Curriculum & Instruction » Curriculum & Instruction

Curriculum & Instruction

Curriculum Statement:  East Pennsboro Area School District is committed to providing a rigorous and comprehensive K-12 curriculum based on the Pennsylvania Core and Academic Standards.  Our curriculum serves to attain the goal of creating future-ready students through the development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to be successful in the 21st Century.

Assessment Overview: East Pennsboro Area School District (EPASD) students participate in Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) testing and Keystone exams.

The PSSA helps us understand how students in our elementary and middle schools are performing relative to Pennsylvania’s academic standards in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science and Technology. Individual student scores can be used to provide additional educational opportunities for students in need, and school scores help our District improve its curriculum and instructional approaches.

The Keystone exams assess middle and high school student proficiency in core subject areas and are one component used to determine whether our students meet high school graduation requirements. Like the PSSA, the Keystone Exams will help our District improve its progress related to state standards.

Keystone Opt Out Information and Process


Excusal from a Keystone Exam

Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pa. Code (22 Pa. code 4.4) provides for the right of any parent/guardian to excuse his/her child from the state assessment if, upon inspection of the testing materials, he/she finds the assessment to be in conflict with his/her religious beliefs.  This is the only basis for a parent/guardian to excuse his or her child from the statewide assessments.

Note–Opting a student out of one or more Keystone Exams automatically eliminates two pathways to graduation provided via Act 158 (PDE Link To Information About Act 158).  Act 158 graduation requirements and pathways are in place starting with the class of 2023.   

Procedure for parent/guardian to request that student be excused from a Keystone Exam:

  1.  By May 1st, 2024, the parent/guardian needs to initiate written contact with the building principal with a request for his/her student to be excused from the assessment.  However, the parent/guardian may NOT opt out a student unless steps 2 and 3 (below) are followed.
  2. Two weeks prior to the assessment, the principal will schedule an appointment for the parent/guardian to come in and view the exam.  The parent/guardian must sign the Parent Confidentiality Agreement provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education prior to viewing the exam.  No written notes, video, or pictures can be taken of the material.  The objection process is not complete until the parents view the exam in the school.  If the parent/guardian wants the student to be excused from several exams (i.e. ELA and Math), then the parent/guardian will need to view all of these exams.
  3. The parent/guardian submits a written request to the school principal, with a copy to the Superintendent, stating a request to have his/her child opt out of the assessment due to a religious objection.  The letter must list the specific name of each assessment about which there is an objection.
  4. A parent/guardian will need to make this request each year he/she wishes the student to be excused and he/she will need to view the exam each year as well.
  5. The principal will confirm with the parent/guardian that the child will be excused.
  6. NOTE:  Opting out of an exam may impact your student’s chances of meeting 2 of the 3 pathways to graduation outlined under Act 158.

The 2024 Keystone Exams window begins May 13th, 2024.

Tests can be viewed from May 1, 2024 until May 10, 2024.  No opt-outs will be accepted after May 10, 2024.