Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)
A student's educational team, whether the student is on an IEP or a 504 plan, will determine whether the student will take the standard MCAS test or the alternate assessment. To make this determination, the team is asked to consider three questions:
- Can the student take the standard MCAS test under routine conditions?
- Can the student take the standard MCAS test with accommodations? If so, which accommodations are absolutely necessary in order for the student to participate?
- Does the student require an alternate assessment? (Alternate assessments are intended for a very small number of students with significant disabilities.)
For more information on the MCAS:
- Requirements for the Participation of Students with Disabilities in MCAS (MS Word)
- Information about DESE's MCAS Alternate Assessment
- Frequently Asked Questions about the MCAS
- Student Assessment
Michael prepares for his high school graduation.
For some students with disabilities, the opportunity to graduate from school with their peers is far more desireable than staying behind at school for transition services. This may be in direct conflict with the team, who may see the benefit of the student remaining behind to receive transition services they are entitled to.
A strong recommendation for transition specialists is to develop transition services that students can receive in community settings. Like their peers, students with disabilities may choose to enroll in college classes, participate in campus activities, work at paid jobs, and engage in other community activities related to their postsecondary goals. By establishing community-based transition services, transition staff offer students the opportunity to pursue their postsecondary outcomes with the instruction, support and resources they need and are entitled to receive.