Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements: Keystone Examinations

For the Class of 2020 and beyond, Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Department of Education requires each student to demonstrate proficiency on the Keystone Exams in the areas of Algebra, Biology, and Literature as a graduation requirement. NPSD students who have not demonstrated proficiency are required to complete an intervention before a minimum of one retest of the applicable Keystone Exam. These exams are end-of-course assessments that measure student understanding of the eligible course content. It is important to note that each student’s highest Keystone performance level in Algebra 1, Biology and Literature will be included on student transcripts.

The Keystone exam replaces the final exam in all Keystone courses. Students who are not proficient after retesting a minimum of one time must retest again or participate in a project-based assessment (PBA) in order to demonstrate proficiency.

For more information on Graduation Requirements related to Keystone Examinations, please visit www.education.state.pa.us.

You may find additional information regarding Graduation Requirements and Keystone Examinations by visiting www.pdesas.org.

Class of 2020 and beyond Keystone Proficiency Program

Algebra 1

Students who have not achieved proficiency in Grade 8 and do not complete the summer intervention course will retake Algebra 1 in Grade 9. Students who score at the Basic level on the Algebra 1 Keystone at the end of Grade 9 will be enrolled in the Geometry Extended course in their sophomore year. Students who score Basic have the option of enrolling in the summer Keystone Algebra 1 intervention course prior to their sophomore year in order to take the 6 period per cycle Geometry course during their sophomore year. Students in the Geometry Extended retake the Keystone in December of the same year. Students who score at the Below Basic level on the Algebra 1 Keystone at the end of Grade 9 are required to take the Algebra 1 Foundations course in their sophomore year and will retake this Keystone in their Sophomore year. Students who score Basic on the May Algebra 1 Keystone exam in Grade 10 may enroll in the summer Keystone intervention course.

Biology

Students who score below proficiency on the Biology Keystone at the end of Grade 10 will be enrolled in a one-semester “Selected Topics in Biology” course in their junior year. Students who score Basic have the option of enrolling in the summer Biology Keystone intervention course prior to their junior year. Students who take this summer course and score proficient on the Keystone Biology exam will not be required to schedule the “Selected Topics in Biology” course in their junior year. The Biology Keystone exam will be re-administered at the conclusion of the “Selected Topics in Biology” course, as well as at the conclusion of the summer course.

English Literature

Students who score below proficiency on the English Literature Keystone at the end of Grade 10 will receive the intervention within the context of their English course in their junior year. Students who achieve at the Basic level have the option to participate in the summer Keystone English Literature intervention course and retake the Keystone at the conclusion of this summer course. Students who are not yet proficient by the start of their senior year will be required to schedule and master an English Literature course.

Course Advancement

Course Advancement is a process that enables students to participate in higher level courses at the high school level. Students may enroll in and satisfy specific prerequisites for certain courses online during the summer through the Montgomery Virtual Program (MVP) facilitated by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. Although the financial responsibility and completion of coursework lies primarily with the student and his or her parents/guardians, students with demonstrated financial need should consult their guidance counselor for grant opportunities that may exist. For more information about Course Advancement, contact your child’s guidance counselor or visit www.npenn.org/CourseAdvancement.