Though we have been exceedingly diligent with our instructional program since school started this year, and are confident in our students' abilities, these assessments may bring a heightened level of worry. While this worry is understandable, it can be minimized. Here are some easy ways you can help your child to be at their best during the PSSA test window:

  • Get a good night's sleep
  • Insist on a good breakfast before school
  • Arrive at school on time
  • Instill a sense of confidence and a desire for your child(ren) to do their best no matter how hard the tests may be
  • Let them know how proud you are of their abilities and their efforts

Please understand that during the testing window, pre-approved absences will not be approved.

The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment used to measure a student's attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 3 through 8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. Every Pennsylvania student in grades 4 and 8 is assessed in Science. Individual student scores, can be used to assist teachers in identifying students who may be in need of additional educational opportunities, and school scores provide information to schools and districts for curriculum and instruction improvement discussions and planning. In compliance with §4.51(b)(4) of the PA School Code the State Board of Education approved, "specific criteria for advanced, proficient, basic and below basic levels of performance." (excerpt from the Pennsylvania Department of Education website)

It is important to understand that these tests are a snapshot of your student's performance during a given time frame. The results may not be an indication of how successful your student has been all year. These scores are primarily used to provide administration and teachers with information that they need to guide instruction, make curriculum changes, and identify individual students that may need extra support in a specific content area.

Keystone Exams are end–of-course assessments in designated content areas. The Keystone Exams serve two purposes: (1) high school accountability assessments for federal and state purposes, and (2) high school graduation requirements. The Algebra I Keystone Exams include items written to the Assessment Anchors/Eligible Content aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards in Mathematics.