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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.

Test(s)TopicsTraining Dates and Registration LinkAudience
MCAS Grades 3-8 and High School Tests  
Reporting Conference Call for Spring 2017

Preliminary MCAS Results

During the MCAS reporting call, Department staff will discuss the first release of preliminary "raw" MCAS data, including updates to Next-Generation reporting for grades 3-8 English Language Arts, math, and legacy results for high school and for grades 5 and 8 STE. Topics will include:
  • full preliminary results for grade 10 ELA
  • state percent correct on selected response (multiple-choice) items for grades 3-8 ELA, grades 3-8 and 10 math, and grades 5 and 8 STE
  • a review of new variables in the MCAS csv file (posted to DropBoxes)
  • new achievement measures on Next-Generation MCAS (available in October)
  • reporting timelines for August preliminary results and the official public release in October

The Department will post a Power Point presentation for the call in DropBoxes and at the MCAS Service Center. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the call.
Conference call session:
June 26, 10:00–11:30 a.m.
Principals and MCAS test coordinators
MCAS Grades 3-8 and High School Tests Training modules on test coordination and technology management Training Modules are being posted as available. Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators, test administrators

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
 None at this time  

Training Sessions Already Offered This School Year

Below is a list of training opportunities offered by the Office of Student Assessment Services that already occurred this school year. If you would like to view the slides from any of these sessions, email mcas@doe.mass.edu.

Test(s)TopicsTraining DatesAudience
MCAS grades 3-8 tests (CBT only) Initial guidance on computer-based testing Conference call session:
September 19
Districts new to CBT and districts with questions on submitting the CBT decision and/or waiver request
MCAS-Alt Educator training:
  • Introduction to MCAS-Alt for first-time teachers conducting the MCAS-Alt
  • Updates on 2017 MCAS-Alt for teachers with experience conducting MCAS-Alt
Face-to-face sessions:
September 26, 27, 28, 29
October 4, 5, 6, 13
Teachers conducting the MCAS-Alt
MCAS and MCAS-Alt Administrator training:
  • Accessibility features and accommodations for the spring 2017 MCAS tests
  • Features of the MCAS-Alt, including participation requirements
  • Features of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that will affect students with disabilities
Face-to-face sessions:
October 4, 5, 6, 13
Administrators who supervise special education staff
ACCESS for ELLs Preparing for test administration
(Registration instructions will be posted in September.)
Face-to-face sessions:
Fall 2016, dates TBD
ACCESS for ELLs test coordinators
ACCESS for ELLs Preparing for test administration Online training certification ACCESS for ELLs test administrators
MCAS February High School Biology Test An overview of the new process for ordering test materials and updating selected accommodations, which is the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process Conference call session:
December 5, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators
MCAS grades 3-8 tests MCAS New ELA and Mathematics Test Designs for Grades 3-8
  • An overview of the new test designs (Participants should view the ELA and Mathematics test designs prior to the session.)
  • Similarities to and differences from the 2016 tests
  • New question types and sample questions
  • Accessibility features and accommodations
  • Presenters will also hold a question-and-answer period at the end of the presentation.
Conference Call sessions:
December 8 and 9
Principals, MCAS test coordinators , teachers, curriculum coordinators
MCAS ELA Retest MCAS November Retest Reporting Conference Call with a Focus on Compositions
  • accessing November retest reports of results
  • guidance on composition scoring, including sample student work
  • pitfalls to avoid in preparing students for the ELA Composition
  • resources and supports for students
Conference call session:
January 10, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
High school principals, MCAS test coordinators, curriculum coordinators
MCAS High School Tests and Retests MCAS March Retest and Spring Grade 10 Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile Conference Call
An overview of the process for ordering test materials and updating selected accommodations, which is the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process (This is the same process that was used for the February Biology test.)
Conference call session:
January 12, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators
MCAS Grades 3-8 Tests MCAS Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile Conference Call for Grades 3-8
The Department will hold two conference call sessions for elementary and middle schools to give information on the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process, which is the new process for ordering test materials and updating selected accommodations (this is the same process that high schools are using). This process is being used for computer-based testing as well as paper-based testing.
Conference call sessions:
January 23, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
January 25, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Elementary and middle school principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators
MCAS High School Tests MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols for High Schools
These sessions will highlight critical elements of the MCAS test administration for high schools, including test security requirements and test administration protocols, participation guidelines, and accommodations. An orientation for new principals will be provided at the end of the session.
Conference call sessions:
February 2, 3
High school principals, MCAS test coordinators
New high school principals are expected to attend one of these sessions.
MCAS Grades 3-8 Tests Pre-Administration Tasks for Technology Staff for Grades 3-8
This WebEx presentation will review and explain the technology requirements and system set-up needed to successfully administer the computer-based MCAS tests. Topics covered will include the infrastructure trial, proctor caching, software installation, and additional resources available to support technology staff.
WebEx session: February 9 Technology coordinators
MCAS Grades 3-8 Tests This "office hours" session will provide a brief review of the newly posted resources for the upcoming grades 3-8 MCAS tests, including practice tests, TestNav tutorial for students, and ELA rubrics. There will be time devoted to answering questions about these resources, so it is recommended that they are reviewed prior to the call. Conference call session:
February 10, 2017 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Elementary and middle school principals, MCAS test coordinators, other educators
MCAS Grades 3-8 Tests MCAS Test Security and Administration Protocols for Grades 3-8
These sessions will highlight critical elements of the MCAS test administration for computer-based testing as well as for paper-based testing for grades 3-8, including updates on the testing program, test security requirements and test administration protocols, participation guidelines, and accessibility and accommodations.
Remote sessions:
February 14 and 28, March 1

Face-to-face sessions:
February 15 and 16
For the conference call sessions, we can accommodate large school and district teams. Each elementary and middle school principal is expected to attend one of these sessions (unless the school is only administering the MCAS-Alt).
MCAS-Alt Portfolio Review Sessions:
Bring your portfolios and a fully-charged tablet or laptop.
  • Receive feedback, have your questions answered and discuss your students' portfolios-in-progress.
  • Receive information on high school "competency" and grades 3-8 "grade-level" portfolios.
February 28
March 8
March 9
March 10
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Educator’s completing an MCAS-Alt Portfolio
MCAS High School STE Tests Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile for High School Science and Technology/Engineering Tests
An overview of the process for ordering test materials and updating selected accommodations, which is the Student Registration/Personal Needs Profile (SR/PNP) process
WebEx session:
March 13, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Principals, MCAS test coordinators, technology coordinators
MCAS Grades 3-8 Tests MCAS "Office Hours" Session for Grades 3-8
Pre-administration tasks, including those for test administrators, will be presented. There will be an opportunity for questions after the presentation.
WebEx session:
March 14, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Principals, MCAS test coordinators, test administrators
MCAS Grades 3-8 Tests MCAS "Office Hours" Session for Grades 3-8
There will be a brief presentation on tasks related to the beginning of the testing window, followed by an opportunity for questions after the presentation.
Conference call session:
April 10, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Principals, MCAS test coordinators, test administrators
MCAS Grades 3-8 Tests MCAS "Office Hours" Session for Grades 3-8
There will be a brief presentation on tasks related to the latter part of the testing window, followed by an opportunity for questions after the presentation.
Conference call session:
April 28, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Principals, MCAS test coordinators, test administrators


Last Updated: June 14, 2017
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