Assessment Information

2020-2021 PSSA and Keystone Testing

As you may be aware, the Pennsylvania Department of Education received a waiver from the United States Department of Education for the administration of the Keystone Exams and PSSA testing last Spring as a result of COVID-19.  However, this year, no such waiver was granted, and all state standardized testing is required to move forward.  The 2020-21 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and High School Keystone Examination window for PASD has been set for May 17th through June 4th.  All testing is required to be administered in-person by the Department of Education. 

Specific testing schedules will be communicated by principals, including testing plans for students who are learning virtually.  Transportation to schools for testing purposes will be provided, as there is no virtual testing option available at this time.  As always, in-person testing requirements such as cell phone use, electronic devices, and testing security still apply. 

Parents who wish to opt out their child from Keystone or PSSA testing for religious reasons, must do the following:
Contact your child’s principal to review the test
You may not take photos or record the test in anyway
Review of the test must be in the presence of an administrator or designee
You must sign the security certificate
You must sign the religious exemption form
Send a request for exemption to the building principal and the Superintendent no later than May 14, 2021

Parents who wish to opt out their child for reasons other than religious, should click on the following link:  Parent Opt-Out Form and complete the form.  Again, all exemptions must be received by May 14, 2021.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact Assistant Superintendent Le Roy Whitehead, Ed.D. 


Additional HS Keystone Testing Information

We wanted to make you aware of some updates to the PA Keystone Exam requirements and inform you of how we will assess students moving forward. As you may know, the Keystone Exams are state-mandated tests designed to measure proficiency in Algebra 1, Literature, and Biology. Any student who is currently enrolled in Algebra 1, Biology, and English 10 must take the corresponding exam this May. 

2021 Keystone Exam Dates
Biology - 5/20, 5/21
Algebra – 5/24, 5/25
Literature – 5/26, 5/27

PA Act 158 requires that all PA students (class of 2023 and beyond) demonstrate proficiency on these three exams or through an alternate pathway in order to graduate. There are five different pathways that students can use to graduate. They are as follows: 

1. Pass all three Keystone Exams.
2. Pass Keystone Exams using a composite score (4452) with at least one Proficient score and no Below Basic scores
3. Pass district coursework and provide additional evidence as part of the career portfolio
4. Pass alternate tests such as the NOTCI, NIMS, ACT, SAT, AP
5. Pass via goals written in a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Please reference this document for further explanation of the alternative pathways.

Additionally, because of the shutdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic last Spring, any student who was supposed to take a Keystone last year has been determined by the PA Department of Education to be Proficient on that corresponding Keystone as long as they passed the course. Students will not need to take the Keystone Exam if they were enrolled in Algebra, Biology, or English 10 for the 2019-2020 school year.  

Please reach out to your child’s guidance counselor or Dr. Scioli if you have any additional questions.


Keystone Resources

The Phoenixville Area School District, in addition to state-required testing, utilizes a variety of assessments.  This student assessment data is used by teachers to better target their instruction, improve their instructional practice and to provide remediation or acceleration for students as needed.  Additionally, assessment data is utilized to enhance and improve overall instructional programming and curricular development.  Click below to view an overview of the assessments administered in the PASD School District.

PASD assessment Overview
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