Keystone Exam Information
The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments from the Pennsylvania Department of Education designed to assess proficiency in the subject areas of Algebra I, Literature, & Biology. All students taking the Keystone exams should bring a fully charged laptop and their charger to school on these days.
Keystone Exam Schedule
- Algebra: January 8
- Literature: January 9
- Biology: January 10
If your child is scheduled to take an exam, you will see it in the “C” slot on their schedule in PowerSchool. If you have questions as to whether or not your student should be taking the exam, please contact your child’s high school counselor.
Students not taking the exam will work from home online.
On January 8th, 9th, 10th, West Mifflin Area High School will participate in the Keystone Algebra, Literature and Biology exams.
Students who are taking the Keystone exams will be the only students present in the building on these three days; all other students will be working remotely.
Morning transportation will remain the same with regular bussing. Arrival will be at the regular time; starting at 7:00AM. Students will enter through security checks, as they do normally, then report to the cafeteria for breakfast. Students must be on time, as testing begins promptly at 7:30AM.
Students will complete two modules of testing, with breaks in between. Students will eat lunch between module one and module two, at approximately 9:30AM -10:51AM.
We will dismiss on an EARLY DISMISSAL schedule at 11:45AM.
Steel Center students pick up time will remain the same. Pick up is at the high school in the back of the building at approximately 11:45AM.
Keystone Test Administration: Cell Phone and Electronic Devices
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. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has requested that districts make it clear to students and families that the material contained in the Keystone Exam is copyrighted property of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Copying or duplicating the material from the assessment, including the taking of a photograph of secure assessment material, 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. Electronic devices such as but not limited to cell phones, smartphones, smartwatches, E-readers, Nooks, Kindles, 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 Keystone Exam are not permitted in any testing site. Please speak with and remind your child that the possession and/or use of a cell phone or other electronic device during the administration of the Keystone Exam will result in consequences at both the school and state levels.
Test Administrators Test administrators follow protocols in the testing rooms to do everything possible to make sure students are not in possession of devices that could be used to capture or record content from the state assessment. If a student is discovered using and/or having a cell phone or other electronic device in his or her possession during the testing, the school will contact the parent/guardian. Students will be subjected to school disciplinary consequences that could include suspension. Additionally, per the requirements of the PDE, the student’s test will not be scored and the student will be required to retake the entire exam.
The electronic device will be held by school staff, and the device’s stored photographs and other functions will be examined with your permission. You may request to be present when the electronic device is examined. If a photograph of the Keystone Exam is discovered or if permission to search other functions of the electronic device is refused, the district will contact the Department of Education and further action may be taken, as the State holds the copyright to all materials contained within the Keystone Exam.
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 unapproved 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.
Code of Conduct for Keystone Exam Test Takers
*Listen to, read and follow all directions given.
*Ask questions if you do not understand the directions.
*Read each question carefully, especially multiple-choice items that ask for the
“best answer”. Also, be sure to read any open-ended items and writing prompts
carefully before responding.
*Be careful when marking your answers so that you do not skip spaces or fill in the
*Make sure to completely fill in the bubble for the answer you select and erase
*Keep your eyes on your own test.
*Try to answer each test item.
*Check that you have completed all the test items in the test section before closing
your test booklet or submitting your final responses online.
*Report any suspected cheating to your teacher or principal.
*Bring or have notes in your possession during the test.
*Have any unapproved electronic devices (cell phones, smartphones,
smartwatches, etc.) in your possession during the test. Note, you may have
approved calculators, if applicable, during the test.
*Share a calculator with others.
*Use the bubbles in the answer booklet to either eliminate possible incorrect
answers or possible correct answers by making marks in multiple bubbles and
erasing. Mark only the bubble for the correct answer(s) you have chosen.
*Talk with others about questions on the test during or after the test. (Students
should be assured that they may discuss the testing process or issues of
concern with their parents/guardians.)
*Take notes about the test to share with others.
*Leave an online test session until the session is complete or until instructed to
*Use social media to post information about the test and/or test items.
Religious Opt Out
Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pa. Code (22 Pa. Code 4.4) provides for the right of any parent/guardian to excuse his/her child from the state assessment if, upon inspection of the testing materials, he/she finds the assessment to be in conflict with his/her religious beliefs. This is the only basis under Chapter 4 rules for a parent/guardian to excuse his or her child from the statewide assessments.
Procedures for opt-out:
- Once tests have been received by the District, assessments are available for review by parents/guardians. The assessment must be reviewed on district property and district personnel must be present at all times. A parent interested in opting their child out of the assessment must schedule an appointment to review the testing materials with a building administrator. Prior to reviewing materials, a confidentiality agreement must be signed to ensure test security.
- 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 to the Superintendent that states they do not want their child tested because the test conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Excusal from the Keystone Exam
Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pa. Code (22 Pa. code 4.4) provides for the right of any parent/guardian to excuse his/her child from the state assessment if, upon inspection of the testing materials, he/she finds the assessment to be in conflict with his/her religious beliefs. This is the only basis for a parent/guardian to excuse his or her child from the statewide assessments.
Procedure for parent/guardian to request that student be excused from the Keystone Exam:
The parent/guardian needs to initiate contact with the school with a request for his/her student to be excused from the assessment(s).
- Two weeks prior to the assessment(s), the principal will schedule an appointment for the parent/guardian to come in and view the exam(s). The parent/guardian must sign the Parent Confidentiality Agreement provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education prior to viewing the exam. No written notes, video, or pictures can be taken of the material. The objection process is not complete until the parents view the exam(s) in the school. If the parent/guardian wants the student to be excused from several exams (i.e. ELA and Math), then the parent/guardian will need to view all of these exams.
- The parent/guardian submits a written request to the school principal, with a copy to the Superintendent, stating a request to have his/her child opt out of the assessment due to a religious objection. The letter must list the specific name(s) of each assessment about which there is an objection.
- A parent/guardian will need to make this request each year he/she wishes the student to be excused and he/she will need to view the exam(s) each year as well.
- The principal will confirm with the parent/guardian that the child will be excused.
Students that opt out due to a religious exemption must instead meet the state's graduation requirements by fulfilling one of the other pathways