Keystone Exams

Changes to Keystones and Project-Based Assessments

What has changed in terms of PDE requirements?
Pennsylvania has amended graduation requirements specific to Keystone Exams. As stated in Senate Bill 880, which was passed on January 20, 2016, "the use of the Keystone Exam as a graduation requirement or as a benchmark for the need for participation in a project-based assessment shall be delayed until the 2018-2019 school year." This changes the graduation requirements for students in the Class of 2017 and the Class of 2018, who will no longer be required to demonstrate proficiency on the Literature, Algebra, and Biology Keystone Exams in order to graduate. Effective with the Class of 2019, proficiency on all three Keystone Exams as a graduation requirement will be in effect.

What has stayed the same?
Keystone Exams in Literature, Algebra I, and Biology are still required to be administered by the school district and taken by students. These skills are still necessary for college readiness. The district still has a responsibility and expectation to provide support for students who are not yet proficient.

Where is The District in terms of these changes?
Even though Keystone Exams will not be a graduation requirement for the graduating classes of 2017 and 2018, students will be required to take these exams. The District will continue to support students that are not yet scoring "Proficient" or higher so they are prepared for post-secondary education, career, and life.

Specifically, students will continue to take the Literature Keystone Exam at the conclusion of 10th grade. In advance of and during 10th grade, students will continue to be screened for reading support in a lab setting. If a student is not proficient on the Literature Keystone, he or she will continue to receive supplementary literacy support.

2016-17 School Year ONLY
For the 2016-17 school year, any student who has not tested the Keystone Algebra I Exam and has already had or is in Algebra I, will be tested in May 2017. This is to realign our testing sequence so each year students will be tested at the end of their course.

Students will continue to take the Algebra Keystone Exam. For most LMSD students, this exam is administered at the end of the Algebra I course. If a student is not proficient on the Algebra Keystone Exam, he or she will continue to receive supplementary algebra support.

Students will continue to take the Biology Keystone Exam at the conclusion of the 9th grade biology course. If a student is not proficient on the Biology Keystone Exam, he or she will be scheduled to receive support in a biology lab prior to re-taking the exam.

Can students opt-out of Keystone Exams now that the graduation requirement has changed?
No. The expectations for students taking the exams have not changed. The procedures for requesting a religious exemption from the exam have also remained the same.

Where can I find more information on the Keystone Exams?
To view more information regarding the Keystone Exams, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education's website.