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MCAS COVID-19 Information

April 10, 2020

We previously requested and received a waiver from the federal requirement for annual statewide student assessment. Now, with the state legislation enacted, the MCAS testing requirement is waived for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

As a result of these federal and state actions and in light of the on-going health crisis, I am cancelling this spring's regular administration of grade-level MCAS tests for students in grades 3–10.

In addition, the legislation allows the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon my recommendation, to modify or waive the requirements of the competency determination for high school graduation in order to address disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 or the state of emergency. I am considering various options, and further guidance will be forthcoming.

March 23, 2020

Department is exploring all options around this year's testing requirements. To date, DESE has postponed both the Grade 10 English language arts assessment scheduled to begin on March 24 and the opening of the grades 3-8 English language arts assessment window scheduled for March 30. The Department will keep districts informed of decisions related to the spring 2020 assessment schedule and the competency determination. There may be an opportunity for a one-year assessment and accountability waiver from the federal government, but even if that is granted, we would need legislative relief from our state legislature to waive the state law around the testing requirement.

Please be advised that MCAS-Alt portfolios do not need to be submitted by April 3, nor is it necessary to obtain a parent's signature that they have reviewed the portfolio prior to submission. The Department will contact schools at a later date regarding a new submission deadline.

Districts may still submit cohort appeals for students in grade 12. For cohort appeals, use only the online application process. Do not submit paper-based appeals. A guide to the online application process is available for download Download PowerPoint File. Please do not submit appeals for students in grades 10 or 11 at this time. Questions about this subject can be emailed to .

Districts may submit MCAS Portfolio Appeals to the Department by mail only for students in grade 12 by April 10, and again by June 26. Results will be reported to high schools with actual portfolios returned to schools once schools have reopened. Information about portfolio appeals is available at MCAS Portfolio Appeals webpage.

Last Updated: February 10, 2021

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