A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

May 10, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. Reporting Webinar on Spring 2022 Grades 38 and 10 ELA MCAS Topics (Early Release Round 1: Machine-Scored Items)
Department staff will hold a reporting webinar on May 20 at 9:30–11:00 a.m. on the following topics. (Note that the webinar was previously listed on the DESE website as being scheduled for May 18; the webinar has been rescheduled for May 20.)
  • Viewing the ELA test design
  • Accessing the .CSV data file, student rosters, and item analysis templates
  • Viewing statewide raw score results and conducting preliminary analysis of your school and/or district data
  • Future release dates
A slide presentation will be provided to participants before the webinar, and there will be demonstrations and opportunities to ask questions. Registration is available at
2. Important Reminder for MCAS Accessibility and Accommodations
Speech-to-Text is NOT embedded for computer-based MCAS Mathematics tests. Many students with disabilities (and English Learners) have the accommodation for the use of a speech-to-text device on MCAS mathematics tests. However, as indicated on page 20 of the Accessibility and Accommodations Manual, “web extension for speech-to-text does not function on mathematics or Introductory Physics computer-based tests due to its incompatibility with the Equation Editor answer box used for open responses. Refer to the Guidelines for Using Assistive Technology as an MCAS Test Accommodation for a step-by-step guide to accessing and using this feature.” Students with this accommodation will need to use a secondary computer with the speech-to-text tool and have the responses transcribed or use an equivalent scribe accommodation, if acceptable to the student’s IEP Team.
3. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. Disable Applications Prior to Testing on Student Devices
As a reminder, schools should disable all applications on student testing devices prior to MCAS testing in order to avoid error messages and disruptions during testing. Please see additional information in this technical bulletin from Pearson.
b. Spring 2022 MCAS Early Release Schedule Available
DESE announced the Round 1 and Round 2 early release schedule for spring 2022 MCAS data files for grades 3–8 and 10 ELA and Mathematics and grades 5 and 8 STE. To assist schools and districts in reviewing early release data, the Department will also provide Item Analysis Templates as the early release data become available. Please see the previous update for further information.
For High Schools

1. Spanish/English Editions of the Biology and Introductory Physics Practice Tests Now Available
The Spanish/English editions of the Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS practice tests are now posted in the MCAS Resource Center for both CBT and PBT.
Beginning in June 2022, Spanish/English editions of the Biology and Introductory Physics tests will be available to eligible students. For more information about eligibility, refer to page 121 of the MCAS Principal’s Administration Manual. For additional information on accessibility and accommodations for June high school STE, refer to item 1b in the “For High Schools” section of the December 14, 2021 Student Assessment Update.
2. Biology and Introductory Physics Instructional Guidelines
Minor revisions were made to the High School Biology Instructional Guidelines and the High School Introductory Physics Instructional Guidelines. The Instructional Guidelines include guidance for instruction and assessment of the standards in the Massachusetts STE Curriculum Framework. These guidelines align with assessment expectations for the High School STE MCAS tests, but should not be used as a sole curriculum guide.   
3. Reminder from the Previous Update: John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Letters for March 2022 Retest Results
High schools with students in the class of 2022 who participated in the March 2022 retest for scholarship purposes and qualified for a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship will soon be receiving a delivery of award letters for those students. The letter is important because students must provide a copy of it, along with their completed FAFSA application, to their college’s financial aid office each year in order to use the award. Please see the previous update for further information and a delivery schedule.

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), Item. Spring Grades 3–8, April 25–May 27, Mathematics testing window. April 26–May 27, STE testing window (grades 5 and 8). 2022 MCAS/EPP Mathematics Test, May 9–18, Score students’ answer sheets. May 10–27, Securely transport materials to the superintendent’s office for storage. May 18, Deadline to destroy test booklets. Spring Grade 10 Mathematics, February 7–May 16, Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for CBT. May 3–13, If necessary, order additional manuals and Mathematics PBT materials for accommodations, and report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments. May 10, Operational content will be available for precaching. May 17–18, Administer sessions 1 and 2. May 19–20, Administer sessions 1 and 2 only if needed. Test any remaining students who did not participate in the first set of dates due to technology/device limitations (only). May 25, Last date for regular make-up testing. May 26, Deadline to complete the grade 10 PCPA. Deadline for updating SR/PNP information and marking students’ tests complete, if necessary. May 27, For PBT accommodations: pre-scheduled UPS pickup (and deadline). High School STE, April 19–June 6, (Next-generation only) Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for CBT. Schools may continue to update SR/PNP information and accommodations for students participating in CBT, but note that schools will not receive additional manuals for the new students registered for CBT after the initial SR/PNP window. May 24, Receive manuals, and receive PBT materials for next-generation accommodations and for the legacy tests. May 24–June 3, If necessary, order additional manuals and PBT materials for accommodations, and report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments. June 7–8, Administer sessions 1 and 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
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