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State test shift in Pa.

Starting with the class of 2017, students must pass Keystone Exam in three subject areas to graduate

November 13, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — A new state test being administered in the Waynesboro Area School District will affect graduation requirements.

Starting with the class of 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will require students to pass Keystone Exams in the subject areas of algebra, biology and literature prior to graduation. Tests in two more subject areas will be added in later years.

Today’s fifth-graders will be the first students to take Keystone Exams in all five content areas — algebra, biology, literature, composition and civics and government.

Keystone Exams will start being administered in Waynesboro in January. They will replace the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests for high-schoolers.

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“We do not have PSSAs anymore at the high school,” Principal Chris Dennis said. “Proficiency for (‘adequate yearly progress’ as determined by the state) is being measured through Keystone Exams.”

About 775 students are expected to take the algebra exam this year, Dennis told the Waynesboro Area School Board Tuesday.

“The first round of testing is huge,” he said at the school board meeting, referring to the large number of students involved in the testing.

Families already received a letter with general information about the Keystone Exams, and they will be getting more specific information soon, Dennis said. An informational session will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, he said.

To better prepare for the Keystone Exams, test-takers will use state-provided resources Dec. 11 and 12, Dennis said.

Students who do not pass an exam will have an opportunity to participate in remediation in March and re-take that test, he said.

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