February 2020

The Department is not currently administering all statewide summative assessments. All assessment windows are closed in addition to the special considerations module. Further questions should be directed to Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems at janette.kirk@maine.gov

Multi-State Alternate Assessment and Science Alternate Assessment (SAA) Updates:

Professional learning will be provided during the following dates and times:

We recognize the early March workshops are close to the assessment administration windows. The provision of additional time was necessary to ensure the assessment administration and user guide materials for the new science assessment are complete and available.

The morning sessions at each of the training locations will provide information related to the Science Alternate Assessment (SAA) with 100 seats available for teachers. 

The afternoon sessions at each of the training locations provide information related to the MSAA with 60 seats available.  Those that have administered the assessment in prior years need not attend.  MSAA training modules will be available in the MSAA system March 2.   

Please note the assessment window dates below:

MSAA assessment window March 16 – May 1

SAA assessment window April 6 – May 22

ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs – Assessment Administration Closes February 28, 2020

Assessment materials were delivered on Thursday, December 19, 2019.   Please check your district overage of materials before utilizing the Additional Materials Ordering Window available Thursday, December 19, 2019 through Friday, February 21, 2020.  Initial assessment materials will be shipped to the address that is listed in WIDA AMS under Materials > Material Ordering.  Please be sure to coordinate additional materials ordering within the district and not by individual schools.  Both Test Administrators (TAs) and Test Coordinators (TCs) are reminded to sign the appropriate Test Security Agreement documents found in the Additional Materials section here:  https://www.maine.gov/doe/Testing_Accountability/MECAS/materials/access

Please note, EL students recently arriving in the United States after February 14, 2020 will not be required to participate in the ACCESS for ELLs assessment.  Students must be enrolled and complete the necessary EL identification process.

Science Released Items

The Department recently became aware of an inconsistency within the science data file layout.  This resulted in the accurate student science data presenting in incorrect columns within the confidential reporting portal. The file layout is in the process of being resolved.  This resolution will impact the confidential reporting portal. It should be noted:

  • Released items
    • Science released items remain available within supports and resources on the assessment webpage.
    • Released item documents contained on the Cognia WordPress site align with the data reported in the confidential portal.
    • No impact to the released item data or student scale score.
  • Comprehensive ISRs
    • The student level data contained within the comprehensive ISR (4-page) remains accurate. The student scale score will remain unchanged. In the chart below, the data reported although accurate, is misaligned with the actual released item.  For example, question 3 is a constructed response question and should have been reported in columns 9 or 10 as in previous years. When examining the released item documents through the Cognia WordPress site, question 3 will be a multi-choice question. Therefore, data in this column should not have a numerical value but a letter value,  Once revised by our vendors, the released item documents and data presented in the ISR (4 page) and confidential reporting portal  will be in full alignment.


    • Districts are encouraged to take advantage of resources available within the Maine DOE assessment communication toolbox which provides guidance regarding the sharing of ISRs through School Messenger software should the school utilize this software locally.

Public Release of Data

All reported data is now available for public access via the ESEA Data Dashboard (formerly report cards) on January 24, 2020.  The ESEA Data Dashboard includes all data elements required under ESSA (student and student behavior, finance, staff, academic - disaggregated by student group where applicable) and information related to a schools eligibility of support within Maine’s Model of School Support.

Program for International Student (PISA) 2020 Field Test

DACs should verify that the Principals and School Coordinators of sample schools are registered in the MyPISA platform.  Please continue to complete the associated activities as necessary.  A list of enrolled students will need to be provided shortly.  The PISA Help Desk is available to assist School Coordinators and Principals with this task.  The assessment window is  March 16, 2020 to April 24, 2020.

Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2020

Principals and School Coordinators should continue to complete the associated activities as necessary.  A list of enrolled students will need to be provided shortly.  The PIRLS Help Desk is available to assist School Coordinators and Principals with this task.  The assessment window is March 1, 2020 to April 15, 2020.

General Reminders 

Please ensure all DAC contacts are current in NEO.  Teachers, district test coordinators may sign up to receive Assessment Listserv notices for general assessments and for the Alternate Assessment Listserv.  For those looking for notifications regarding the ACCESS / Alternate ACCESS for ELLs, please subscribe to the ESL Communication list.  Please view the 2019/20 Assessment Administration Calendar for assessment administration dates.

Registration of TCs and TAs for MSAA

District Assessment Coordinators (DAC) have received a link to register Test Coordinators (TC) and Test Administrators (TA) for the 2019/20 administration of the MSAA.  Each District needs to identify a TC as a district level administrator.   The MSAA TC/TA Registration link is located at Click Here to Register.

Professional Development & Training

As a result of feedback from school and district staff and to support educators in their schedule planning, the assessment team will be providing in each monthly update, a schedule of upcoming professional development. Registration links will be made available here as well as the Professional Development calendar

Dates Delivery Method Training Location

February 12, 2020


eMPowerME & SAT Test Administration

 Black Bear Inn, Orono

Register Here

(closes February 11, 2020)

February 13, 2020


eMPowerME & SAT Test Administration

 Abromson Center, USM Portland

Register Here

(closes February 12, 2020)

March 3, 2020


Science Alt. Assessment (SAA) & MSAA

Abromson Center, USM, Portland

Register Here

(closes March 2, 2020)

March 4, 2020


Science Alt. Assessment (SAA) & MSAA

Black Bear Inn, Orono

Register Here

(closes March 3, 2020)


Web updates 

To keep administrators up to date on the new assessment team content for the 2019-2020 administration, we will be including a brief list of updated forms, modules, trainings, and manuals in these monthly updates for your convenience. Here are the most recent updates to the assessment team pages: 

Maine Alternate Assessment Informational Parent Flyer
Assessment Administration Materials and Manuals


Comments or Suggestions? 

Please email Janette Kirk  with any comments, questions or suggestions regarding the monthly assessment update. We welcome feedback that helps us to support and clarify our work together.  

Assessment Team Contact Information  

Interim Assessment Team Leader  
Janette Kirk – 624-6707 

Assessment Coordinator (eMPowerME, SAT, Science) 
Nancy Godfrey – 624-6775 

National & International Assessment Coordinator (NAEP, PISA, PIRLS, TIMSS) 
Dr. Regina Lewis – 624-6715 

Interim Alternate Assessment Contact (MSAA, SAA)
Erin Frazier, Director of Special Services  624-6737

WIDA Coordinator ( ACCESS for ELs, Alternate ACCESS for ELs) 
Vacant - 624-6774 (Telephone messages will be checked periodically)