The state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) said Monday that it is pushing back the testing schedule for the MCAS and ACCESS tests for the current school year.

MassLive reports the decision is in response to scheduling and logistical challenges schools and districts are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes include that 11th graders will no longer have testing in the January to February window for MCAS tests, but will be later in the year at a yet to be determined time.

Testing windows for other eligible students have been extended through February 12th - an additional week.

The Dept. of Education also told MassLive that members of the class of 2021 will still have to pass the English and math MCAS tests to get their Competency Determination, which fulfills the state's graduation requirement.  In addition, under temporary changes that were approved earlier this year, students in the class of 2021 can earn the equivalent of a passing score on the Science or Technology/Engineering MCAS by completing equivalent coursework.

The news comes after a decision by Pittsfield Public Schools to continue remote learning until further notice. They released the following information to PPS families Friday:

The Pittsfield Public Schools, in consultation with the City of Pittsfield Board of Health, announce the extension of the suspension of in-person learning.

All students attending the Pittsfield Public Schools will remain in all-remote learning, until data shows a decrease in cases over a two week period that results in a percent positivity rate of 3% or less.

The Pittsfield Public Schools will be guided by local health metrics, and data tied to our community’s percent positivity rate, in all future decisions related to resuming in-person learning.

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