Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Online Modules and Upcoming Trainings Available on the MCAS Resource Website

Training modules are now available on the MCAS Resource Center website (the direct URL is Modules are being posted as available. At this time, we recommend that schools view the two in the “Modules to Assist with Pre-Administration Tasks” section at the top of the screen: the first module in this section is relevant for the March retest process, and the last module in this section is for schools completing the SR/PNP for grades 3–8 and 10.

Monday, January 23, 2017

New MCAS Resource Center

The MCAS Resource Center is now available online and includes access to:

  • Pearson Access Next, 
  • Technology Setup,  
  • Test Administration Materials
  • Training Modules
  • Student Tutorial & Practice Tests
  • and a MCAS Service Center

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DESE's Instructional Support Annual Convening

On February 14th, and repeated on February 15th, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be holding their annual Instructional Support Convening.  Registration begins at 7:30, with programs starting at 8:30am at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Marlborough, MA.  To register and learn more information about the convening click here.  Registration ends tomorrow, January 18, 2017.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Computer-Based MCAS Administration Resource Available

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has recently released a guide for administering the Spring computer-based MCAS assessment in grades 3-8.  The resource is available for download on the Student Assessment Update website.  The Principal's Administration Manual will follow.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Massachusetts Focus Academy Courses for 2017

The Massachusetts FOCUS Academy (MFA) is offering 10 graduate level online or hybrid courses for Spring Semester 2017.    Courses begin the week of February 27, 2017 and end the week of June 12, 2017.  These courses are at no cost to eligible districts.  Priority will be given to teams in Level 3 districts, or districts identified by the Special Education Planning and Policy Development Office as a result of special education indicator data.
FOCUS Academy Courses Spring 2017:
1. Assessment of Students with Disabilities who are ELLs
2. Assessment of Students with Disabilities who are ELLs II- Case Studies
3. Collaborative Co-teaching: Meeting the Needs of All Students
4. Creating and Sustaining Positive School-Wide Learning Environments
5. Differentiated Instruction
6. Partnering with Families of Middle and High School Students with Disabilities
7. Partnering with Families of Preschool and Elementary School Students with Disabilities
8. UDL: Addressing Learning Variability 101
9. UDL: Mathematics Instruction 201
10. UDL: Student Affect andEngagement 201

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Technology Skills for Computer-Based Testing

As schools prepare students to take the MCAS computer-based test for some grades, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed a list of the technology skills students will need to complete the assessment.  These skills include navigating the online assessment, inputting responses, using the digital math tools, and using the universal accessibility features, if desired.  This list can be found on the Student Assessment Update webpage, along with the 2016 Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards.