Return to Headlines

Winter Keystone Exam Information

Keystone Exams

Winter Keystone Exams 2019-2020

Students in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology

This school year, students will be taking the

Summer Keystone Exams from December 2nd, 2019 through January 17th, 2020..

The Keystone Exam is a Pennsylvania standardized test administered to the public schools of Pennsylvania. The test has been developed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education. The General Keystone Knowledge Tests in Literature, Biology, and Algebra I have replaced the PSSA standardized tests in these specific academic areas.

Below is information for parents or guardians about the Keystone Exams, as well as, information about the rigor of the Keystone Exams. For further information about this, please visit the PDE website at

Northampton Area School District is pleased to provide students and parents with resources that may help them reach a rating of Proficient or Advanced on the Keystone Exams.  The links below provide resources for parents, students, and much more.  Please contact the NASD Curriculum office with any questions you may have about these materials.



Northampton Area School District Procedure –


Parents and guardians may review the state assessments - Keystone and PSSA Exams - by making arrangements with the School Test Coordinator at the testing school if they believe there may be a conflict with their religious beliefs.  This review needs to be done at least two weeks prior to the administration of the examinations and after the assessments have arrived at the school. 

Before the examination can be reviewed, the parent is required to read and sign a Confidentiality Agreement so that no information from the exam will be shared in any manner.  No copies of the Keystone or PSSA Exams or notes about the examination questions will be permitted to leave the room.

If parents or guardians do not want their child to participate in the examination due to a conflict with their religious beliefs after reviewing the Keystone or PSSA assessment, they may write a letter specifying their objection to the School District Superintendent, Mr. Joseph Kovalchik, prior to the beginning of the exam in order to request their child be excused from the exam.  Students excused from the examination are still required to attend schools on the testing days.



Northampton Area School District Procedure –

EXTENDED TESTING TIME for Keystone Examinations:

All students are allowed extended time, if requested, for taking each of the Keystone assessments.  On testing days, a monitor designated by the principal, will arrive at the test locations/classrooms with approximately 15-minutes remaining in the testing session to secure the students who have requested extended time to take the Keystone assessments.  The monitor will then securely transport the test booklets and answer booklets, while escorting the student to an alternative test location for extended testing time.  Students will not, in any circumstance, transport their own test assessments to the alternate test location.  The students utilizing the extended time will be documented by the school and in the possession of the School Assessment Coordinator.  The list will be updated throughout the testing schedule.  All answer booklets will be correctly marked as receiving “extended time”.  Internal school documents will consistently and accurately account for the test and answer booklets of the students utilizing extended time.  A seating chart will be created and kept from the Extended Time period.




Northampton Area School District Procedure –


In the event that there is an unscheduled break or emergency that occurs during the testing sessions, please follow the procedures outlined below:

  1. Immediately have students place their answer booklets inside of their test booklets (at the page in which the interruption occurs).
  2. Immediately have students line-up at the door – DO NOT collect the test booklets from the students (or place them in the bin) – You DO NOT need to complete the accountability worksheet – just double-check that you have all test booklets (quickly count them while they remain on the student desks).
  3. Leave the classroom and LOCK YOUR CLASSROOM  DOOR.
  4. Upon return to the classroom, and once students are settled into their seats, have students begin the tests WHERE THEY LEFT OFF.
  5. Account for the amount of time you were out of the room, and allow that amount of time added to the end of the testing session.




Northampton Area School District Procedure –

RESTROOM BREAKS for Keystone Examinations:

Members of the school’s test administration team will be located throughout the building, daily, in the hallways during all testing sessions.  They will quietly roam the hallways in the event that a student in any test site requires a restroom break.   These roaming monitors will be notified, either by the building administration or through the use of a door marker, signifying which test location is in need of a student escort for a restroom break.  The roaming monitor will escort the student from the test location/classroom to the restroom, and then, back to the test location. The student’s test materials will be secured at the test location/classroom in the student’s absence by the Test Administrator (TA) in the test location/classroom.



Northampton Area School District Procedure –


The Pennsylvania Department of Education and Northampton Area School District strictly prohibit the possession and use of all cell phones, smart phones, and all other electronic devices including Smart Watches, in all test locations.  Other electronic devices may include E-readers, Nooks, Kindles, iPads, iPods, tablets, and camera-ready devices.  To reiterate, no electronic devices are permitted at any Keystone or Keystone test site.   During the administration of the Keystone Exams, all electronic devices will be collected prior to the start of the test period.  Northampton Area School District will follow all PDE test security mandates.  Any possession or use of electronic devices will result in the confiscation of the device, a “Do Not Score” status on the test, and district disciplinary consequences.   Confiscated electronic devices will be held by the administration and in the presence of the parent or guardian, the cell phone or other electronic device will be viewed to ensure that no information or material from the assessment has been compromised.  In the event any items on the assessments have been compromised and can no longer be used on the statewide assessments, the tests questions will need to be replaced.  Offending students and/or parents may be responsible for all costs related to the replacement sections of the examinations.


Supporting Files:

Winter 2019-2020 Keystone Exam Security Letter

Winter 2019-2020 Keystone Exam Parent Letter.docx