2021 PSSA & Keystone Exams FAQs

  • Posted 4/21/2021

    Q. Are students required to take the PSSA or Keystone Exams this year?

    A. Yes. The PA Department of Education did not waive the testing requirement this year. However, parents may elect to opt their student out of the exams.

    Q. How do I opt out my child from the PSSA or Keystone Exams this year?

    A. Please complete the appropriate opt-out form. Unlike past years, parents do not have to plan to review the test before opting out. Notification to opt-out of testing is all that is required.

    Q. When is the deadline to opt-out of the PSSA or Keystone Exams?

    A. April 30, 2021.

    Q. Are Keystone Exams required for the classes of 2021 and 2022?

    A. No. Keystone Exams are only a graduation requirement for the Class of 2023 (current 10th graders) and beyond. Keystone Exams are no longer a graduation requirement for the Class of 2021 and 2022. Students in the class of 2023 and beyond who opt-out of the Keystones this year will have to take the assessment later or complete Alternate Pathways to fulfill the graduation requirement.

    Q. What impact has the pandemic had on the Keystone Exam Composite Score option under the Alternate Pathways for high school graduation requirements?

    A. As a result of the pandemic, all students who took Algebra, Biology, or Literature during the 2019-20 school year and received a passing grade were issued a proficient score on the corresponding Keystone Exam by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  We don’t have direction from the state about how this score will impact the composite score.  Students wishing to use the composite score as an alternate pathway for graduation may have to consider one of the other Alternate Pathways.

    Q. Do remote students or students enrolled in the WC Cyber program that elect to take the PSSA or Keystone exams have to do so in person?

    A. Yes. All students who are taking the PSSA or Keystone Exams must take the exams in-person. There is no virtual testing option. Building principals/testing coordinators will make testing arrangements for remote students and cyber students.

    Q. Will the district provide transportation for remote and WC Cyber students to come into school buildings and take the exams?

    A. Transportation information will be provided closer to the testing dates.

    Q. How will the Keystone Exams and PSSA be administered?

    A. Both exams are traditional pencil and paper tests.

    Q. Will my student be penalized if we opt them out of the PSSA or Keystone Exams?

    A. No. Students will not be penalized for opting out.

    Q. Will WCASD schools or teachers be penalized if students opt out of the PSSA or Keystone Exams?

    A. No. Test participation rates will not count toward the overall school score on the state report card. Test results will not be used as part of teacher or principal evaluation.

    Q. Will schools offer review sessions for Keystone Exams?

    A. Yes. Keystone review information will be posted on Schoology and review sessions will be held for Biology and Algebra 1 prior to testing. Individual schools will provide more information.

    Q. Will schools offer review sessions for the PSSA?

    A. Yes. Elementary teachers (grades 3-5) will review materials with students prior to the testing dates.

    Q. What will my student do during testing dates if we opt out of the PSSA or Keystone Exams?

    A. Specific instruction for students who opt out may depend upon the total number of students who opt out of specific PSSA exams. At a minimum, students will be provided with asynchronous school work to complete while classmates are testing. More specific information will be provided closer to the testing dates.

    Students not taking the Keystone Exams will have the option of either reporting to school at the start of the school day or at the conclusion of AM testing. They will be assigned asynchronous work to complete during testing periods. More specific information will be provided closer to the testing dates.