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A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education

May 24, 2022
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News from DESE Student Assessment Services

For All Schools

1. Clarification of First-Year EL Student Participation in MCAS
This is a timely reminder that first-year English learner (EL) students must participate in Mathematics testing at grades 3–8 and 10 and in STE testing at grades 5 and 8.
 
The Principal’s Administration Manual (PAM) on page 13 had incorrectly omitted that ELA testing is optional for EL students in their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools. The PDF version of the manual has now been replaced, and page 13 now correctly states the following:
 
“For grades 3–8, EL students must participate in all MCAS testing scheduled for their grade, regardless of the program and services they are receiving, with one exception: The participation of EL students who are in their first year of enrollment in U.S. schools (i.e., students first enrolled after the March 2021 SIMS submission) in ELA testing is optional.”
 
For additional details on the participation guidelines for EL students, refer to page 118 of the PAM, which includes this table:

 
EL Participation Requirements for Spring 2022 MCAS Tests
Content Area Test First-Year EL Students1 All Other Students
ELA Optional2 Required
Mathematics Required Required
STE (grades 5 and 8) Required Required
1 Results for first-year EL students are not included in MCAS school and district summary results.
2 Optional, provided that the student has participated in ACCESS for ELLs testing.

Note: All students must participate in high school STE by grade 10. First-year EL students in grade 10 must participate in a high school STE test in grade 10 if they have not already taken a test.

2. Steps to Complete after Testing
Schools are reminded that the last day for make-up testing for students with extraordinary circumstances is May 26 for grade 10 Math, and May 31 for grades 3–8 Math and STE. Schools do not need to contact DESE for permission to use these dates for make-up testing.
 
As testing is completed, principals should follow the instructions listed in the Tasks to Complete after Test Administration section of the PAM, starting on page 57, including the following:
  • checking that all students in any transfer PAN Sessions have been moved to another PAN session (See page 4 of the Enrollment Transfer Guide.)
  • checking that all computer-based student tests in PearsonAccess Next (PAN) are in Complete or Marked Complete status (Schools will need to mark tests complete for students who did not complete testing and have at least one test session with a status of Exited, Resumed, or Resume-Upload, including students who started testing but did not finish; see details in step 8 on page 59 of the PAM.)
  • checking that all PAN Sessions are stopped (See page 60 of the PAM.)
  • updating PAN for students who were absent (See page 126 of the PAM.)
The deadlines to complete these tasks are as follows:
  • grade 10 Math: May 26
  • grades 3–8 Math/STE: May 31
3. ACCESS for ELLs Test Results and Score Reports
ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs electronic test results are now available in WIDA AMS, including Individual Student Reports (ISRs), School and District Frequency Reports, and School Student Roster Reports. An email from the ACCESS for ELLs testing contractor, DRC, to ACCESS Test Coordinators on May 12 provided instructions for retrieving the electronic reports. If you are an ACCESS for ELLs Test Coordinator and did not receive the email, please contact DRC at 855-787-9615.

On May 24, printed ISRs will arrive in schools; they will be printed in English only. DESE recommends that schools mail the English version of the report along with a report in the family’s native language (i.e., the language of the home) by downloading and printing on-demand reports from WIDA AMS under Report Delivery>On-Demand Reports. Schools can reach out to their district’s SIMS Contact for the family’s language.


As schools prepare to send ISRs to students' homes, we also encourage downloading the ACCESS for ELLs Parent Letter in the language of the home (if available) to accompany the report. Parent letters should be copied onto school or district letterhead, signed by the appropriate school or district official, and sent to homes with the actual ISRs. Parent letters are available in the same languages as the on-demand ISRs.
 
Please contact access@mass.gov with questions.
4. Reminder from the Previous Update: Important Reminder for MCAS Accessibility and Accommodations
Speech-to-Text is NOT embedded for computer-based MCAS Mathematics tests. 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.” 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. Please see the previous update for further information.
For High Schools

1. Round 10 Modified CD Data in DropBoxes and Edwin Analytics
The Department has concluded its review of the modified Competency Determination (CD) Round 10 data that districts certified in the Security Portal during the May 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 10 will be available in the MCAS 2022 Data DropBoxes in .CSV files [e.g., Modified_CD_round_10_May2022_....CSV] on May 27. The district-level file contains eligible students who were reported as enrolled in the district in March 2022 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 March 2022 SIMS. A modified CD file layout is also included.

The updated Edwin Analytics CD Roster is scheduled to be available on June 2 and updated Modified CD memos are scheduled to be available on June 9. See the table below for additional details.

 
Information Delivered Scheduled Delivery Date
Round 10 modified CD .CSV files and file layout posted in MCAS 2022 Data DropBox in the DESE Security Portal May 27
Student CD Roster – PE618 (available in Edwin Analytics, Achievement Analysis – Student Level) June 1
Modified CD Memo – PE620 (available in Edwin Analytics, Achievement Analysis – Student Level) June 9
 
If you have any questions about the modified CD results, please contact data@doe.mass.edu
2. CD Status for High School Students in MCAS 2022 DropBoxes
The Department recently placed a spreadsheet file in .XLS format in school and district DropBoxes that lists the CD status, as of May 5, 2022, for students reported as enrolled in March SIMS in grades 9, 10, 11, 12, and SP.
3. Reminders from the Previous Update
a. 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. Please see the previous update for further information.
 

b. 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. Please see the previous update for further information.

Other Important Dates

Table with Category, Date(s), and Item. Spring Grades 3–8, Now–May 27, (Schools may administer final make-up sessions on May 31 as noted above.) Mathematics testing window and STE testing window (grades 5 and 8). May 31, Deadline for updating SR/PNP information and marking students’ tests complete, if necessary. Deadline to complete the PCPA (one combined PCPA for all subjects and grades tested in the school). June 1, Pre-scheduled UPS pickup (and deadline) for Math/STE PBT accommodations. 2022 MCAS/EPP Mathematics Test, May 10–27, Securely transport materials to the superintendent’s office for storage. Spring Grade 10 Mathematics, May 25, (Schools may administer final make-up sessions on May 26.) 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, Now–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. May 31, Operational test content available for precaching. June 7, Administer session 1. June 8, Administer session 2. June 9, Only if needed for Biology or Introductory Physics: Administer session 1 to any remaining students who did not participate in the first set of dates due to technology/device limitations. June 10, Only if needed for Biology or Introductory Physics: Administer session 2 to any remaining students who did not participate in the first set of dates due to technology/device limitations. Last date for regular make-up testing.
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
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