Invitation to apply to become an MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt) Training Specialist- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt)

Invitation to apply to become an MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt) Training Specialist

To:Interested Educators
From:Dan Wiener, Administrator of Inclusive Assessment
Debra Hand, MCAS-Alt Program Specialist
Date:August 22, 2012


The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is seeking educators with at least two years of experience compiling MCAS-Alt portfolios to apply to become an MCAS-Alt training specialist for the 2012-2013 school year. Training specialists will serve as resources in their school and district by assisting teachers with the process of creating MCAS-Alt portfolios and working as discussion group leaders during mid-year Department-sponsored portfolio review sessions. Educators who have previously participated as training specialists, as well as those who have not been training specialists in the past, are welcome to apply. Below is a detailed description of MCAS-Alt training specialist requirements and a link to the application:

  • Attend one full-day training and orientation session on Monday, September 24, in Marlborough from 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (registration at 8:00 a.m.). This one-day workshop will familiarize training specialists with revisions and clarifications to the MCAS-Alt portfolio requirements for 2013 and provide them with the latest MCAS-Alt materials. Individuals who are selected to be training specialists must attend this workshop, even if they participated last year. Participants should bring a laptop to this session, since some materials will be shared digitally.

    At this session, training specialists will:

    • preview the latest MCAS-Alt materials and requirements;
    • provide feedback on the statewide training presentation that teachers will receive in October and January;
    • discuss strategies on how to become an effective training specialist;
    • receive reimbursement forms for mileage and substitute coverage (if necessary).
  • Attend one half-day regional training session in October from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Training specialists will attend an MCAS-Alt Overview session for first-time teachers and will participate in some training activities, as well as gain an understanding of the questions they are likely to be asked as training specialists. We request that training specialists bring at least one student portfolio that received a score of Progressing to the training session. Reimbursement for mileage and for substitute coverage (if necessary) will be provided. The dates and sites of training sessions are listed in the table below.

    Week 1Week 2
    10/1 - Mon.Quincy Marriott10/15 - Mon.Peabody Marriott
    10/3 - Wed.Danvers Doubletree (formerly CoCo Key)10/16 - Tues.Taunton Holiday Inn
    10/4 - Thurs.Taunton Holiday Inn10/18 - Thurs.Marlborough Best Western
    10/5 - Fri.Springfield Marriott10/19 - Fri.Springfield Marriott
  • Lead a half-day portfolio review session at two Department-sponsored workshops, one in January (January 7-10) and one in March 2013 (March 4-7), from 8:30 a.m.-noon (sites to be determined). Each training specialist will work with a small group of teachers to provide assistance and answer questions about their portfolios in progress. Reimbursement for mileage and for substitute coverage (if necessary) will be provided.
  • Provide assistance to teachers in their district, as needed, and in other districts by special arrangement. Training specialists will make their own arrangements to provide training and support to colleagues within their own school, district, collaborative, or approved private special education school throughout the school year. The Department will maintain a list of current training specialists, coordinate requests from other schools and districts, and try to arrange compensation for any out-of-district visits.

Please share this information with your building administrator, since he or she will need to approve your application. Applications without administrative approval will not be considered.

This is a competitive application process, and although we would like to accept everyone with an interest, we are not able to do so. Selection criteria include answers provided on the application, geographical region within the state, and grade-level expertise.

Prospective training specialists must complete the 2012-2013 MCAS-Alt training specialist application no later than Wednesday, September 12. If accepted, all pertinent information will be sent via email on September 14.

Any questions should be directed to Debra Hand in the Student Assessment Services Office at 781-338-3625 or by email at

We appreciate your consideration of this opportunity to apply to become a training specialist. Your participation will ensure that the Department meets its commitment to assist teachers to conduct alternate assessments more effectively.

Thank you very much.

Last Updated: August 28, 2012

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

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