Greetings to Manheim Township High School Students & Parents/Guardians:
Why am I receiving Keystone Information?
All students in the graduating classes of 2023 (and beyond) are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to take the Keystone Exams in the areas of Algebra, Literature, and Biology for the purposes of federal accountability. These exams are end-of-course tests designed to measure proficiency on state standards in those three content areas.
If your student took Algebra I, 10th Grade English (Literature), and/or Biology last year at Manheim Township during the 2020-2021 school year, he/she was identified to participate in the May 2021 administration. However, our records indicate that your student did not take the Keystone Exams during the designated test dates in May 2021. Therefore, your student is required to test during the administration of the 2021 Winter Keystone Exams, scheduled to take place in December 2021.
The following students have been identified to take the Winter Keystones:
- Newly enrolled students who took one of the Keystone “trigger” courses (e.g., Algebra I, Biology) in another Pennsylvania public school and did not participate in the Keystone Exam in May 2021 at their former school.
- Newly enrolled students that took one of the Keystone “trigger” courses in a Pennsylvania private school during the 2020-2021 school year in grades 8-10.
- Newly enrolled students who took a similar Keystone “trigger” course from an out-of-state school during the 2020-2021 school year, or the student took a state exam, and either did not achieve proficiency or did not provide confirmation of a proficient score.
When will the Keystone Exams occur?
There are three school days when Keystone testing will take place at Manheim Township High School. These exams will be administered during the normal school day; there will be no adjusted schedule.. Each exam consists of two modules.
- Literature: Tuesday, December 7, 2021
- Biology: Wednesday, December 8, 2021
- Algebra l: Thursday, December 9, 2021
Where can students check to see if they are scheduled to test?
Student lists will be posted outside of the high school’s main office on Tuesday, November 16. Subject testing dates will be noted on the list.
Where do students report for testing?
Testing for all exams will occur in Convocation Hall, beginning promptly at 7:45 a.m.
What is the daily schedule for students who are testing?
Testing students will report to school at the “regular” time on all testing days and go directly to Convocation Hall. Testing will begin promptly at 7:45 a.m. in Convocation Hall. When finished, students will return to class.
How can my child prepare for the Keystone Exams?
- Encourage your child to take time to review the Pennsylvania Online Assessment links available for the Keystone Exams. Public access is available by using the URL available to review all state assessments, Keystone Exams, PSSA, and CDTs at https://wbte.drcedirect.com/PA/portals/pa.
- Students already have the DRC Insight application available on their iPads, look for a dark blue icon with a white circle ‘DRC INSIGHT’. The application serves as both the training and testing site.
- To access both training areas, click on the actual words ‘Online Tools Training’ below the icon and the DRC INSIGHT Online Assessments Tutorials highlighted below Online Tools Training in yellow. Additional helpful information about online tools is accessible on this Keystone Online Tools video.
- Both training links are paramount for a successful online testing experience.
Other Important Information about the Keystone Exams:
- All students will be required to wear masks.
- Students must arrive on time.
- The exams will be taken on the students’ iPads. Students will need to bring their iPad fully charged on all testing days. Students should also bring their chargers just in case they need to plug in.
- All students are permitted as much time as they need to complete each module.
- Students may choose to bring their own calculator (calculator must be “cleared” before the testing session begins).
- Possession of other electronic devices (cell phones, smartwatches, etc.) could result in tests being invalidated. If any test material is compromised, students/families could be responsible for the cost of replacing compromised test items.
Student Participation – Religious Exclusion
The PDE only allows a student’s exclusion from taking the Keystone Exams if the Parent/Guardian has determined the Keystone Exam conflicts with their religious beliefs. Parents/Guardians have the right to submit a request for their student(s) exclusion by using the following procedures:
Parents who wish to submit an exclusion request must follow these steps:
- Contact by email or call Laura Rakoczy, HS Assistant Principal, at email@example.com or 717-560-3097 to schedule a review of the test(s) from November 17 to December 3, 2021.
- Write a request letter or request email for the exclusion for building receipt by Monday, December 6, 2021. (Additional information will be provided after document review.)
- Write the request to the attention of Dr. Robin Felty, Superintendent. The request must include the student’s full name, grade level, and scheduled Keystone subject(s) and the reason the student will not participate in the Keystone Exam(s).
- Include a parent/guardian signature, address, email address, and phone number.
Please note that the student who does not participate will still be required to meet one of PDE’s Pathways to Graduation. Students who do not take the Keystone Exam(s) will need to meet all of the requirements of either Pathway 3, 4, or 5 in order to graduate since they will not be eligible for Pathways 1 or 2.
If you or your student have any other questions or concerns about the Keystone Exams, please contact Ms. Laura Rakoczy, HS Assistant Principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-560-3097.