A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

October 4, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. Spring 2022 MCAS Parent/Guardian Reports Available
Parent/Guardian Reports from the spring 2022 MCAS administration are scheduled to be available on the dates in the table below.  
Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
Electronic versions available to principals and superintendents in PearsonAccess Next, in Published Reports, at
September 30
Electronic versions of the translated Parent/Guardian Report Template, available at
October 4
Paper copies delivered to district offices, including the Report Template for the ten most frequent non-English languages of enrolled students statewide, as of June 2022 SIMS October 6
2. Reminder that ELA Released Essays from Spring 2022 MCAS are available in PearsonAccess Next
As part of the Early Release of spring 2022 MCAS results, the Department provided released essays for ELA grades 5–8 and 10 in PearsonAccess Next (PAN) and constructed response items in grades 3–4. The documents, in PDF format, are available at the school organization level, on the Published Reports page, for school and district test coordinators and other users with the Published Reports role.
For each student, the following information is provided:
  • item number
  • question prompt
  • student's response
  • the idea development essay score/possible points (out of 5 possible points)
  • the standard English conventions essay score/possible points (out of 3 possible points)
  • (for grades 3–4) the student’s constructed response score (out of 3 possible points)
The reading passages on which the prompts are based are available on the MCAS Resource Center at page; scoring rubrics and examples of student work are available at
3. ACCESS for ELLs: WIDA AMS Central Office Service Device (COS-SD) Update
Schools and districts will need to manually update their Central Office Services – Service Device (COS-SD), with the exception of COS-SD devices that were connected to the internet and left on overnight the evening of September 29, which automatically received the update. Schools can use the WIDA AMS Central Office Services application to manually update to version 6.2. 
Please contact DRC Customer Support at or 855-787-9615 with any questions or concerns.
4. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. New Pre-Administration Guide for the 2022–23 MCAS Tests Now Available
This new resource provides instructions and roles/responsibilities for the tasks that schools need to complete prior to MCAS test administration. Questions and feedback on the usefulness of this new guide may be directed to Please see the previous update for further information.
b. ACCESS for ELLs: October SIMS Reporting and Updating Contact Information
If you have not already done so, it is time to inform your district SIMS contact about students who have exited EL status and should no longer be reported as EL prior to the October SIMS submission.
Please ensure that the names and contact information for staff in the roles of EL Program Director (EL Director), ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator, Educational Technology Director, and Principal have been updated by your district’s Directory Administrator in the Department’s School and District Profiles, if this information has changed since last year. Please see the previous update for further information.
For High Schools

1. November Retest Participation Guidelines
Schools should review the participation guidelines for the upcoming November retests and share the information with school guidance counselors and others as needed. Schools should note that juniors and seniors may participate in the November retests for scholarship purposes, and that this is the last opportunity for seniors to participate in MCAS to qualify for the Adams Scholarship or the Koplik Award. (The Adams Scholarship is based on first-time scores, so seniors participating for Adams purposes must be first-time test takers. The Koplik Award is based on a student’s highest score, so any senior may participate for Koplik purposes in order to improve their score.) Please be sure to update the SR/PNP for any student that was not included in the initial SR/PNP file who will now participate. Guidelines for updating the SR/PNP can be found in the Guide to the SR/PNP.
2. PearsonAccess Next Passwords and Accounts: Confirm Accounts at This Time
School and district staff who had access to PearsonAccess Next during the previous school year should sign in to PAN to make sure their accounts are still active. If you are able to sign in to your account successfully, no further action is needed at this time. Staff with accounts that have been disabled will receive an error message upon sign-in; resetting the password will enable the account. Please contact the MCAS Service Center with any questions (see contact information in the footer of this update).

Updated versions of the User Role Matrix and the Guide to Managing User Accounts in PearsonAccess Next will soon be posted to the MCAS Resource Center. Principals should review the User Role Matrix to confirm that school and district staff have the appropriate PAN accounts. Principals should designate a member of their team to add/remove accounts for the November retest administration. This task can be done manually or by uploading a file (the latter is best for creating large numbers of new accounts). For support, refer to the Guide to Managing User Accounts in PearsonAccess Next
Test coordinators will need to create accounts for users in both the PAN live site and PAN training site. While the two sites offer similar functionality, they have two different purposes.
  • The PAN training site (brown background) is available prior to test administration to conduct Infrastructure Trials. The PAN training site does not contain live student data or results. School staff may also use the training site as a place to practice completing PearsonAccess Next tasks.
  • The PAN live site (blue background) is used for operational testing. This is where live student data is stored, and where the SR/PNP is submitted.
Test coordinators, technology coordinators, and test administrators should be sure to check that they are using the correct site for training and operational tasks.
Contact the MCAS Service Center with questions. 
3. Availability of TestNav; Requests to Test Outside Regular Hours
To maintain the security of the testing system during the November 2022 retests, TestNav will be available only during the test administration windows, and open between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday–Friday on those days.
To request permission to conduct testing outside the hours given above (e.g., an evening high school that would like to begin testing after 4:00 p.m.), the principal must email Requests should be submitted by October 26.  The email should include the following information:
  • school and district names
  • school and district codes
  • specific days/times being requested for testing
  • reason for request
  • PAN Session Name(s)
It is important that requests be submitted in a timely manner, since schools will need to complete follow-up steps upon receiving approval of their requests.
4. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. MCAS BYOD for the November Retests: Notify DESE by October 14
A “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy allows students to use their own devices for instruction. Schools with BYOD policies that would like to utilize these devices for the November retests should email by Friday, October 14 for instructions on preparing devices.

b. Technology Support Prior to Computer-Based Testing
Technology coordinators are able to schedule one-on-one support from Pearson's support specialists (i.e., Field Services Engineering) prior to the November retest administration, between now and November 4. They may use this website to schedule “office hours” support for a 15-, 30-, or 60-minute phone meeting. Please see the previous update for further information.

c. MCAS Performance Appeals Trainings
High school administrators, educators, and district superintendents have opportunities to learn more about the MCAS Performance Appeal process during two upcoming webinars. Schools can register for one of the sessions on Tuesday, October 11, 10:00–11:00 a.m. or Wednesday, October 26, 9:30–10:30 a.m. Please see the previous update for further information.

d. MCAS Interim CD Standard for the Classes of 2023–2025
Please see the previous update for tables that illustrate the next-generation CD requirements for the classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025. Additional information about graduation requirements is available on the DESE website.

Other Important Dates

Table with category, date(s), item. November retests. September 26-November 1, window to conduct an Infrastructure Trial. October 3-November 8, Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for CBT. November 2, receive manuals and PBT materials.
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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