March 21, 2023
Dear School District of Philadelphia Parents and Guardians,
We are writing to inform you that students in grades 3-8 will be participating in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) between April 24 and May 12, 2023.
The PSSA is an important tool that provides critical information about the academic progress of your student(s). Individual student scores help teachers identify a child’s strengths and areas for growth, which in turn allows teachers to personalize a child’s instruction to best support their growth. PSSA scores also provide information to schools and the District to support improvement and planning around curriculum and instruction.
The PSSA is state mandated, and participation by all students in grades 3-8 is required by federal law. Each school is expected to have at least 95% of students take the English Language Arts, Math, and Science (for grades 4 and 8) assessments. If schools fall below 95% participation, the state performance score for the school is negatively impacted. During the assessment period, it is very important for students to attend school daily and remain enrolled in their current school. For this reason, requests for administrative transfers will be postponed until the end of the assessment period, with very limited exceptions.
The documents linked below provide important information about the upcoming PSSA. Please review them carefully. You should also receive copies of these documents from your child’s school, and they can be found on our PSSA website.
- PSSA Parent Guide: An overview of the PSSA with links to resources for District parents.
- Frequently Asked Questions: A fact sheet from the Pennsylvania Department of Education that provides answers to frequently asked questions.
- PSSA Test Features and Accommodations: An explanation of test features and accommodations available to students, including a link to the complete Accommodations Guidelines.
- Code of Conduct for Test Takers: Do’s and don’ts for students during testing.
- Electronic Devices Parent Letter: A letter to families detailing the Pennsylvania Department of Education policy on and consequences for using cell phones and other electronic devices during testing.
For additional Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) information, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education website. If you have general questions about the District’s assessments, please contact the Office of Evaluation, Research and Accountability via our contact form.
Dr. Tonya Wolford
Chief – Evaluation, Research & Accountability