Beginning on April 9, 2018, students in grades 3 through 8 will participate in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). As you are well aware, the PSSA has become an integral part of what schools across Pennsylvania are required to do each spring. The student scores on these standardized tests are factored into teacher evaluations and building scores, which are calculated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. It is important that students do their very best on this assessment, as with any standardized local or state assessment they take in school.
Some ways that parents can help prepare their children for the PSSAs include ensuring proper rest and nutrition. Please make sure your son or daughter gets a good night’s rest each night before testing. Also, be sure that they eat a good breakfast each morning before the test, whether at home or by encouraging them to eat the free breakfast that is available to all students each morning at school. Please review the enclosed parent information (as provided to us by the Pennsylvania Department of Education) and the Code of Conduct for Test Takers with your son or daughter. It is recommended that students leave their cell phones at home the day of testing.
IMPORTANT: If students bring a cell phone or any other electronic device (i.e. iPads, iPods, tablets, MP3 players, smart watches, etc.), they will be collected by school personnel. These devices will be returned to students when the testing is over and all test booklets have been removed from the classroom for the day.
The 2018 PSSA and Keystone testing schedule for the district will be as follows:
· April 9 through April 13 - PSSA English Language Arts (grades 3-8)
· April 16 through April 20 - PSSA Math (grades 3-8)
· April 23 through April 27 - PSSA Science (grades 4 and 8)
· May 14 through May 25 - Keystone Exams
PSSA Opt-Out Information
According to 2018 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment Handbook, the protocol for parental request for exclusion from the assessment is as follows:
• Two weeks prior to each testing window, assessments will be available for review by parents and guardians. The assessment must be reviewed on district property and district personnel must be present at all times. Districts must provide a convenient time for the review.
• Parents and guardians must sign the Parent Confidentiality Agreement. Parents and guardians may not photocopy, write down, or in any other manner record any portion of the assessments, including directions. Click here to view the PARENT CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT
• If after reviewing the test parents/guardians find the test to be in conflict with their religious beliefs and wish their student(s) to be excused from the test, the parents/guardians must provide a written request that states the objection to the Superintendent or Chief Executive Officer.
• If the student is excused from the assessment due to parental or guardian request, school personnel must provide an alternative learning environment for the student during the assessment.
Participation of Home-schooled or Charter School Students in the PSSA / Keystone ExamA supervisor of the home education program or charter school must contact the appropriate building-level principal by October of the school year in which participation in the statewide test is requested.
PSSA and Keystone Examination Test Security
Attention Parent/Guardian:In an era of cell phones, smartphones and other electronic devices which can easily photograph and instantly share photographs, confidential and secure test materials can be easily compromised. Not only is it expensive to replace a compromised test item, the material contained in the PSSA and Keystone Exams is copyrighted property of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Copying or duplicating the material from the assessment, including the taking of a photograph, is a violation of the federal Copyright Act. Penalties for violations of the Copyright Act may include the cost of replacing the compromised test item(s) or fines of no less than $750 up to $30,000 for a single violation. 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. In order to ensure reliable test results and to avoid the cost of replacing test items, the Department of Education requires schools to set rules and take certain steps to protect test materials. One step or rule required in all schools is that electronic devices are not permitted at test sites. Electronic devices include cell phones, smartphones, E-readers, Nooks, Kindles, iPads, iPods, tablets, camera-ready devices, and any other electronic device which can be used to photograph or duplicate test materials, access the internet and/or communicate with others during the administration of the PSSA or Keystone Exams. Please speak with your child and let him or her know that the possession and/or use of a cell phone or other electronic device during the administration of the PS SA or Keystone Exams will result in certain consequences. If a student is discovered using and/or having a cell phone or other electronic device in his or her possession during the administration of the PSSA or Keystone Exams, you will be contacted by the school. Students that ignore this directive will be subject to the school's discipline policy and the Department of Education's requirement that the student's test will not be scored and the student will be required to retake the entire exam. In addition, the electronic device will be held by school staff and the device's stored photographs will be searched. School staff will also ask for permission to search other functions of the electronic device. If a photograph of the PSSA or Keystone Exam is discovered or if permission to search other functions of the electronic device is refused, the device will be held by the school staff and, because the Pennsylvania Department of Education holds the copyright to all material contained within the PSSA and Keystone Exams, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be contacted. If, after testing is complete and test materials have been returned, it is discovered that a student used and/or had a cell phone or other electronic device in his or her possession during the administration of the test, the school's discipline policy will be followed and the student's scores will be invalidated. Should you have any further questions, please call your building-level principal.Click on the following links to view additional information about the tests.
If your son or daughter is showing signs of excess anxiety about the test or if you have any questions, please contact a school administrator or call the school where your child is enrolled.
Dr. Kimberly Hamilton - Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Mr. Frank Jankowski - Ward L. Myers Elementary School Principal (Grades K-6)
Mr. Tim Welliver - Muncy Jr-Sr High School Principal (Grades 7-12)
Mrs. April Farrell - Special Education Supervisor (Grades K-12)
Mrs. Jean Daniels - Ward L. Myers Elementary School Counselor (Grades K-6)
Mrs. Jeanie Rogan- Muncy Jr-Sr High School Counselor - PSSA testing
Mr. Erik Berthold- Muncy Jr-Sr High School Counselor - Keystone Exam