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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Student Assessment Update: December 3, 2013

MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt) Training Offered in January

Registration will begin on Tuesday, December 3, for Portfolios-in-Progress, a series of statewide MCAS-Alt portfolio review sessions for educators who are conducting the MCAS-Alt. Flyers with registration information will be faxed to schools and districts on December 3. Dates are as follows:

January 7
January 8
January 9
January 10

Please encourage teachers who are conducting the MCAS-Alt in your school to register to attend.

February High School Biology Administration Will Affect Adams Scholarship Eligibility for Students in Grades 9 and 10

Beginning with the class of 2016, a student's score on a high school Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) MCAS test will be added to the eligibility criteria for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. Therefore, the score for a grade 9 or 10 student who takes the February 2014 Biology MCAS test will count toward his or her scholarship eligibility.

The Department strongly recommends that schools notify students and their parents or guardians in writing about this new criterion if students will be participating in the February Biology MCAS testing. Please refer to the Department's website at for more information about the Adams Scholarship and to the Principal's Administration Manual Download PDF Document for detailed participation guidelines (page 13).

Additional Adams Scholarship Letters

In early January, some school districts will receive additional John and Abigail Adams Scholarship letters for students in the class of 2014 who meet the eligibility requirements but did not previously receive a letter. Superintendents will be asked to distribute any letters they receive to the appropriate principal(s) in their district.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • January 6-17: Ordering window for spring MCAS, MCAS-Alt, and March retest materials
  • January 9-February 12: ACCESS for ELLs testing window
  • January 23: MCAS November retest scores available electronically

About This Update

The Student Assessment Update provides important information about the state's testing programs. The update is scheduled to be distributed to schools on a bimonthly basis (less frequently in the summer). We welcome your feedback at

Principals, MCAS and PARCC test coordinators, and ELL directors receive this update via email based on contact information that your school submitted to the Department. To change your email address or to add another staff member, please follow the instructions below:

  • Public school districts, public schools, charter public schools, collaboratives, approved special education schools: Submit the new email address to your District-Level Directory Administrator, who is responsible for submitting contact information to the Department. A list of Directory Administrators is posted at
  • MCAS test sites, adult education programs, out-of-state schools, SEIS-DYS programs: Submit an email address (along with your District and School Code) to the Department at

Last Updated: December 3, 2013
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