Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
Ordering November 2013 Retest Materials by September 13, 2013
|To:||Superintendents, High School Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, Institutional Settings, and Adult/External Diploma Programs|
|Copy:||High School MCAS Test Coordinators|
|From:||Elizabeth Davis, Associate Commissioner of Student Assessment|
|Date:||September 3, 2013|
I am writing to request that high school principals order materials for the November retests by Friday, September 13, 2013. A response is required, even if no test materials are needed.
Superintendents must also ensure that private special education schools and educational collaboratives order materials for their students in out-of-district placements.
Beginning Tuesday morning, September 3, principals can order materials at MCAS Service Center by following the steps below.
- Select MCAS from the menu.
- Select Enrollment Verification from the list of options.
- Use the secure password sent in early January 2013.
- Follow the online instructions.
Since final results from the spring 2013 grade 10 tests will not be available until after the ordering window closes, schools should use preliminary results to determine the amount of test materials to order. If additional materials are needed, principals may order them between October 30 and November 4, according to the instructions in the MCAS Principal's Administration Manual: Fall 2013/Winter 2014 (PAM), which will be posted on the Department's website this fall.
Participation Guidelines and Other Resources
Students attempting to earn a Competency Determination in ELA and Mathematics are eligible to participate. Detailed participation guidelines for 2013-2014 will be posted this week at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/testadmin/retest.
As a reminder, grade 11 students who are new to Massachusetts public schools may participate in retests and/or the spring grade 10 tests. However, students who wish to qualify for the Adams Scholarship or the Koplik Certificate of Mastery with Distinction Award must participate in the spring grade 10 tests. See the Commissioner's Update (www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=7654) for more information.
The Department recommends that schools inform eligible students, former students, and parents/guardians in writing about upcoming testing opportunities. For students who choose not to participate, we recommend that parents/guardians sign an acknowledgment of their children's nonparticipation (see sample letter and form in English and other languages posted at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/testadmin/nonpart). More information about reaching out to former students will be available in the PAM.
For your reference, a schedule of test administration dates, deadlines for ordering test materials, and other administration deadlines for the 2013-2014 school year is posted on the Department's website at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/cal.html.
Security Requirements for Receiving Materials
As experienced administrators know, their leadership in maintaining the security of test materials is essential to a successful test administration. After orders for materials are placed, it is important for superintendents and principals to prepare for the arrival of secure test materials in school buildings by completing the following activities.
- Principals should carefully review the MCAS test security requirements (Part I of the PAM).
- Principals should establish a document tracking system according to the guidelines in the PAM.
- Principals should designate a central locked facility to store test materials.
- Superintendents should review their principals' plans for maintaining test security in their school buildings so that they are comfortable with their principals' procedures. A sample form that can be used to guide the review will be available this week at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/testadmin/retest.
If you have questions about ordering test materials or about your password to access the MCAS Service Center website, please contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103. If you have policy questions or questions about participation guidelines, call the Student Assessment Services Unit at 781-338-3625.