Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
Request for Schools to Order Materials for the Spring MCAS and March Retest Test Administrations Beginning January 6, 2014
|To:||Superintendents, Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, Institutional Settings, and Adult/External Diploma Programs|
|Copy:||MCAS Test Coordinators|
|From:||Elizabeth Davis, Associate Commissioner of Student Assessment|
|Date:||January 6, 2014|
I am writing to request that principals order test materials for the upcoming MCAS test administrations listed below.1 The deadline for ordering materials is Friday, January 17, 2014.
- Spring 2014 MCAS tests for all students in grades 3-8 and high school, including MCAS Alternate Assessment. See section 3 below regarding ordering instructions for students selected to participate in the PARCC field test.
- March 2014 MCAS ELA and Mathematics retests for students attempting to earn a Competency Determination (CD). Note that a response is required from each high school even if no materials are needed.
Superintendents must ensure that special education schools and educational collaboratives order materials for their students in out-of-district placements.
- Ordering Instructions
Materials can be ordered online by following the steps below.
- Browse online to www.mcasservicecenter.com.
- Select MCAS from the menu.
- Select Enrollment Verification from the list of options.
- Use the secure password sent in early January 2014.
- Follow the online instructions.
- Participation Guidelines and Other Resources
For the spring 2014 MCAS tests, refer to www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/participation/?section=gen for participation guidelines to assist in making determinations for ordering materials. For the March 2014 MCAS ELA and Mathematics retests, refer to www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/participation/highschool.html.
For the March retest, 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 is available in the Principal's Administration Manual (PAM), posted at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/testadmin/retest/PAM.pdf.
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.
- Instructions for Schools Participating in the 2014 PARCC Field Tests
Principals of schools selected to participate in the PARCC field tests that will also participate in MCAS should order MCAS test materials as usual. A separate communication with special instructions will be sent via email to principals of schools selected to participate in the Performance-Based Assessment (PBA) component of the spring 2014 PARCC field test whose superintendents have exempted them from participating in MCAS in that subject area.
- Security Requirements for Receiving Secure MCAS Test Materials
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 each Principal's Administration Manual).
- Principals should establish a document tracking system according to the guidelines in each 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 sampleform that can be used to guide the review is attached.
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.
1 High school principals will be able to order test materials for the June Science and Technology/Engineering administration between March 10 and 14, following the release of the February 2014 Biology results.