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A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

March 1, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. Registration and Survey for March Trainings
Schools are reminded that registration is still available for the trainings listed below. Sessions will be recorded, and the recordings will be available at the MCAS Resource Center approximately one week after the training date.
 
In an effort to enhance the upcoming trainings, we ask that schools participate in this brief survey by Friday, March 4. The survey is an opportunity to help DESE determine the topics on which to spend the most time during the trainings, and to submit questions to address during the presentations.

 
Training Date Time
Tasks in PearsonAccess Next Before and During Testing Tuesday, March 8 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Tasks in PearsonAccess Next During and After Testing Monday, March 14 9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
2. Updates to Operating Systems
Schools that are considering updating the operating systems on their testing devices should first confirm that the update is supported by TestNav. As detailed in this technical bulletin, Pearson, the MCAS testing subcontractor, plans to support iOS 15.2 and 15.3 for the spring 2022 MCAS administration. iOS 15.0 and 15.1 will not be supported for spring 2022 MCAS testing; schools that are currently running these operating systems should plan on updating student devices to at least iOS 15.2 prior to MCAS testing to ensure TestNav will function properly. No action is required for schools or districts that are currently running iOS 13–14.x and 15.2–15.3. 

In addition, the following operating systems will now also be supported for spring 2022 testing:
  • Chrome OS 98
  • Windows 11
Schools are encouraged to run an Infrastructure Trial after an operating system update to ensure that TestNav will continue to operate smoothly with the update applied. Schools with questions on operating systems are encouraged to schedule a one-on-one call with Pearson’s technology support specialists.
3. ACCESS for ELLs: Return Test Materials by March 8 
The ACCESS testing window closes on March 4. Schools should contact UPS at 866-857-1501 no later than March 7 and arrange for materials to be picked up no later than Tuesday, March 8. Please call DRC Customer Service at 855-787-9615 for assistance if needed.

ACCESS for ELLs test booklets containing student responses must have either a student Pre-ID label or a District/School label affixed, with front and back booklet covers bubbled. If District/School labels are needed, email access@mass.gov by today, March 1. District/School labels are sent to schools in the mail and will arrive 3–5 days after ordering. Booklets that do not have either a student Pre-ID label or District/School label affixed will not be scored.

4. MCAS-Alt Submission Materials
Shipment of binders, envelopes, Student Identification Booklets, and other MCAS-Alt submission materials are being sent to schools this week.

a. Completing the Materials Summary
Upon receipt of your shipment, principals or their designee should immediately inventory the materials in the shipment and complete the Materials Summary (included in the shipment) to indicate the quantity of materials received. If there are discrepancies between the totals listed on the Materials Summary and the count from the inventory of materials, the discrepancies must be reported to the MCAS Service Center within two business days of receipt of the order.
 

b. Principals Certification of Proper Administration (PCPA)
In order to certify that the quantity of materials received is accurate, please complete Section 2 of the online MCAS-Alt PCPA. To access the online PCPA, please go to www.mcasservicecenter.com, click on “MCAS Alternate Assessment,” then click on “Principal Certification.” Once at the PCPA, please follow the instructions to complete Section 2.
 
Note: Please do not click “I Certify” after completing Section 2. You will complete sections 3, 4, and 5 when you are ready to return your materials, then click “I Certify” at that time. 


c. Order Additional Materials by March 25 (if Necessary)
It is important to verify whether additional MCAS-Alt materials are needed to submit all assessments from the school by April 1. To order additional materials, locate the MP Ship Code on the Materials Summary and go to www.mcasservicecenter.com. Click on “MCAS Alternate Assessment,” then click on “Additional Materials” and place your order. The deadline to order additional materials is Friday, March 25.
5. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. Preparations for the March Retests and Spring 2022 Testing
For both the upcoming March retests and the spring tests for grades 3–8 and 10, it is timely for principals to meet with their technology coordinators and complete the technology preparations listed in the Principal’s Administration Manuals (PAMs). Principals are also encouraged to review the 2022 technology specifications with their technology coordinator to confirm that their school’s devices can be used for the March retests and spring 2022 MCAS computer-based tests (CBT). 

Schools are encouraged to administer the student tutorial and practice tests to students, including students who have previously participated in CBT. In addition to the tutorial, practice tests are available online and can also be accessed via the TestNav app. Please see the previous update for further information.
 

b. Initial Release of the 2022–23 MCAS and ACCESS for ELLs Testing Schedule
We are pleased to release the initial MCAS and ACCESS for ELLs testing schedule for the next school year. Please see this page for details.
For High Schools

1. Update on Returning March Retest PBT Materials
Schools will receive shipments of manuals and paper-based testing (PBT) materials for the March retests tomorrow, March 2. Included in the shipments for schools doing PBT will be small, flat boxes for the return of materials. Instead of using the original shipping cartons as instructed in the Principal’s Administration Manual, schools should use the small, flat boxes. No other changes to returning materials are needed, but schools may contact the MCAS Service Center at 800-737-5103 with any questions or to request additional small boxes.  
2. Round 9 Modified CD Data in DropBoxes and Edwin Analytics
The Department has concluded its review of modified Competency Determination (CD) Round 9 data that districts certified in the Security Portal during the January 2022 collection window. This round includes 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 9 are now available in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBoxes in .CSV files [e.g., Modified_CD_round_9_Feb2022_....CSV]. The district-level file contains eligible students who were reported as enrolled in the district in October SIMS, including students in out-of-district placements such as collaboratives, private schools, and special education schools. The school-level file includes eligible students who were reported as enrolled in the school in October SIMS. A modified CD file layout is also included.

The updated Edwin Analytics CD Roster is scheduled to be available on March 4 and updated Modified CD Memos are scheduled to be available on March 10. See the table below for additional details. If you have any questions about the modified CD results, please contact data@doe.mass.edu

 
Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
Round 9 modified CD .CSV files and file layout posted in MCAS 2022 Data DropBox in the DESE Security Portal February 25
Student CD Roster – PE618 (available in Edwin Analytics, Achievement Analysis – Student Level) March 4
Modified CD Memo – PE620 (available in Edwin Analytics, Achievement Analysis – Student Level) March 10
3. Reminder for Schools Administering the March Retest for CD Purposes
When administering the March retests to students who previously attempted MCAS but did not earn a passing score in ELA or Mathematics, note that certain next-generation scaled scores in Not Meeting Expectations satisfy the Interim CD Standard in those subjects. Please see the November 16 Update for a table of the next-generation cut scores and associated CD status for each subject. Additional information about graduation requirements is available on the DESE website.
4. Results from the February Biology Test
Results for the February 2022 Biology test are scheduled to be available as indicated below.
 
Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
.CSV files posted in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBox, in the DESE Security Portal April 1
Student Rosters and other Interactive reports available in Edwin Analytics April 8
Electronic Parent/Guardian Reports posted in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBox Mid-April
Paper Parent/Guardian Reports (one copy) delivered to district offices Mid- to Late May
5. Delivery of November Retest Parent/Guardian Reports Delayed
Due to potential shipment delays from the Friday, February 25 snowstorm, DESE has postponed the shipment of Parent/Guardian Reports for the November retests by one day. Reports are now scheduled to be delivered to district offices today, Tuesday, March 1. The availability of electronic versions of the Parent/Guardian Reports is not affected. See the table below and the February 1 SAS Update for details. 
 
Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
.CSV files posted in DropBoxes in the DESE Security Portal February 4
Student Rosters and other Interactive reports available in Edwin Analytics February 11
Parent/Guardian Reports (one paper copy) delivered to district offices March 1 (updated)
Next Generation Parent/Guardian Reports in PearsonAccess Next, in Published Reports (at the school organization level) February 28
6. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. Final Opportunity for Grade 12 Students to Participate in MCAS for Scholarship Purposes
Please note that the March retest is the final opportunity for students in the class of 2022 (current seniors) to participate in MCAS for scholarship purposes. Please see the January 19 Update for further information. 

b. Availability of TestNav; Requests to Test outside Regular Hours
To maintain the security of the testing system during the March retests and spring tests, TestNav will be available only during the test administration windows, between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 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 mcas@doe.mass.edu by March 2 for the March retests.  For the spring grade 10 ELA test, schools must email by March 8. Please see the previous update for further information.
 

c. Update to the Adams Scholarship for the Class of 2024
In response to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the eligibility criteria for the class of 2024 will be based on students who qualify for the scholarship with all three scores (Option 1) and again for students who qualify based on their ELA and Math scores only (Option 2). Refer to the Adams Scholarship web page for details.
 

d. John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Letters Available for November 2021 Retest Results
High schools with students in the class of 2022 who participated in the November 2021 retest for scholarship purposes and qualified for a John and Abigail Adams Scholarship will soon receive a delivery of award letters for those students. The .CSV file is currently available in DropBox Central in the Security Portal.  Letters are scheduled to be available in the formats listed below on the following dates. Please see the February 1 Update for further information. 
 
PDF versions on the MCAS Service Center March 8
Paper copies in district offices March 10

e. Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS Standard Setting Panels  
DESE is recruiting educators to participate in standard setting for the high school Biology and Introductory Physics MCAS tests. The meetings will be held from August 9–12, 2022. DESE is looking to select from a diverse pool of candidates with experience teaching grades 9 and 10 biology or physics and experience working with racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students. More information about applicant qualifications and about how to apply is posted on the Department’s website. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 28, 2022. Please see the previous update for further information.
 

f. Phasing Out the MCAS Chemistry and Technology/Engineering Tests 
In January 2022, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to phase out the legacy, paper-based MCAS Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests due to low enrollment numbers. These two tests will be offered in June 2022, along with the next-generation tests in Biology and Introductory Physics. June 2023 will be the last administration of the Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests, and will only be offered to certain students. Please see the previous update for further information.

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), Item. ACCESS for ELLs (Dates were updated Jan. 7), December 2–March 4, WIDA AMS test setup. January 6–March 4, ACCESS for ELLs test sessions. March 7, Deadline to schedule UPS pickup. March 8, Deadline for UPS pickup. March Retests, January 24–March 2, Review Best Practices document and, if recommended, download ProctorCache software and conduct an Infrastructure Trial (both suggested in certain circumstances). February 1–March 8, Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for CBT. March 2, Receive manuals and PBT materials for accommodations. Operational test content available for precaching for schools using ProctorCache.  March 2–7, If necessary, order additional manuals and PBT materials for accommodations, and report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments. March 9, ELA Session 1. March 10, ELA Session 2. March 15, Mathematics Session 1. March 16, Mathematics Session 2. Spring Grades 3–8, February 7–March 25 (for ELA). February 4–April 22 (for Math/STE), Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for CBT. January 31–March 14, Review Best Practices document and, if recommended, download ProctorCache software and conduct an Infrastructure Trial (both suggested in certain circumstances). March 14, Receive all manuals and ELA PBT materials for accommodations. March 14–24 , If necessary, order additional manuals and ELA PBT materials for accommodations, and report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments. Spring Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics, February 7–March 21, Extended pre-administration SR/PNP window for ELA CBT. January 31–March 8, Review Best Practices document, and if recommended, download ProctorCache software and conduct an Infrastructure Trial (both suggested in certain circumstances). March 8	, Receive manuals for ELA and Mathematics, and receive ELA PBT materials for accommodations. March 15, ELA operational test content will be available for precaching. March 8–18, If necessary, order additional manuals and ELA PBT materials for accommodations, and report packing discrepancies for PBT shipments.
Additional Resources
CONTACT
MCAS Service Center
for logistical support, including tech support for PearsonAccess Next and TestNav

Email: mcas@cognia.org
Phone: 800-737-5103
Student Assessment Services
for policy questions, including student participation

Email: mcas@doe.mass.edu
Phone: 781-338-3625
Schedule a Call with Technology Support Specialists
available prior to test administration
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