Class of 2021 MCAS Information

Dear Parents/Guardians of the Class of 2021:


As you know, the state has transitioned to a new statewide assessment called the Next-Generation MCAS. We hope this letter will help clarify the graduation requirement for your student.


Massachusetts high school students are required to pass MCAS tests in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science and technology/engineering in order to graduate from high school.


Members of the class of 2021 will fulfill the MCAS part of their graduation requirements in ELA and mathematics by taking the computer-based version of the Next-Generation MCAS tests in those subjects this spring 2019. The tests will be similar in design to the tests that they took as eighth graders in spring 2017 if they were in a Massachusetts public school.


Grade 10 MCAS testing will occur on the following dates:


  • ELA Next Generation MCAS: March 26, 2019 & March 27, 2019
  • Math Next Generation MCAS: May 21, 2019 & May 22, 2019
  • Biology MCAS:  June 4, 2019 & June 5, 2019


The grade 10 Next-Generation MCAS tests will have different achievement levels and scores than the previous versions of the grade 10 tests, but for the class of 2021, students will be required to reach the score corresponding to 240 (or 220 plus the fulfillment of an Educational Proficiency Plan) on the ELA and mathematics tests in order to qualify for a high school diploma. In other words, the passing standard will not change for your student’s class as the state introduces the new assessments in those subjects.


The transition to a science Next-Generation MCAS is happening on a different timetable, and the existing science MCAS and requirement will not change for the class of 2021. Students will still have to earn a score of at least 220 on one of the existing high school MCAS science and technology/engineering tests.  All Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School tenth grade students are tested in biology.


Students will continue to have retest opportunities on high school MCAS tests and will have the opportunity to qualify for scholarship programs through the high school MCAS tests.


If you have questions about graduation requirements, please contact your school guidance counselor or visit for more information.



Shannon Donnelly