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Federally Required State Assessments 2020-21 School Year (PSSA, PASA, Keystone Exams, and WIDA ACCESS)

Can Federally required state assessments be administered remotely?

No; state assessments must be administered in-person.

Can schools administer Federally required state assessments any time during the summer of 2021?

Yes. However, each assessment platform will be unavailable at some time during the summer for an annual software update. Schools should coordinate their testing calendars with the respective vendors to prevent the risk of interruption. For example, PASA testing cannot be administered in the Kite portal July 29-30, 2021 due to system updates. Likewise, teachers will be unable to complete Required Test Administrator Training in the Kite Educator Portal while that system is down from July 27-August 3, 2021.

Are schools required to test students who enroll in the summer?

No. Schools are only required to test students who were enrolled during the originally scheduled statewide testing windows for the 2020-21 school year. Below are the 2020-21 school year accountability dates.

AssessmentAccountability Dates
PSSA & PASAApril 23-April 30, 2021 (subject specific)
Keystone Exams & PASAMay 28, 2021
ACCESS for ELLsJanuary 24, 2021

Should schools return all test materials when testing is complete, or wait until the shipping deadline?

Schools should NOT wait to return testing materials; instead, return testing materials as soon as testing is complete.

When will schools receive 2020-21 achievement results? 

For LEAs that complete and return PSSAs by June 15, 2021 and/or Keystone Exams by July 15, 2021, preliminary student data files will be made available in early fall. Final achievement results will be sent to schools in the winter of the 2021-22 school year, after the 2020-21 state assessment windows have closed and all tests have been scored.

Can a school test some students in the spring of 2021 and some students in the fall of 2021?

Yes. For the 2020-21 school year only, schools are not required to test all students in a cohort at one time. Schools may test smaller groups to accomplish social distancing and other prescribed safety protocols. For instance, a school could test one grade at a time, test small groups of students, test on alternating days, etc.

Must a school keep its local testing window open throughout the summer and fall of 2021?

No. Each school is expected to provide a testing opportunity for its students before the window closes on September 30, 2021. That window could be relatively normal in length if a school is able to test students in a traditional amount of time.

How will the results of the 2020-21 state assessments be used?

As previously committed and communicated on February 26, 2021, and on October 23, 2020, achievement results from the 2020-2021 administration will be used for public reporting and local planning to inform education recovery efforts. Given Pennsylvania's Federal accountability waiver, results will not be used for designating schools for comprehensive, targeted, or additional targeted support and improvement. Additionally, these results will not be used for professional evaluations.

Use the links below to access additional information about the following state assessments: