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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: March 22, 2013

ELA Composition Test Postponement

Thank you to principals, test coordinators, and others who have worked hard to reschedule planned test sessions and otherwise accommodate the postponement of the ELA Composition test due to severe weather. Please refer to the memorandum posted at for details.

As a reminder, students who are absent for the ELA Composition test on March 25 should be scheduled to take the Composition Make-up on March 28. Students who are absent on March 28 due to a medically documented reason may take the make-up prompt later in the testing window; for all other reasons, please email to receive prior written approval. Please note that some students and staff may be absent on Monday in preparation for that evening's observance of Passover, and reasonable accommodations need to be made for them.

Principals are requested to provide test administrators with the following update for the Test Administrator's Manuals.
Grades 4 and 7 - Updated script for step 2a on page 22 of the Test Administrator's Manual;
Grade 10 - Updated script for step 2a on page 24 of the Test Administrator's Manual

"Please look at the date on the front cover of your test booklet. If there is any date other than March 19, raise your hand, and I will collect your booklet."

If you have any questions about the postponement, please call the Student Assessment Services Unit at 781-338-3625. Again, thank you for your cooperation during this time.

March Retest Results

High schools and districts will be able to access their March retest results in English Language Arts and Mathematics through Drop Box Central on April 12. Parent/Guardian Reports for the March Retests will arrive in districts on May 6.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • March 26: Deadline for ordering additional materials for the ELA Composition Make-up
  • March 27: Early pickup for ELA materials for all grades/automatic pickup for grade 10
  • March 28: ELA Composition Make-up test
  • April 1: Deadline for UPS pickup of MCAS-Alt portfolios
  • April 5: Deadline for submitting individualized Mathematics and STE (grades 5 and 8) reference sheets for students with disabilities using accommodation 20
  • April 9: Deadline for UPS pickup of ELA test materials

Massachusetts Competency Determination Policy for High School Students in Military Families

The Department has recently posted guidelines to assist high school students who are members of military families in meeting the state's graduation requirement in English language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering and graduate on-time. The guidelines pertain to students in military families who move to Massachusetts from another state and enroll in a Massachusetts high school in grade 11 or 12. Districts may submit alternative evidence for these students to demonstrate that they have met the Massachusetts CD graduation standard in each of the required content areas. The guidelines and a request form are available at

About this Update

The Student Assessment Services Update provides important information about the state's testing programs. Please email your feedback to

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. A listing of Directory Administrators is posted at
  • Non-public schools and collaboratives: Submit updates (along with your District & School Code) to the Department via email at

  • Last Updated: March 29, 2013
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