Can my child get help with MCAS?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts
Created February, 2022

If your child has a 504 plan or an IEP, they can take:

  • The standard MCAS the same way all other students take it.
  • The standard MCAS tests with help or accommodations.  Usually these are the same accommodations they get for classroom instruction, or homework. Some examples of accommodations they might get are: a smaller classroom to take the test in, permission to use a calculator for the math part, a teacher your child is familiar with to supervise the test, or someone to help read test question out loud. Look at your child's IEP or 504 plan to see the accommodations your child should get.
  • An MCAS Alternative Assessment. The Alternative Assessment is a collection of your child's work that shows their academic knowledge and skills. If your child is allowed to use the MCAS Alternative Assessment, they can graduate with a high school diploma.

Note: Sometimes students who take the Alternative Assessment are not expected to graduate with a diploma. They may be able to get a Certificate of Completion. At IEP Team Meetings discuss if your child can expect to get a high school diploma. Only a very small number of students should take the MCAS Alternative Assessment.

The IEP Team decides how your child will take the MCAS test.


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