Posted on May 9, 2024
Categories: News from SDP

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Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,

Students in grades 8-12 will be participating in the Keystone Exams between May 13 and May 24, 2024.

The School District of Philadelphia is guided by the Board of Education’s Goals & Guardrails. The Board’s goals are to see every student perform at or above grade level in Algebra, Biology, and Literature, and to graduate ready for college and a career.The Keystone Exams are a high schoolgraduation requirement in Pennsylvania and are important for understanding your child’s academic progress. The scores also provide teachers with valuable information to support each student’s learning and they allow the District to continue to improve the curriculum and instruction.

The Keystone Exams in Algebra, Biology, and Literature are state mandated. Students typically take the assessment(s) in spring as they near the completion of their Algebra 1, English 2, and/or Biology course(s). Each school must have 95% of students take the assessments. If schools fall below 95% participation, the state performance score for the school is negatively affected.

During the Keystone assessment period, it is very important for students to attend school every day 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.

You can learn more about the Keystone Exams using the links below. Your child’s school will also be sending you this information, and it can be found on our Keystone website.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: A fact sheet from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) that provides answers to frequently asked questions
  • Electronic Devices Parent Letter: A letter to families detailing the PDE policy on and consequences for using cell phones and other electronic devices during testing

If you have questions about the District’s assessments, please contact the Office of Evaluation, Research, and Accountability via their webform. If you have questions about the District’s graduation requirements, please contact the Office of College and Career Readiness by emailing or visiting their website.

Thank you for working with the District to support the growth and success of Philadelphia’s children. While the Keystone Exams are just one way to measure progress, they provide very important information that we can use to further improve our service to children and families, inform the implementation of our strategic plan, and help us in the pursuit of our vision to prepare all students to imagine and realize any future they desire!

In partnership,

Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia