School news

UNION CITY — The Union City Area School District is looking at schedules for state assessment testing — the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and the Keystone Exams.

The PSSA is a standardized test administered in public schools in the state. It is a criterion-referenced assessment that provides students, parents, educators and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance related to the attainment of proficiency of academic standards, according to a PSSA website.

Students in different grade levels are assessed in different academic subjects.

Students who do not take the tests will be learning remotely, and that would open up more room for the students who are testing, Bennett said.

Keystone Exams are a component of federal accountability determinations and state graduation requirements under Act 158 of 2018 (Act 158). Many local education agencies also use Keystone Exam results to inform student course placement, end-of-course grades and other decisions, according to the state Department of Education.

District Superintendent Matthew Bennett told the Union City School Board at the board’s March 4 committee-of-the-whole meeting that testing had been pushed back to May. The tests are usually administered earlier in the spring. 

Bennett said he would cover the assessment test schedules again during the board’s April 8 committee-of-the-whole meeting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the difference in the testing schedules this year includes the time the tests take place, testing conditions during a pandemic and other students that are not testing.

The schedule for the PSSA tests is as follows for Union City Area Elementary School: 

May 10 to May 14 — math and language arts for grades three to five. 

K-4, kindergarten, first and second grades will learn synchronously via Zoom during that week. There will be fun activities for grades three to five each afternoon.

May 17 and May 18 — science for grade four.

Classes will be as usual for the rest of the building.

The schedule for the PSSA tests is as follows for Union City Middle School:

May 10 to May 14 — math and language arts for grades six to eight.

Grades nine to 12 will learn synchronously via Zoom during that week. 

There will be fun activities for grades six to eight each afternoon.

May 17 and May 18 — science for grade eight. 

Classes will be as usual for the rest of the building.

The schedule for secondary-level students for the Keystone Exams is as follows:

May 17 and May 18 — literature for the 60 10th-grade students taking the exam.

May 19 and May 20 — biology for the 60 10th-grade students taking the exam.

May 21 and May 24 — algebra testing. There will be 78 students testing, including advanced eighth-graders.

There will be fun activities for students in the afternoon. The Erie County Technical School schedule will run as normal, and all other secondary students will have normal classes.

Bennett said parents were notified of the schedules recently via district-wide phone calls and emails.

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