2024 MCAS Schedule and Information

Posted on: March 14, 2024
Salem Public Schools MCAS Schedule and Information

March 14, 2024

Dear Salem families,

It is MCAS season in Salem!  All students in grades 3-8 and grade 10 in Salem will be taking the MCAS in English Language Arts (ELA) and math.  Students in grades 5 and grade 8 will be taking the science, technology and engineering MCAS.  Depending on the science course that our high school students are taking, they might be assigned to take a biology, chemistry, physics or technology/engineering MCAS this spring.   

The MCAS is intended to provide you and your child’s teacher with information about how our students are performing relative to the MA state frameworks. Results from the MCAS assessment are used by the Salem Public Schools to inform professional development for teachers, curriculum material purchases and instructional practices. Once again, all grade levels will take their ELA, math and science assessments online this spring.  Your child’s school will provide you with  information about the administration of the upcoming MCAS assessments, including school specific schedules. The Spring 2024 MCAS assessment windows are as follows:

AssessmentGrade LevelELAMathScience Tech & Engineering
MCASGrade 3-8March 25-April 26April 23–May 24 
 Grades 5 & 8  April 23-May 24
 Grade 10March 26, 27May 21, 22 
 Grades 9-12  (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Technology/Engineering) June 4, 5 
MCAS-ALTAll gradesSubmission Deadline March 28

In the fall, parents, students and staff will receive individual score reports that will provide helpful information on how to best address the academic needs of your child. The results, in aggregate, will also inform the district’s ongoing improvement efforts. I encourage all families to visit the following websites for information on test design:

●      General parent/guardian information

●      English Language Arts

●      Math

●      Science

While there are many different perspectives about the value/meaning of MCAS, it is one of the ways that allows us to know if students are performing at grade level.  Ultimately we are an academic organization committed to building and maintaining a district-wide culture of universally high expectations for every learner.  In order for our students to graduate from the Salem Public Schools with a diploma that truly affords them the opportunity to have a choice to attend and excel in college and/or enter the workforce, our students must be able to demonstrate grade level mastery.  However imperfect the MCAS is, it is an important way to gauge whether our students are growing towards this critical academic goal.  

Please assist us by providing your child with encouragement and reassurance leading up to these assessments.  It is important to remind your child that these assessments are an opportunity to share how much they know and are able to do.   It is one piece of information demonstrating their many talents. Test scores should be used along with in-class performance, report cards, and teacher reports to form a complete picture of a student’s achievement and areas for continued growth. If you have any questions about these sessions, I urge you to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) and/or your school administrators. As always, we appreciate your support and investment in your child’s learning.