A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

November 16, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. MCAS Test Administration Training Sessions for Spring 2023
We are pleased to announce the list of training sessions for the spring 2023 MCAS test administrations. Registration for these sessions is available on the Training Opportunities web page. Recordings of the sessions will be available at the MCAS Resource Center approximately one week after the training date.

Except where noted, sessions will be targeted to new staff and others who want to attend. Schools may submit questions for the trainings in advance by emailing Sessions will provide information for grades 3–8 and high schools. For the test security and administration protocols sessions, information for high schools will be provided at the end so that elementary and middle school staff may leave early.
Below are changes and one new addition to the training sessions, based in part on feedback received from school staff who participated in the 2022 sessions:
  • A new session on writing expectations for the ELA tests, during which DESE staff members will review writing expectations, with a focus on narrative writing. Members from the MCAS test development team will present information about how MCAS essays are scored and will review sample student responses. This webinar is intended primarily for teachers, curriculum coordinators, and individuals who analyze ELA test results.
  • Three sessions on PearsonAccess Next (PAN) tasks (before, during, and after testing) instead of two.
  • Sessions on accessibility and accommodations differentiated for new staff and returning staff, and a separate session for accessibility and accommodations tasks in PAN.
In addition to the upcoming sessions, new principals and test coordinators who were unable to attend the session in September may find the recording of the Introduction to Computer-Based Testing for New Staff training to be helpful.
All principals and test coordinators are encouraged to participate in the appropriate MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols training session, especially those who have not run an MCAS administration before.
We hope to have school representatives share their perspectives during the training sessions. More information will be provided in upcoming Student Assessment Updates.
Date Time Topic and Intended Experience Level
Monday, December 12 3:30–5:00 p.m. Writing Expectations for MCAS ELA Tests
Thursday, January 12 9:30–11:00 a.m. Overview of the SR/PNP Process for new staff (and others who want to attend)
Tuesday, January 17 9:30–10:30 a.m. MCAS Accessibility and Accommodations for returning staff
Wednesday, January 18 9:30–10:45 a.m. MCAS Accessibility and Accommodations for new staff
Friday, January 20 9:30–11:00 a.m. Overview of Infrastructure Trials for Technology Coordinators
Monday, January 23 9:30–11:15 a.m. MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols for returning staff
Tuesday, January 24 9:30–11:00 a.m. Overview of Infrastructure Trials for Principals and Test Coordinators
Wednesday, January 25 9:30–11:30 a.m. MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols for new staff
Tuesday, January 31 9:30–11:00 a.m. Pre-Administration Tasks for Technology Staff 
Tuesday, February 28 9:30–10:30 a.m. PAN Tasks for Accessibility and Accommodations
Wednesday, March 1 9:30–11:00 a.m. Tasks in PAN Before Testing 
Tuesday, March 7 9:30–11:30 a.m. Tasks in PAN During Testing 
Friday, March 10 9:30–10:30 a.m. Tasks in PAN After Testing 
2. ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Training Webinars
DESE will conduct virtual workshops for new and returning school and district ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinators in December, according to the schedule below.
Date Time Audience
Tuesday, December 13 9:30–11:30 a.m. New test coordinators
Thursday, December 15 1:30–3:00 p.m. Returning test coordinators
Tuesday, December 20 1:30–3:30 p.m. New test coordinators
Wednesday, December 21 9:30–11:00 a.m. Returning test coordinators
Registration is now available. The Department will post the PowerPoint slides for the workshops on the Massachusetts state page on the WIDA website under Manuals, Guides and Workshops. If you are a new ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator, please ensure that you have taken the online training(s) in the WIDA Secure Portal for the tests you will administer before participating in the DESE training webinar.
3. Reminder from the Previous Update: Steps to Retrieve Students' MCAS Assessment History and CD Status in Edwin Analytics
The Department routinely receives requests from school and district staff to locate prior MCAS results and the Competency Determination (CD) status for students who have transferred in and are new to their organization. In many cases, this information is available in Edwin Analytics after incoming students have been "claimed" by the district. Please see the previous update for steps schools can take to locate this information.
For High Schools

1. Returning Paper-based Testing (PBT) Materials from the November 2022 Retests
An automatic pickup of PBT materials from the November 2022 retests has been scheduled for schools on Tuesday, November 22, but schools are encouraged to return materials as soon as testing is completed. Earlier pickups can be scheduled at the MCAS Service Center.

Flat shipping boxes with UPS return labels affixed to them are included with your school’s shipment of test materials. At the end of testing, please place used test & answer booklets in the appropriate envelopes (i.e., Void, Special Handling, and Return) and place the envelopes into the flat shipping boxes. Pack all remaining test materials in your original shipping cartons. Fill any empty spaces at the tops of the cartons with crumpled paper to keep items from shifting during shipping. Do not use plastic peanuts or shredded paper.

Full instructions for returning materials are provided in the Principal’s Administration Manual (in Appendix B, beginning on page 77). Questions on packing return shipments and scheduling UPS pickups should be directed to the MCAS Service Center (see contact information in the footer of this update).
2. Round 12 Modified CD Data in DropBoxes and Edwin Analytics
The Department has concluded its review of the modified CD Round 12 data that districts certified in the Security Portal during the October 2022 collection window. This round includes students from the class of 2023 who were eligible for the modified CD in STE and students from the classes of 2020, 2021, 2022, and grade SP students who were eligible for the modified CD in ELA, Mathematics, and STE.

Results from round 12 are available in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBoxes in .CSV files (e.g., Modified_CD_round_12_Oct2022_XXXXXXXX.CSV, where “XXXXXXXX” is your organization’s 8-digit code). Both the district-level and school-level files contain eligible students who were reported as enrolled in June 2022 SIMS in the appropriate organization, and the district file also includes students in out-of-district placements such as collaboratives, private schools, and special education schools. A modified CD file layout is also included in DropBoxes.

The updated Edwin Analytics CD Roster is scheduled to be available on Thursday, November 17, 2022 and updated Modified CD memos are scheduled to be available by Wednesday, November 23, 2022. See the table below for additional details. 

Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
Round 12 modified CD .CSV files and file layout posted in MCAS 2022 Data DropBox in the DESE Security Portal November 10 (currently available)
Student CD Roster – PE618 (available in Edwin Analytics, Achievement Analysis – Student Level) November 17
Modified CD Memo – PE620 (available in Edwin Analytics, Achievement Analysis – Student Level) November 23

If you have any questions about the modified CD results, please contact
3. Reminder from the Previous Update: MCAS Performance Appeals
As part of the MCAS Performance Appeals process, Cohort Appeals and Portfolio Appeals may be submitted for eligible high school students who have not yet earned their Competency Determination. Please see the previous update for submission due dates and further information.

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), and Item. November Retests, November 16, Mathematics Session 2. November 21, Last date for all make-up testing. Deadline to mark students’ tests complete and update SR/PNP information, if necessary. Deadline to complete the PCPA. November 22, (PBT only) Pre-scheduled UPS pickup (and deadline). February Biology and Introductory Physics, December 5–16, Complete the pre-administration SR/PNP process.
Additional Resources
MCAS Service Center
for logistical support, including tech support for PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

Phone: 800-737-5103
Student Assessment Services
for policy questions, including student participation

Phone: 781-338-3625
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