Greetings to Manheim Township Middle 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 three content areas. Please reference PDE’s Pathways to Graduation for more information.
Your student is currently enrolled in Algebra I, a Keystone Exam “trigger” course. By achieving a proficient or advanced score on the Algebra I Keystone Exam, your student’s score will be “banked” towards meeting “Pathway 1” of PDE’s Pathways to Graduation requirement.
When will the Keystone Exams occur?
Keystone testing will take place at Manheim Township Middle School. Each exam consists of two modules.
- Algebra I – May 22-23, 2023
- Make-ups – May 24, 2023
Where do students report for testing?
Testing for all exams will occur in assigned classrooms promptly at 7:30 a.m. Students’ Algebra I teachers will inform them of where their testing location will be in the week prior to testing.
What is the daily schedule for students who are testing?
Students who are testing will report to school at 7:30 a.m.
Can my student opt-out of testing?
Parents do have the right to opt their student(s) out of taking the Keystone exams.
Under Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pa. Code, the only basis for a parent/guardian to excuse his or her child from the statewide assessments is that he or she finds the Keystone exam to be in conflict with their religious beliefs. Parents who wish to opt their student out of the Keystone exams must follow these steps:
- First, parents/guardians must review the test materials and sign a confidentiality agreement. Please reach out to your building principal to set up a time to review the materials.
- After reviewing materials, write a letter to the attention of Dr. Robin Felty, MTSD Superintendent, and include the student’s full name, building, grade level, and scheduled Keystone subject(s). You will submit this letter to your student’s building principal (see #5).
- The request must state the parent/guardian does not want their child tested because the test conflicts with their religious belief; and,
- Include a parent/guardian signature, address, email, and telephone number.
- Submit this letter to your student’s building principal (via email or drop the letter off at your student’s school), prior to the scheduled test administration date. Such requests are due by Wednesday, May 17, 2023.
Where does my MTVA student report for testing?
Manheim Township Virtual Academy (MTVA) students should report to school at the time communicated by the building principal. These students will be given a testing time and assigned to a testing location. Manheim Township Virtual Academy students will be dismissed at the conclusion of testing. Please ensure that your student has transportation arrangements for when the testing is complete for the day.
Important reminders for testing
- 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 charge them at school.
- All students are permitted as much time as they need to complete each module.
- Students may choose to bring their own calculator (the calculator must be “cleared” before the testing session begins).
- Possession of other electronic devices (cell phones, smart watches, 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.
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 following URL to review all state assessments, Keystone Exams, PSSA, and CDTs: 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 in this Keystone Online Tools video.
- Both training links are paramount for a successful online testing experience.
If you or your student have any other questions or concerns about the Keystone Exams, please contact Dr. Christine Resh, Principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-735-3214.