Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
Request for High Schools to Order MCAS Biology Test Materials by November 1, 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:||October 28, 2013|
High school principals will be able to order test materials between October 28 and November 1, 2013 for the February 2014 MCAS Biology test administration. A response is required, even if no test materials are needed.
Superintendents must also ensure that special education schools and educational collaboratives order materials for their students in out-of-district placements.
Beginning today, principals can order online 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.
Participation Guidelines and Other Resources
Beginning with the class of 2016, an STE component has been added to the Adams Scholarship eligibility criteria. Since eligibility for the Adams Scholarship is based on students' first-time scores, the decision to participate in high school STE testing in grade 9 should be carefully considered. Please refer to the Department's website at John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for more information about the Adams Scholarship, and refer to Student Participation Guidelines for the High School Tests and Retests for detailed participation guidelines.
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 MCAS Sample Letters and Forms. More information about reaching out to former students is available in the Principal's Administration Manual (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 Statewide Testing Schedule.
As you know, administrators' 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 is included in Appendix E of the PAM.
If you have questions about ordering test materials or 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.