A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

November 2, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. 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 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. Student claiming is performed by the district SIMS contact (or designee) and provides almost immediate access to student-level data in Edwin. To find your district SIMS contact(s), go to the School and District Profiles page, search for your district, and select "People" on the left. SIMS contacts or others with questions about student claiming can view the Student Claiming User Guide or contact the Data Collection Support specialist.
To access the Student Assessment History Summary report (PE613) or the Student CD Roster (PE618), sign in to Edwin on the Department's Security Portal. Navigate to Assessments > MCAS > Achievement Analysis – Student Level, and select the report you want to view. To view a list of claimed students, set the filters in the first column of the prompts as pictured below, including student grade(s), as appropriate. You may leave the default values in the other remaining filters. Click the "View Report" button in the upper right corner of the screen to execute the report. Information, training, and support for Edwin reports is available on the DESE website.
2. Reminders from the Previous Updates
a. Spring 2022 Parent/Guardian Reports
Paper copies of Parent/Guardian Reports from the spring 2022 MCAS administration have now been delivered to district offices. Additionally, the MCAS Parent/Guardian Report templates in English and other languages are now available. Please be sure to send home Parent/Guardian Reports as part of your fall communications with families. See the previous update for further information.

b. MCAS Alternate Assessment (MCAS-Alt) Fall Training Sessions
Registration is available for educators and administrators to participate in virtual fall training sessions for the 2023 MCAS-Alt. Please encourage teachers who will be creating MCAS-Alt portfolios to register. Please see the September 8 Update for further information.
For High Schools

1. Reminders for Computer-Based Testing (CBT) for the November Retests
In preparation for the upcoming November Retest administration, schools are encouraged to review the resources below.

a. Technology Set-Up and Troubleshooting
Principals should meet with their technology coordinators and ensure that the technology preparations listed in parts G and H of the Pre-Administration Guide and Appendix A of the Principal’s Administration Manual (PAM) have been completed. Schools are also encouraged to review the technology information provided in the previous update

Technology coordinators are reminded to review the TestNav System Requirements to confirm that students’ devices are running the correct operating system versions and are ready for testing. Please also review the Network Requirements and Guidelines, and, if applicable, the ProctorCache System Requirements, prior to testing. If students experience error codes during testing, technology coordinators can refer to this link for a description of error codes and troubleshooting steps.
One-on-one support from Pearson’s support specialists is available prior to the November retest administration. Technology coordinators are encouraged to use this website to schedule “office hours” support for a 15-, 30-, or 60-minute phone meeting until November 4. For technology troubleshooting during test administration, please call the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103.
b. Printing Student Testing Tickets
Student testing tickets can be found in the Resources drop-down menu on the Students in Sessions page in PearsonAccess Next (PAN). Please find detailed instructions on accessing tickets in the PAN User Guide. Schools can also follow these instructions to access proctor testing tickets for human read aloud and human signer sessions. 

c. Assigning Student Tests
Schools should use the instructions in the PAN User Guide to assign or unassign tests to a student. 

d. Resolving Incorrect Accommodations
Principals and test coordinators should verify that students are assigned the appropriate accommodated test forms prior to preparing PAN Sessions in PearsonAccess Next. This step is critical to ensure that students will have the correct accommodations when they sign in to TestNav. Instructions for this process begin on page 42 of the PAM.   

If a student has been assigned an incorrect accommodation, schools should follow the instructions that begin on page 60 of the PAM. The “Resolving Incorrect Accommodations During Testing” training module is also available on the MCAS Resource Center. For answers to other questions on accessibility and accommodations, please refer to the Accessibility and Accommodations Manual.
2. MCAS Performance Appeals  Important Dates 
As part of the MCAS Performance Appeals process, Cohort Appeals and Portfolio Appeals may be submitted according to the following dates for eligible high school students who have not yet earned their Competency Determination:
  • MCAS Cohort Appeals must be submitted by the first Friday of each month (October through June).
  • Portfolio Appeals must be submitted by November 4, 2022, March 31, 2023, and June 23, 2023.
All appeals must be submitted using the online appeals application in the Security Portal. Please review the step-by-step guide for instructions. For more information, visit the Performance Appeals page on the DESE website.
3. Reminders from the Previous Update 
a. Manuals and Training Slides for the November Retests Now Available
The test administration manuals for the November retests are now available. PDF excerpts from each manual are also available, including scripts for test administrators. Additionally, sample training slides for training test administrators and other staff are now available. Use of the slides is not required, but training in preparation for each test administration is required. Please see the previous update for further information.

b. John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Letters
The Adams Scholarship eligibility list for the class of 2023 (round 1) is now available in DropBox Central, and electronic versions of award letters are available at the MCAS Service Center. Paper copies of award letters are expected to be delivered to district offices on November 8. Please see the previous update for further information.

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), and Item. November Retests, October 3–November 8, Window to update SR/PNP for students participating in CBT. November 2, Receive manuals and PBT materials. November 2–7 (ELA), November 2–14 (Math), If necessary, order additional manuals and PBT materials for accommodations, and report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments. November 9, ELA Session 1. November 10, ELA Session 2.
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
Schedule a Call with Technology Support Specialists
available prior to test administration
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