West Perry High School

Home of the Mustangs


The Keystone Exams are course assessments designed to evaluate proficiency in academic content. Beginning in 2012-2013, the Algebra I, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams replaced the Grade 11 PSSA tests in mathematics, reading, and science for purposes of satisfying the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and the School Performance Profile (SPP). Keystone Exams will be utilized as a graduation requirement beginning with the students in the class of 2019, and for the School Performance Profile in a student’s junior year only.
This site has been developed to provide information and resources for students, parents, teachers, and community members of the West Perry School District in preparation for the upcoming Keystone Exams. 

Required Parent Information: http://westperry.org/Page/3900 - this link contains information regarding cell phones, smart phones and other electronic devices with respect to test security.  Additionally, more detailed information than the summaries below regarding Keystone Exams is contained in the document.

May parents and guardians review the Keystone Exams?
Parents and guardians may review the Keystone Exams if they believe they may be in conflict with their religious beliefs by making arrangements with the School Test Coordinator once the exams arrive at the school. Confidentiality agreements must be signed, and no copies of the Keystone Exams or notes about exam questions will be permitted to leave the school.

If, after reviewing the Keystone Exams, parents or guardians do not want their child to participate in one or all of the exams due to a conflict with their religious beliefs, they may write to the school district superintendent prior to the beginning of the exam(s) to request to excuse their child from the exam(s).

Parents may make an appointment to preview the exams from 16 November 2016 - 02 December 2016. Requests for religious exemption to the Superintendent must be made in writing and received by 3:00 PM on 02 December 2016

Keystone Exam Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What are Keystone Exams?

Keystone Exams are state mandated end-of-course assessments intended for students in the Class of 2019 and beyond to demonstrate proficiency in core subjects. The expectation is that all students will pass these exams in order to graduate. There is a secondary purpose of the Keystone Exams as well. The Keystone Exams in Algebra I and Literature will be used to determine the high school’s SPP status each year. Therefore all grade 11 students will complete any exams this year in which they have not demonstrated proficiency.


Q: How are Keystone Exams related to high school graduation requirements?

Students graduating in 2019 and beyond must demonstrate proficiency in English Language Arts, Algebra I, and Biology. Students graduating before 2019 will be required to take the Keystone Exams for SPP purposes but their results will not be counted towards their graduation requirements.


Q: My child took Algebra I last year. What happens if a student in the class of 2019 or beyond has completed a course before the test is offered?

The regulations state that students who have demonstrated proficiency on a Keystone Exam prior to their junior year will have their scores banked until they reach grade 11.


Q: Can an individual student opt out of a Keystone Exam?

No. The regulations do not permit this.


Q: Does this mean that the State will be applying test results from middle school students to high school graduation requirements?

Yes. If a student completes a course aligned to a Keystone Exam during the middle school years, the proficiency outcome is used to determine eligibility for a high school diploma.


Q: What happens if a student is not proficient?

For students in the Class of 2019 and beyond that do not pass the Keystone Exam score will receive remedial instruction and must retake the Keystone Exam until a passing final course grade is achieved. After two unsuccessful attempts, students will be eligible to demonstrate proficiency through the completion of a project-based assessment that will be scored by a team of regional teachers. Additional information explaining this process will be provided to those as needed.


Q: Will there be testing accommodations for students with special needs?

As with the PSSA tests, students with special needs may take Keystone Exams with accommodations listed in a student Individualized Education Plan (IEP), subject to any limitations the State applies to a particular test.