Keystone

Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to measure student proficiency in Algebra 1, Biology and Literature. During the 2019-20 school year, your child was enrolled in a Keystone course. Typically, these exams take place in May, however, due to Covid-19, the Keystone Exams for the Spring 2020 was cancelled.  For detailed information about the Keystone Exams, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) or visit their website at pdesas.org.

The purpose of this page is to inform you of the impact that Keystone Exams will have on your child. Students are required by the Department of Education to meet criteria to graduate. There are 5 “pathways” to graduation.  In accordance with Act 158, statewide graduation requirements take effect with the class of 2022. Act 158 provides five options for meeting graduation requirements: (1) Keystone Proficiency Pathway, (2) Keystone Composite Pathway, (3) Alternate Assessment Pathway, (4) Evidence-Based Pathway, and (5) Career and Technical Education Pathway. Options 1 and 2 are based on the Keystone Exams. For a detailed explanation of the “Pathways to Graduation” please watch the following video.

The Department of Education has indicated that all students must have full access to all pathways to graduation.  For the reasons listed above, students who were enrolled in a “Keystone Course” during the 2019-2020 school year will be scheduled to take the Keystone Exams on the following dates:

Algebra 1 and Biology: March 1-12th, 2021

Literature: May 2021

We recognize that students are no longer enrolled in the Keystone Courses and have likely moved onto different content, such as Geometry or Chemistry.  Spring-Ford Area School District has elected to offer the Algebra 1 and Biology Keystone Exam during the winter testing window so that it was as close to the completion of the course as possible for students. Due to the nature of the Literature Exam, students will receive the skills needed to support their understanding this year and will therefore test in May. Students may also re-test Algebra 1 and Biology in May if they choose to do so.

Any student enrolled in a Keystone Exam trigger course during the spring of the 2019-20 school year has the right to opt out of the assessment by parental consent. Parents wishing to opt their student out of such an administration are not required to follow the procedures set forth in 22 Pa. Code § 4.4(d)(4) (related to religious opt-outs).   If you choose to opt your child out of the Keystone Exam, please be aware that your child MUST meet one of the remaining 3 pathways to graduate.  So that your child has the most options for graduation, it is our recommendation that your child take the Keystone Exam.  If you are interested in opting your child out of the Keystone Exam, you MUST complete and submit the “Opt Out Form” to your child’s grade level house office no later than December 18th, 2020. 

Click here to download the “Opt Out Form.”

Please be aware that per PDE, these Opt Out Procedures are only available for the students enrolled in a 2019-2020 Keystone Trigger Course. 

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.

Finally, 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:

  1. Go to Khanacademy.org/join
  2. Enter the following class codes:
    1. Algebra 1: JPHH3EHK
    2. Biology: 43XMDRXU
  3. Click “Add”
  4. 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.
  5. Enter your Grade and course.