A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

January 4, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. PAN Passwords and Accounts: Confirm Accounts at this Time
School and district staff who had access to PAN 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 were 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.

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 each 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. Contact the MCAS Service Center with questions. 
As you confirm your account, you may notice some minor updates to PAN. Detailed information on new features will soon be posted to the Updates for 2021–22 web page on the DESE website. 
2. ACCESS for ELLs
a. ACCESS for ELLs Test Setup
Schools may now begin their ACCESS test setup in WIDA AMS where ACCESS Test Coordinators can verify and update student test sessions, update student demographic information (including accommodations), and remove or add students who have newly enrolled, recently exited EL status, or transferred out of the school since October SIMS was reported to DESE. See the November 10, 2021 EL Assessment Update for more information. 

b. DESE-Ordered ACCESS Test Materials
As a reminder, DESE uploaded student-level Pre-ID files in WIDA AMS for students reported in October SIMS for the purpose of pre-ordering ACCESS test materials for each school. Students in the Pre-ID file were placed in generic online test sessions. Paper test materials were ordered for kindergarten students and for students with disabilities who took the paper-based test last year. Materials will arrive in schools on January 4. Copies of Pre-ID files showing which students were included are available in DropBox Central in the Security Portal, in the “ACCESS Data 2022” folder. Schools may want to review these files during the test setup window (now open) and make any changes needed in WIDA AMS. More information on managing test sessions is available in the WIDA AMS User Guide.

c. ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Resources 
The presentation slides for the recent ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator Training Workshops (Fall 2021) are available in PDF format on the Massachusetts state page on the WIDA website, under the “Manuals, Guides and Workshops” dropdown menu (click “+” to expand). This training reviewed test administration procedures, technology requirements, and test administrator training and certification.  

The ACCESS for ELLs Online Checklist and ACCESS for ELLs Paper Checklist are also available on the Massachusetts state page on the WIDA website. These resources list the tasks that Test Administrators, School Test Coordinators, and District Test Coordinators should conduct before, during, and after ACCESS for ELLs testing. Other helpful resources are available on the DESE ACCESS for ELLs web page, including the Principal’s Pre-Administration Manual: Tasks to be Completed in 2021–2022 and the Massachusetts State-Specific Directions for ACCESS for ELLs Administration 2021–2022.
3. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. MCAS Test Administration Training Sessions
Registration is now available for all the test administration training sessions to support schools for spring 2022 MCAS testing. We extend a warm invitation to experienced principals and test coordinators to share your local procedures and perspective during the sessions. We also invite schools to submit questions in advance of the trainings to help us identify specific areas of interest. Please email us for details (note that your participation would be remote over Zoom). Please see the previous update for further information.

b. Passwords for the MCAS Service Center Website for 2022
School and district passwords for the MCAS Service Center were changed at the end of 2021 to maintain the site’s security, and new passwords for 2022 are now available in the “MCAS 2022 Data” folder in DropBox Central, located in the DESE Security Portal. Schools that do not find their password should contact the Department’s Office of Student Assessment Services (see contact information in the footer of this update). Questions about the MCAS Service Center website can be directed to the MCAS Service Center (also see the footer for their contact information). See this update for further information.

c. Ordering MCAS-Alt Submission Materials: January 3–14, 2022
MCAS-Alt submission materials can be ordered from January 3 to 14, 2022 at the MCAS Service Center website using the 2022 password. Ordering these materials is separate from the student registration process for MCAS testing. Please check with teachers in your school to verify the number of students taking the MCAS-Alt in each grade, and see the previous update for further information.

d. Process to Request a Waiver from the MCAS CBT Expectation: Submit by January 14
Schools are expected to administer the March 2022 MCAS retests, spring 2022 grades 3–8 and 10 tests, and June Biology and Introductory Physics tests online. Schools with extenuating circumstances should submit a waiver request here by January 14. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please see the November 30 update for further information.  
For Grades 3–8

1. Reminder: Volunteer Schools Needed for Grade 8 Civics Assessment Pilot this Spring
The Department is piloting a new grade 8 civics assessment to evaluate new performance tasks and new types of computer-based questions. The administration window for the local- and state-level performance tasks will be March 14–April 29, 2022, and the administration window for the end-of-course test will be May 23–June 10, 2022. Department staff will host a webinar on Tuesday, January 11 from 9:30–10:30 a.m. to provide a general overview for schools that are considering participating in this pilot opportunity (registration is available). Please see the previous update for further information.
For High Schools

1. March Retest SR/PNP Window: January 1831
The window to complete the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) for the March Retests will open on January 18. Principals and test coordinators are encouraged to register for the January 13 Overview of the SR/PNP training, during which DESE will present detailed information on how to complete the SR/PNP process. More information will also be shared in a future update. 
2. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. Information about the February 2022 Biology Test
The February 2022 Biology test will be the final administration of the legacy, paper-based test, aligned to "overlapping" standards from both the 2006 and 2016 STE frameworks. See the December 14 Student Assessment Update for further information about the test format, and the October 5 edition of the Student Assessment Update for participation guidelines.

b. Round 8 Modified CD Data in DropBoxes and Edwin Analytics
The Department has concluded its review of modified Competency Determination (CD) round 8 data that districts certified in the Security Portal during the October 21–November 19 collection window. Results from round 8 are now available in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBoxes in .CSV files. Please see the previous update for further information. If you have any questions about the results or the modified CD process, please contact the Data Analysis and Reporting Office at

c. Results from the November Retests
Results from the November retests are scheduled to be available starting in February 2022. Please see the previous update for further information.

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), and Item. February Biology Administration, January 26, Receive test materials. ACCESS for ELLs, December 2–February 18, WIDA AMS test setup. January 4, Receive test materials. January 4–February 4, Order additional materials, if necessary. January 6–February 10, ACCESS for ELLs test sessions. March 2022 Retests, January 18–31, Complete the pre-administration SR/PNP process. January 24–March 2, Review Best Practices document, and if recommended, download ProctorCache software and conduct an Infrastructure Trial (both suggested in certain circumstances). Spring Grades 3–8, January 24–February 4, Complete the pre-administration SR/PNP process. Spring Grade 10 ELA and Mathematics, January 24–February 4, 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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