Keystone Exams approved

The state board of education has approved the Keystone Exams, course-specific exams designed to replaces the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment.

Students in the Warren County School District have taken them, as well.

But thanks to the state, school districts still do not really know what to do with the results.

“These are difficult to explain in some regard,” WCSD Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Gary Weber said at a Monday meeting of the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee.

He said that he participated in a meeting on the exams at the Intermediate Unit last week.

“They’re scratching their head as much as we are,” said Weber. “They (the state) are rolling things out so fast (and) don’t have answers.”

Efforts at implementation to this point have included ongoing commentary between schools to determine how each school is moving forward.

But clarity is still needed from the state. “They don’t have the end answer for us to implement,” Weber said.

Acting Superintendent Amy Stewart said that the IU is intended to be the “go between for the state” and the district but, on this issue, IU staff have been reading prepared scripts from the state from which they cannot deviate.

With results back, the district is now trying to figure out what to do with students that did not score proficiently.

“The state has mandated that any student (who did not score proficiently) has to have remediation. The state didn’t tell us what remediation has to be,” explained Weber, noting that the district is currently offering homeroom remediation until the next testing window, which begins on May 13.

Weber added that administration is working, through reviewing other schools, with the goal of “opening up doors to figure out how we can offer that remediation.”

Board Vice President Donna Zariczny asked if there was an average number of students needing remediation in the district’s high schools.

“I will say that we look good in comparison to the state,” said Weber. “(We) still have a number of students that are not proficient.”

He explained that this is the first of several rounds of testing and many students were presented with material on the exams that they learned several academic years previously.