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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Request for Principals to Register for a Spring 2016 MCAS Test Administration Training Session between January 4 and 22, 2016

To:Principals and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, and Institutional Programs
Copy:MCAS Test Coordinators
From:Michol Stapel, Acting Associate Commissioner of Student Assessment
Date:January 4, 2016

To help principals and test coordinators prepare for the spring 2016 MCAS test administration, the Department will conduct training sessions beginning in late January. Below is a schedule of the training sessions. For schools that will be administering MCAS tests in spring 2016, first-year principals must participate in one of the Department's training sessions on MCAS test security and test administration protocols (experienced principals and test coordinators are encouraged to attend). Principals of schools administering PARCC tests only or the MCAS-Alt only are not required to attend.
Tuesday, January 26Face-to-FaceHolyoke8:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Wednesday, January 27Face-to-FaceMarlborough8:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Thursday, January 28Conference CallNA8:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Friday, January 29Conference CallNA8:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Sessions will begin promptly at the times listed. For face-to-face sessions, the registration table will be open one hour before the start time.

Training Presentation Overview

The presentations will include information about the following topics:
  • test security requirements
  • protocols to follow before, during, and after testing
  • participation guidelines for students with disabilities and ELL students
  • information on reporting
  • orientation for new principals (at the end)
The presenters are seeking assistance from principals and test coordinators to share schools' helpful hints for managing test administration to supplement posted materials. Principals and test coordinators are encouraged to submit their ideas to by Friday, January 15, so that materials can be prepared for the sessions.

Registration Instructions

As space is limited, participants must register between January 4 and 22, 2016, by following the instructions below. When completing the registration online, you will be prompted to print a confirmation of your registration. Please note that only confirmed registrants will be guaranteed access to conference calls and admission to face-to-face sessions.
  • Browse online to at the MCAS service center.
  • Select MCAS from the menu.
  • Select Registration for Training from the list of options.
  • Follow the online instructions.
For the face-to-face sessions, driving directions are available through a link when registering for a session. For the conference calls, instructions and a pass code will be sent by email before each call.

Guidelines for Selecting a Session

For face-to-face training sessions, principals as well as the school's testing coordinator or another staff member from the school or district, as designated by the superintendent or principal, may attend if space is available (no more than two individuals per school will be permitted). For the toll-free conference calls, principals may invite several additional staff members to participate together in a room with a speakerphone (one phone line per school, please).

Cancellation Policy

In case of severe weather conditions, face-to-face sessions will be canceled if the district in which the training is scheduled to take place cancels school for the day. The conference call sessions will be canceled if a state of emergency has been declared for Massachusetts, as participants dial in from their own locations. In addition, the Department may also cancel a session if dangerous travel conditions are being predicted. In the event of a session cancellation, the MCAS Service Center will send an email message to each individual who registers. Every effort will be made to provide early notice of a cancellation, but please be aware that an email cancellation message may not be sent until the morning of a scheduled session. Please contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 with any questions. Thank you.

Last Updated: January 5, 2016

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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TTY: (800) 439-2370


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