testing
  • participation guidelines for high school students, ELL students, and students with disabilities
  • information on reporting, including the following:
    • the schedule for reporting results
    • overview of the new state and federal accountability systems
    • the growth model for measuring change in student, school, and district performance over time

While each session is designed to be three and one-half hours in length, the presenters will stay after the sessions to answer any additional questions not covered during the scheduled question- and-answer period. Remember to retain documentation of your participation in a training session for your school's test administration files.

Please contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 with any questions.

Last Updated: January 10, 2012
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