Student Assessment Update: January 22, 2013- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: January 22, 2013

The Student Assessment Update provides important information about the state's testing programs. Principals, heads of school, test coordinators, and when applicable, ELL directors, will receive this update on a regular basis. Please email your feedback to

2013-2014 Testing Schedule Now Available

The 2013-2014 schedule for MCAS and ACCESS for ELLs testing is now posted. As always, administrators are expected to give priority to this schedule in establishing district and school calendars. When planning specific testing dates within each testing window, please remember that state and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodations for the needs of students and staff members who observe religious holidays. Please contact the Student Assessment Services unit at 781-338-3625 with questions about the schedule.

Important Clarification of ACCESS for ELLs Testing Policies

In response to inquiries from schools and districts, a memo providing important updates and clarification of several ACCESS for ELLs testing policies was sent to principals and ELL directors on January 14. ACCESS for ELLs testing ends on February 13.

Update Regarding the March MCAS Retests

Beginning in 2013, the Department will no longer release the questions from the March MCAS retests in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Concurrent with the release of results from the March retests, the Department will post a document listing the standards assessed by each question on the tests.

This decision to withhold the questions from the March retests will assist the Department in producing high-quality MCAS retests in future years. All questions will continue to be released for the spring grade 10 tests and the November retests in English Language Arts and Mathematics. If you have any questions on this policy, please contact the Office of Student Assessment at 781-338-3625.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • January 24: November/December 2012 MCAS Retest results
  • February 1-February 13: MCAS test administration training sessions for principals and MCAS test coordinators
  • February 4 and 5: MCAS Biology test for students taking biology on a block schedule and for students who need an additional testing opportunity
  • February 27-March 8: MCAS March Retests in ELA and Mathematics

To Correct Your Contact Information to Receive This Update

Principals, heads of school, MCAS test coordinators, and ELL directors received this email based on contact information that was submitted to the Department. To change your email address, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public schools: Submit updates to your District-Level Directory Administrator, who is responsible for submitting updates to the Department.
  • Non-public schools and collaboratives: Submit updates (along with your District & School Code) to the Department via email at

Last Updated: January 25, 2013

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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