MAST Portal

The landing page for all MAST related information and professional-learning resources.


Montana Aligned to Standards Through-Year

Countdown to First MAST Testing Window


MAST testing windows638539119997937657


MAST Vision & Overview

In 2024-2025, the Montana OPI will implement an improved operational assessment system that will accurately reflect the needs of our students, teachers, and administrators while providing useful flexibility in terms of test administration.  The vision of the Montana Aligned to Standards Through-Year (MAST) is to implement “through year” assessments across the state that will replace the traditional end-of-year state summative assessments and satisfy federal testing requirements.

The Through-Year Assessment design benefits students, teachers, parents, and administrators by providing actionable data at the beginning of the school year and by providing a meaningful model of student growth over the academic school year (i.e., with-in year so teachers can act as opposed to between years).  Another goal for the design feature is to allow districts to flexibly align testing with local scope and sequence offering coherence with the taught curriculum.


On May 4th, 2022, the OPI in partnership with the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (Center for Assessment) convened a task force with the purpose of investigating the research phase of the Montana Aligned to Standards Through-Year (MAST) Pilot Program. A diverse group of education stakeholders were chosen using criteria such as geographic location, school and community experiences, district size, grade levels served, and cultural perspectives.

Final Report of MAST Task Force
Theory of Action


As the first year of MAST concluded, Supt. Arntzen asked the Federal Department of Education for a one-year double-testing waiver to remove the summative test for those students, schools, and districts that participated in the MAST Pilot Program for the 2023-2024 school year. 

On August 10, 2023, the United States Department of Education granted Montana a one-year flexibility waiver, allowing the state to transition to a through-year assessment model, specifically aimed at alleviating the requirement of double testing for schools participating in the MAST program.

Federal Testing Waiver


2024-2025 MAST Overview

The Assessment Unit's April Focused Webinar features information regarding 2024-2025 MAST implementation. The April "Gearing Up for 2024-2025 MAST" recordingslide deck, and links document are available on the MontCAS Stay Informed webpage.



MAST Long Term Timeline


MAST Engagement

MAST August Roadshow

A second MAST Roadshow is scheduled for August 8-16, 2024, at various locations across Montana. This event presents a comprehensive professional learning opportunity for Montana stakeholders involved in grades 3-8 assessments to delve deeper into the Montana Aligned to Standards Through-Year (MAST) assessment and its statewide implementation for the 2024-2025 school year. Save the date for an upcoming MAST Roadshow event at a location near you. Please REGISTER HERE by August 1st.

Montana Educator MAST Contributions

Montana educators and leaders are playing a crucial role in the development and enhancement of the MAST assessment. A team of highly dedicated teachers from diverse backgrounds across the state has joined forces in various MAST Educator Cadres, actively engaging in tasks such as test item creation, review, and rangefinding.  The expertise and valuable insights provided by Montana's educators have been essential in ensuring the MAST assessment's quality and relevance. Furthermore, Montana stakeholders' feedback, gathered through user feedback cycles conducted during the MAST Pilot years, has played a crucial role in the ongoing refinement of the assessment. These sessions have provided a platform for users to offer input, suggestions, and share experiences, all aimed at improving the usability of the MAST.
Through their active involvement, Montana educators are profoundly influencing the MAST assessment process, ultimately enriching the educational experience for students statewide. The dedication of these Montana's educators to the field of education and their eagerness to contribute to the enhancement of the MAST assessment is making a positive impact on teaching and learning. Their commitment to the success and educational advancement of Montana students is truly commendable. If interested in contributing, sign up by visiting the MAST Engagement Opportunities website.




MAST Development

MAST Timeline


MAST Year 1 (2022-2023)

MAST Year 1 Map

Beginning the school year Fall of 2022, the MAST Pilot began with grades 5 through 7 and involved math and English Language Arts (ELA). Participating students completed math and ELA testlets during 4 testing windows, utilizing a through-year assessment model.

MAST Year 2 (2023-2024)

For the 2023-24 school year, the MAST Pilot expanded to grades 3 through 8 in both math and English Language Arts (ELA). Participating students completed math and ELA testlets during 5 testing windows, including an ELA performance assessment in window 4. Testlets were aligned to districts' individual curricular scopes and sequences.


All MAST participant schools received a banner of support as well as a celebration certificate to each teacher for their classroom support.


OPI Staff are here to help:


Tressa Graveley, MAST Assessment Specialist

Cedar Rose, State Assessment Director

Krystal Smith, Operations Manager

MAST Portal     OPI Statewide Assessment webpage