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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

Training Opportunities

Training Sessions Currently Being Offered

Below is a list of current training opportunities offered by the Office of Student Assessment Services. Register for a session by clicking the link in the "Training Dates and Registration Link" column below.

Please note that in order to register for multiple sessions, you must close the web browser completely after each registration is submitted.

Test(s)TopicsTraining Dates and Registration LinkAudience
MCAS Grades 3–8 and High School Tests Using PearsonAccessnext (the online test administration management system) and tasks for computer-based testing Online training modules (each of which will take approximately 15 minutes to view) can be used to prepare staff for completing administration tasks for CBT. The Department will provide additional training sessions in the winter, which will supplement these modules.

Modules that are currently available:
  • Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (for all administrations)
  • Accessibility Features and Accommodations
  • Infrastructure Trial for technology coordinators
  • Infrastructure Trial for test coordinators and test administrators
Modules that are expected to be available in 2018:
  • Sessions Management (expected in January)
  • Creating Sessions (expected in mid-March)
  • Resolving Incorrect Accommodations (expected in mid-March)
  • Moving Students Between Sessions (expected in mid-March)
Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators, test administrators
MCAS gr. 3-8 and high school tests and field tests (FTs)/question tryouts (QTs) MCAS Accessibility and Accommodations
Overview of accommodations and accessibility features for CBT and PBT
  • for grades 3-8 tests
  • for operational high school tests
  • for the field tests in grade 10 ELA and Mathematics
  • for the voluntary question tryouts in high school Biology and Introductory Physics
January 11, 10-11:30 a.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators, special education administrators and supervisors
MCAS gr. 3-8 and high school tests and field tests (FTs)/question tryouts (QTs) Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile
Overview of the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process for ordering test materials and updating selected accommodations
January 18, 10-11:30 a.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators
MCAS HS tests and FTs/QTs MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols for High Schools
  • Test security requirements and test administration protocols
  • Participation guidelines
  • Accommodations for operational tests
  • Accommodations and accessibility features for field tests/question tryouts
  • Additional information for new principals
January 23, 9:30 a.m.-noon High school principals, MCAS test coordinators

New high school principals are expected to attend this session. Principals who cannot attend may listen to a recording after the session.
MCAS gr. 3-8 tests MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols for Grades 3-8
  • Test security requirements and test administration protocols
  • Participation guidelines
  • Accessibility and accommodations overview
  • Overview of computer-based testing
February 7 and 8, 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators

New principals are expected to attend one of these sessions.
MCAS gr. 3-8 tests and HS FTs/QTs Pre-Administration Tasks for Technology Staff
  • Technology specifications
  • Infrastructure Trials
  • Proctor caching
  • Software installation
  • Resources and support
February 13, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Technology coordinators
MCAS gr. 3-8 tests and HS FTs/QTs Overview of Infrastructure Trials
  • Setup, administration, and lessons learned
  • A district's perspective: presentation by Josh Murphy, Burlington Public Schools
February 15, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators
MCAS-Alt (grades 3-8 and high schools) MCAS-Alt Portfolios-in-Progress
Half-day review sessions for educators who will be submitting MCAS-Alt portfolios to receive information and have their questions answered by MCAS-Alt training specialists
January sessions:
Sessions will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.:
  • January 8: Springfield
  • January 9: Marlborough
  • January 10: Marlborough (Introduction to MCAS-Alt only, for individuals who did not attend the October trainings)
  • January 17: Taunton
  • January 18: Danvers

February Sessions:
Sessions will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.:
  • February 13: Springfield
  • February 14: Marlborough
  • February 27: Taunton
  • February 28: Danvers
Special educators

Other Upcoming Training Sessions

Below is a list of upcoming training opportunities offered by the Office of Student Assessment Services. When the registrations are available, these sessions will move to the section at the top of this page. For more information, email mcas@doe.mass.edu.

Test(s)TopicsTraining DatesAudience
MCAS gr. 3-8 tests and HS FTs/QTs MCAS "Office Hours" on CBT Topics
There will be a brief presentation on the topics below followed by an opportunity for questions.
  • Creating sessions in PearsonAccess Next (PAN)
  • Preparing PAN sessions
  • Starting PAN sessions
  • Monitoring and managing PAN sessions (for test administrators)
March 1, 10-11:30 a.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators, test administrators
MCAS gr. 3-8 tests and HS FTs/QTs MCAS "Office Hours" on CBT Topics
There will be a brief presentation on the topics below followed by an opportunity for questions.
  • Resolving situations that arise during testing
  • Managing tests for students
    • who transfer during the administration window
    • who do not participate in testing
    • Considerations for make-up testing
  • Troubleshooting tips
April 4, 12:30-2:00 p.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators
MCAS gr. 3-8 tests and HS FTs/QTs MCAS "Office Hours" on CBT Topics
There will be a brief presentation on the topics below followed by an opportunity for questions.
  • Updating accommodations in PAN
  • Resuming students from "Active" status
  • Stopping a PAN Session
  • Marking not tested reasons
  • Timeline for results
April 24, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators

Training Sessions Previously Offered This School Year

Note: Email the Department to request slides from sessions previously offered. Recordings will be available at the MCAS Resource Center approximately one week after each remote session is offered.

Test(s)TopicsTraining DatesAudience
MCAS November Retests Overview of the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process for ordering test materials and updating selected accommodations September 20, 2017 at 10:00–11:30 a.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators
ACCESS for ELLs (grades K-12) ACCESS for ELLs (grades K-12)
  • Test security requirements and test administration protocols
  • Participation guidelines
  • Accessibility and accommodations
  • Review of training accounts and computer-based testing procedures
Face-to-face sessions for new Test Coordinators were held 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.:
  • September 27: Holyoke
  • October 5: Brockton

A remote session for new Test Coordinators was held September 28, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

A remote session for Returning Test Coordinators was held October 3, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Principals, ACCESS for ELLs test coordinators, technology coordinators
MCAS Grades 3–8 Tests MCAS 2017 Next Generation Reporting WebEx October 16, 2017 at 1:00–2:30 p.m. Principals, MCAS test coordinators, curriculum coordinators
MCAS-Alt (grades 3-8 and high schools) Fall 2017 MCAS-Alt Educator Training
A series of half-day training sessions for teachers on assembling student portfolios for the 2018 MCAS-Alt for students with significant disabilities
Week 1:
Sessions will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.:
  • September 25: Holyoke
  • September 26: Taunton
  • October 2: Danvers
  • October 3: Randolph
Week 2:
Sessions will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.:
  • October 10: Danvers
  • October 11: Marlborough
  • October 12: Taunton
  • October 17: Springfield
Special educators and their supervisors
MCAS-Alt (grades 3-8 and high schools) Fall 2017 MCAS-Alt Administrator's Overview
Afternoon information and awareness sessions presented for administrators, including those who supervise teachers submitting the MCAS-Alt, on:
  • Participation requirements for MCAS and MCAS-Alt, including graduation requirements
  • Accessibility features and accommodations for spring 2018 MCAS
  • Features of the MCAS-Alt
  • How the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will affect assessment for students with disabilities
Sessions will be held 1:30-3:00 p.m.:
  • October 10: Danvers
  • October 11: Marlborough
  • October 12: Taunton
  • October 17: Springfield
School and district administrators, special education supervisors, assessment coordinators


Last Updated: January 10, 2018
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