Students in grades 3-8 will take the Pennsylvania System of State Assessment (PSSA) exams in April/May 2024. Additionally, any student currently enrolled in and finishing a Keystone course (Algebra I, Literature or Biology) in grades 6-12 will be assessed on the Keystone Exams in mid-May. Please note, any students needing to retake a Keystone exam in May will be notified as soon as possible.
These are the Pennsylvania assessments to help benchmark students' learning against the state standards, which provides us with one additional measure to indicate their overall performance through both achievement and growth. Not only do the results from these assessments help the district benchmark mastery of academic content to help drive continuous improvement to our curricular and instructional approaches and ensure that student learning and an academic focus are maintained, data from these assessments are also used in course recommendations, placement processes, and differentiation for individual students in combination with multiple other assessment results from the classroom.
The dates of testing are summarized in the table below for your convenience. During these dates, we ask that you make efforts to allow your child to be in school the full day to keep disruptions to their testing at a minimum. Vacation requests during this period are not permitted to be excused, as participation is a requirement of the state for students in eligible grades.
The only exception to this will be for families celebrating religious holidays. This year, the state testing window coincides with Passover. Families wishing to defer their child’s testing until after Passover should reach out directly to their child’s principal to make arrangements to make up for any missed testing sections. The state assessment window officially closes on May 10, 2024, at which time all assessments and make-up exams must be submitted. We will work closely with any impacted families.
English Language Arts
April 22-24—PSSA—Grades 3-8
April 29-30—PSSA—Grades 3-8
May 6-7—PSSA—Grades 4 and 8
Students will be tested online via a district-provided Chromebook on school premises, unless an accommodation is in place that would require paper/pencil assessments. Students will need a pair of wired headphones/earbuds, which can plug into the device (e.g.: not Bluetooth) to assist with the directions and prompting for the assessment. Test these headphones in advance on your child’s district-issued device if you have one. Thereafter, please ensure that your child has a pair of wired headphones/earbuds in their backpack and is ready to go in advance of the assessment. Families in need of financial assistance or additional guidance should contact their child’s school principal. Teachers of our younger students will be checking on these prior to testing as preparations are fully made to support the online assessment process.
On designated testing dates, please assist us by ensuring that your child’s device is fully charged and that they also bring their charging cord each day as well. Please note that all state testing is conducted at the school site and cannot be accessed from home.
Students are not permitted to have any electronic devices, apart from their district-issued Chromebook, for testing and allowable calculators for specified portions of the exams in certain grade levels per the policy. This includes cell phones, smartphones, smartwatches, e-readers, Nooks, Kindles, iPods, tablets, camera-ready devices, and any other electronic devices which can be used to photograph or duplicate test materials, or access the Internet and/or communicate with others during the administration of the PSSA or Keystone Exams. Please speak with your child(ren) about the importance of placing these devices in the provided secure location (e.g. a bin secured at the front of the room) when prompted by the test administrator; failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. Electronic devices must remain in that secure location until the testing session is complete for all students in that setting and all test materials have been collected by the test administrator.
Resources for students and parents are included here as well, such as the (a) test taker code of conduct, (b) no electronic device policy, (c) a parent letter and FAQ provided by the state, and (d) the calculator policy. Please note that Numworks calculators will not be permitted as they are advanced enough to generate solutions when provided a problem. These calculators would need to be individually cleared by hand by the test administrators by performing functions that are unrealistic and for which there is not time prior to the start of a testing session. Students testing online will be permitted to use the DESMOS calculator embedded in the testing platform or any other approved calculator in line with the policy for appropriate test sections.