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5 months ago


KEYSTONE EXAMS are state-developed end-of-course assessments in designated content areas. Based upon Chapter 4 regulations, each KEYSTONE EXAM will be designed in modules that reflect distinct, related academic content common to the traditional progression of coursework. The KEYSTONE EXAMS serve two purposes: 1. High school graduation requirements for students beginning with the class of 2017. 2. High school accountability assessments for federal and state purposes. All public and charter high schools in the State of Pennsylvania are held accountable for the participation and performance of all students in Algebra I, Biology and Literature Exams to satisfy the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The Algebra I and Literature KEYSTONE EXAMS include items aligned to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. The Biology KEYSTONE EXAM includes items aligned to the Assessment Anchor/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science. All KEYSTONE EXAMS will include multiple-choice, constructed response, or open-ended questions.

A student who has not demonstrated proficiency on a KEYSTONE EXAM after one attempt shall be offered supplemental instruction until the student can demonstrate proficiency in the subject area via the KEYSTONE EXAM.

More information on the KEYSTONE EXAMS can be found in the PA Department of Education’s Standard Aligned System (SAS) at:


What are the KEYSTONE EXAMS?
The KEYSTONE EXAMS are state-mandated end-of-course assessments in Algebra I, Biology and Literature. At the high school level, they replace the PSSA’s and are used to satisfy the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law.

Each KEYSTONE EXAM is divided into two parts called modules. Student scores are based on the total points earned from the two modules combined. The scores are then broken down into the following categories: Advanced, Proficient, Basic and Below Basic. Students must score in the Advanced or Proficient range to show their mastery of the content.

Why are the KEYSTONE EXAMS important?

Beginning with the Class of 2017, all students are required to show Proficiency on each of the KEYSTONE EXAMS to earn a high school diploma.

When do students take the KEYSTONE EXAMS?

Students must take a KEYSTONE EXAM at the end of each of the Keystone-assessed course. After the completion of the Biology course, students will take the Biology KEYSTONE EXAM.


GRADE LEVEL ADMINISTERED (for most students)

Algebra I

8th/9th grades


10th grade


10th grade

How many times can a student take a KEYSTONE EXAM?

Students must demonstrate Proficiency to meet graduation requirements. Once a student scores Advanced or Proficient, he/she has met the graduation requirement and is finished with that exam.

What is the score breakdown for AdvancedProficient and Basic?

Keystone Exam Scale Score Ranges


       BELOW BASIC       




Algebra 1















If a student in the class of 2017 and beyond is unable to demonstrate Proficiency on a KEYSTONE EXAM, what support will he/she receive in preparation to retake the exam?

Students will receive supplemental instruction in order to prepare for the next attempt at the exam. Supplemental instruction may be in the form of content-based labs, online tutorial programs, academic recovery sessions, in-class support and direct work with specialists.

If a student scores Proficient, can they retest to attempt to earn an Advanced score?

No, the Pennsylvania Department of Education does not allow for retests once a student has scored Proficient.

My student scored Proficient or Advanced on the Algebra I KEYSTONE EXAM in middle school. Do they have to take it again in high school?

No, once a student scores Proficient or Advanced they have satisfied the state requirements for the content area.

Will my child receive accommodations on the KEYSTONE EXAMS?

Eligible students, in alignment with the Accommodation Guidelines as developed by Pennsylvania Department of Education, will receive accommodations as outlined within their IEP or 504 plan.

How will the District prepare my child?

District courses aligned with KEYSTONE EXAMS are designed to address the requirements of these tests. 
Students who are required to take a KEYSTONE EXAM after already completing the course shall be provided with further information about KEYSTONE EXAMS from their teachers. Information about the test structure, subject content, and released test items will be made available.

What are the requirements for students in the class of 2015 and 2016?

The majority of these students have already taken and demonstrated Proficiency on the KEYSTONE EXAMS.

Can my child opt out of the KEYSTONE EXAMS?

As with PSSA tests, parents may review KEYSTONE EXAMS per state regulations and opt out for religious reasons only. A student who is opted out due to religious reasons is still required under state law to participate in the PROJECT-BASED ASSESSMENT. Starting with the class of 2017, all students graduating from a Pennsylvania high school must demonstrate Proficiency on the KEYSTONE EXAMS or pass a PROJECT-BASED ASSESSMENT.


Keystone Exam Dates

5 months ago

Keystone Exam Information- Winter 2017

 Dates:  Literature- Module 1- Monday, January 9

                                 Module 2- Tuesday, January 10

                           Test Prep for students taking the Algebra 1 and Biology Keystone Exams will take place during the testing schedule

             Algebra 1- Module 1- Wednesday, January 11

                               Module 2- Thursday, January 12

Test Prep for students taking the Biology Keystone Exam will take place during the testing schedule

              Biology-  UPDATED  Module 1 & 2- Friday, January 13


Keystone Exam Information- Spring 2017

 Dates:  Literature- Module 1- Monday, May 15

                                 Module 2- Tuesday, May 16

                        Test Prep for students taking the Algebra 1 and Biology   Keystone Exams will take place during the testing schedule

             Algebra 1- Module 1- Wednesday, May 17

                               Module 2- Thursday, May 18

Test Prep for students taking the Biology Keystone Exam will take place during the testing schedule

              Biology-   Module 1- Monday, May 22

                               Module 2- Tuesday, May 23

**Spring dates are tentative due to snow days, but a change in the test window is determined by the Department of Education, not the District. Any change in dates will be communicated if/as soon as information is received


On these testing dates we will run a MODIFIED Two Hour Delay Schedule.

  • Transportation will run on the regular schedule (NOT the delay schedule).
  • Transportation to CIT will run on the regular schedule for students who are not testing.
  • Students who are not testing and do not have transportation to arrive late, should take regular transportation and will have a studyhall until the schedule begins.
  • Students who are not testing and do not have to attend test prep sessions may arrive, using their own transportation, by 9:15 am.


  • Testing will take place during the two hour delay time period.
  • Any student that is testing needs to report immediately to their testing room upon arrival to school.
  • Any student who is not testing on that date, but is taking a test on a different date needs to report at regular time for mandatory test prep sessions.
  • Any student involved in a NCC course, AP course, or CIT and is not involved in Keystone testing should report to school at regular time for classes.
  • Make-Up Exams will take place throughout the week.


For more information and resources regarding Keystone Exams, visit the website of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Standards Aligned System at: > Assessments > Keystone Exams > General Information > subject

Information available includes:

For Algebra 1 Resources visit


Important Testing Information:


The Pennsylvania Department of Education has very strict instructions on the security measures that school districts must follow for test administration. Students are strongly encouraged NOT to bring cellphones or electronic devices with them into the test room. Any cell phones or devices will be collected from students at the beginning of testing and will be held until student dismissal from the room. Any student caught using a cell phone or device will be subject to discipline and possible fines.


Calculators may be used during the Algebra 1 and Biology Keystone exams. Any calculator with memory must be erased both before entering the testing room and before leaving the testing room. Please check with a math teacher to make sure your calculator is on the acceptable list from PDE.


For more information and resources regarding the Keystone Exams, please visit the Pennsylvania Standards Aligned System website at:


Keystone Algebra I Resources

5 months ago

Algebra I





"The links in this area will let you leave the school district web site.  The linked sites are not under the control of the school district, and the school district is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site, or any changes or updates to such sites. The school district is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement of the site by the school district."


Remediation and Test Prep

5 months ago

The Keystone Exam is taken as an end of course assessment to measure their knowledge and comprehension of the course related material. As the State transitioned from PSSA Exams to Keystone Exams, students may have been given the Exam after they had already taken the class. The State is allowing students to re-test if they have been offered supplementary instruction, and may retest until the May administration of their Junior year. 

Students who need to re-test have been scheduled to re-test during the semester when they have Math or English classes to give them an added benefit. Students who tested for Biology at the end of the 1st semester and did not meet proficiency, but were close, will re-test in May.

Students who are new to the district, or changed their classes might be scheduled for testing/re-testing in May without currently being in the subject that is being tested.

Test Prep- students who are scheduled to take the Algebra 1 and/or Biology Keystone Assessment will need to attend the mandatory TEST PREP sessions the dates before their required exams. Students will receive their individual test schedule information the week of the scheduled Exams.

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