Standardized State Testing


    PSSA Results are sent home in early October.  

    The PSSA  assesses the Pennsylvania Core Standards for grades 3-8 in Math, English Language Arts, and for grades 4 and 8 in Science.  

    These PA Core Standards were first assessed in 2015 and are aimed at better preparing Pennsylvania students for success after high school, specifically to be college or career ready when they graduate.  

    It is important to help your student understand how he or she performed on the assessments – both strengths and opportunities for improvement.

     Some key points you may want to emphasize with your student as you look at their scores together:

    • Look at the test scores together.  Ask your child to share how he or she feels about the tests and whether the questions were challenging.
    • Explain to your student if test scores were not as high as expected, to not be discouraged.  
    • Parents can help students think about what they will need to do to be successful while they are in school and after high school.While PSSA data may be used as one consideration for student placement, it is important to recognize that the PSSA is just ONE measure of student mastery.   It represents a snapshot in time.  Teachers, counselors, and administrators evaluate student performance through many different types of assessments over the course of a school year.  It is important to emphasize to your student that the PSSA is important, but the effort a student puts forth during an entire school year is what impacts student growth and achievement.  
    • Continue to be a partner in your student's education.  Communicate with your student's teacher(s) and encourage your student to ask for help when they need it.  Working together, teachers, students, parents, and administrators can maximize students' opportunities for success.  


    It is still a state requirement to take the Keystone Exams as follows:
    • Algebra I:  Grade 8, 9, or 10
    • Biology:    Grade 9 or 10
    • Literature: Grade 10
    Any student not passing a Keystone Exam will have an opportunity to participate in Remediation, and then retake the exam either in the Winter or Spring.  
    Senate Bill 1095, which was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on October 24, 2018, shifts Pennsylvania’s reliance on high stakes testing as a graduation requirement to provide alternatives for high school students to demonstrate readiness for postsecondary success. Formerly, Pennsylvania’s graduation requirement was more restrictive, requiring most students to pass the Keystone Exams — end of course exams in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology.  Senate Bill 1095 will expand the options for students to demonstrate postsecondary readiness using four additional pathways that more fully illustrate college, career, and community readiness.

    The statewide graduation requirement takes effect for the graduating class of 2022.  More information can be found here.