Towanda Area School District

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Keystone Exams

The Keystone Exams are end-of course assessments designed to evaluate proficiency in academic content areas.  Beginning with the class of 2019, students must demonstrate proficiency on the Algebra 1, Literature, and Biology Keystone Exams to graduate.  Students will be offered multiple opportunities to take the Keystones throughout their high school careers. Students who scored Basic or Below Basic on any subject tested during a previous Keystone Exam Administration will be included in this test administration.

The Keystone Literature Exam will be administered to all 10th grade students on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.  Students will respond to both multiple choice and open-ended tasks in these tests.  These assessments are intended to evaluate performances of individual students and to provide comparative data about the school’s reading and literature programs.

The Keystone Biology Exam will be administered to any student enrolled in Biology during the 2016-2017 school year on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.  The biology assessment will address the concepts of Cells, Cell Processes, and Continuity and Unity of Life.  Students will respond to both multiple-choice and open-ended questions.  These Keystone Exam questions will ask students to explain, analyze, describe, or compare in their answers.

The Keystone Algebra Exam will be administered to any student who completed Algebra I during the 2016-2017 school year on Thursday, May 18, 2017.  This assessment measures student achievement in Operations and Linear Equations/Inequations, Linear Functions and Data Organization.  Students will be presented with multiple-choice and open-ended questions.  Some questions will also require students to create graphs, plots, or drawings.

A copy of the individual student results will be sent to the school district for distribution to parents, teachers, guidance counselors and principals. The state will not receive any reports with individual names included.  Results will be reported by school for curricular and planning purposes.  School districts will publish the results of Keystone Exam testing for each school.  The state will also release school-by-school assessment data.

If parents do not want their child to respond to a specific prompt or to participate in the assessment due to a conflict with their religious beliefs, they must first review the tests by contacting the High School Guidance Office on or after May 2, 2017.  They must then write a note to the School District Superintendent, Dr. Amy Martell, to excuse their child from the assessment.

Please remember that we cannot achieve our best Keystone Exam results without your help and support.  Please make sure your child is well-rested during the testing period and has a good breakfast each morning.  Please let your child know that you value his or her doing his or her individual best on these tests.