In October, we sent a letter detailing the information that we had at the time with regards to the Keystone Exams and the impact on the Pathways to Graduation. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the updates that have occurred at the state level since we have sent that initial letter. On November 25th, 2020 Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 1216, now known as Act 136, which impacts Keystone Exams for students who were in Keystone Trigger Courses in the 2019-20 school year (English 9, Algebra I and Biology) and the Pathways to Graduation.
The first important change is that graduation requirements (Act 158) have been pushed back to students in the graduating class of 2022-23 (current 10th Grade students). The classes of 2021 and 2022 do not need to meet the Pathways to Graduation in order to graduate. For a detailed explanation of the “Pathways to Graduation” please watch video below.
The second important change is pertaining to the Keystone Exam Requirements. The change states the following:
“For the 2019-20 school year... any student who completed a course in an academic content area associated with a Keystone Exam shall not be required to take the Keystone Exam related to that course and shall be deemed proficient... provided that the student demonstrates successful completion of locally established grade-based requirements for the academic content areas associated with each Keystone Exam."
What does this mean? If a student took English 8, Algebra I or Biology during the 2019-2020 school year only, AND successfully passed the course (earned 65% or greater), then the student would be deemed "proficient" and would not be required to take the Keystone Exam.
Important Information to Know
There are some circumstances where students may still choose to take the Keystone Exam, even if they are deemed proficient. If you are deemed proficient, you will NOT receive a numerical score for the exam and therefore, cannot utilize the “composite” score pathway for graduation. (Important for current 10th graders and below). A composite score (Pathway 2 of the Pathway to Graduation) cannot be obtained with 2 or fewer exams.
Please carefully review the following video for more details regarding the Keystone Exams, specifically circumstances when you may choose/need to take a Keystone Exam.
- If a student is currently taking a Keystone Trigger class (English 9, Algebra I or Biology), the student will take the corresponding Keystone Exam in May 2021.
- If a student was enrolled in a trigger class in 2019-20 and did NOT earn a score of 65% or greater, they MUST take the Keystone Exam.
- If you are retaking the course currently, you will take the exam(s) in May.
- If you are NOT retaking the course, you will be automatically signed up to take the exam(s) as scheduled below.
- If a student was enrolled in a trigger class in 2019-20 and earned a score of 65% or greater, they MAY choose to take the exam so that they can obtain a numerical score to go toward the Keystone Composite Score Pathway.
How to Sign Up to Take the Keystone Exam
If a student was enrolled in a trigger class in 2019-20 and did NOT earn a score of 65% or greater AND are NOT retaking the course, you will be automatically signed up the take the exam(s) as scheduled below. You will receive more information from your House Principal.
f you are choosing to take an exam, you must sign up. You can sign up by completing the "Keystone Composite Score Pathway Exam Registration” by February 5, 2021. Click here to register.
If you are choosing not to take the exam, you do not need to do anything at this time.
Please also be aware that as a public school, we are mandated to follow the guidelines of the PA Department of Education. We recognize that we are still navigating through Covid-19. As such, we will continue to ensure that there are safety measures in place for students to complete the Keystone Exams within the building.
As a reminder, we recognize that students may need to refresh their content knowledge in these areas. Tutorials have been set up for students to self-navigate through at their own pace. To access these tutorials, please follow these steps:
- Go to Khanacademy.org/join
- Enter the following class codes:
- Algebra 1: 43XMDRXU
- Biology: JPHH3EHK
- Click “Add”
- If you do not already have an account, press “Create a new account.” Enter your date of birth, then sign up using Google, your school email, or by creating a username.
- Enter your Grade and course.