Montana Alternative Student Testing Pilot

MAST Portal


The Montana OPI is working to develop an improved 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 Alternative Student Testing (MAST) Pilot is to implement “through year” assessments across the state that can eventually 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 Alternative Student Testing (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
EIR Grant Overview


Register Now!
Click to register for Montana's MAST Through-Year Assessment Summit
February 27, 2024
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

MAST Timeline

MAST Long Term Timeline

Montana MAST Through-Year Assessment Summit


We are excited to extend an invitation to the first Montana MAST Through-Year Assessment Summit, scheduled for February 27, 2024, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. This virtual event is specifically designed for Montana school personnel involved in grades 3-8 assessments as part of the preparations for MAST statewide implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.

Event Highlights:

  • Engaging discussions with keynote speakers from Education First, the Center for Assessment, and New Meridian.
  • Topics ranging from the foundations of through-year assessments to Montana's MAST implementation.
  • Participation-based sessions, role-alike discussions, and a panel on family engagement.
  • Insights into educator engagement, score report development, accommodations, and instructional utility.

We believe this summit will provide valuable insights and enhance your understanding of through-year assessments. Please mark your calendar, and we look forward to your presence at this informative and collaborative summit. Navigate to the MAST KickOff Virtual Event page to find registration information, agendas, presenter bios, and more!


Montana Educators' MAST Contributions


Montana educators are playing a crucial role in the development and enhancement of the MAST assessment. A team of highly dedicated and passionate teachers from across Montana have come together as part of the MAST Educator Cadre to contribute to test item writing and review.

The expertise and valuable insights provided by Montana's educators are essential in ensuring the MAST assessment's quality and relevance. Through their active involvement, Montana educators are significantly shaping the MAST assessment process, ultimately benefiting students throughout the state.

The dedication of Montana's educators to the field of education and their willingness to contribute to the improvement of the MAST assessment is greatly appreciated by the OPI. Their commitment to the success and growth of Montana students is truly commendable.

There will be further opportunities for educators to participate in Educator Cadres. Please stay updated by regularly checking the OPI MAST webpage for any announcements and news.


Stakeholder Live Listening/Feedback Session

We have designed user feedback cycles throughout the school year to ensure continuous improvement of the MAST. These sessions will serve as an opportunity for users like you to share feedback, suggestions, and experiences to help us enhance the usability of the MAST. 

We value your input and encourage you to participate in these live listening/feedback sessions. The third live listening/feedback session is scheduled for February 20th from 3:30-4:30 pm.

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 849 8106 1619
Password: 696075

Dial by Telephone
+1 646 558 8656

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 participate in the MAST pilot program for the school year of 2023-2024. 

The documents below include the double-testing waiver and correspondence with the U.S. Department of Education.

Double-Testing Waiver
July 17, 2023 Communication
July 25, 2023 Communication
August 7, 2023 Communication


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 will complete math and ELA testlets during 5 testing windows, including an ELA performance assessment in window 4. Testlets will be aligned to districts' individual curricular scopes and sequences.

Testing Windows:

  • Testing Window #1: November 7 - 22, 2022
  • Testing Window #2: January 17 - 30, 2023
  • Testing Window #3: March 6 - 17, 2023
  • Testing Window #4: April 17 - 18, 2023

Testing Windows:

  • Testing Window #1: October 23 - November 10, 2023
  • Testing Window #2: November 27 - December 15, 2023
  • Testing Window #3: January 29 - February 16, 2024
  • Testing Window #4: March 11 - April 5, 2024 
    (performance tasks)
  • Testing Window #5: April 15 - May 10, 2024

Yr. 1 Parent Resources

Yr.1 Teacher Resources

Training Materials

Session 1: Professional Learning
October 18, 2022

Recording | Slide Deck | Tip Sheet

Session 2: Test Administration Training
October 26, 2022

Recording | Slide Deck | Tip Sheet


Standards and Manuals

Install Guides and Supported Systems

Support Contacts

  • KITE Support Desk: (855) 277-9752
  • Hours during 2-week live administrations: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. MST
  • Hours year-round: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. MST

Questions about content or program:

Yr. 2 Parent Resources

Yr. 2 Teacher Resources

Training Materials

Session 1: Program and Product Design Live Q & A

September 19
Recording | MAST Program Focus video
Math MasteryGuide Pilot slides 
ELA MasteryGuide Pilot slides

Session 2: Installation

September 26 | Recording

Session 3: Rostering and install support

October 3 | Recording

Session 4: Utilizing the student practice test, Rostering, and Additional install support

October 10 | Recording: Part 1 | Recording: Part 2

Session 5: Open session for any districts needing to prepare for the first testing window

October 17 | Recording

Session 6: Understanding the Student Score Report

November 21 | Recording


Standards and Manuals

Install Guides and Supported Systems

Translated Test Directions

Support Contacts

Questions about content or program:

Yr. 2 MAST Field Newsletters


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

Krystal Smith, Operations Manager