Special Edition: Preparing for the 2018 PSSAs


Students in Grades 3 through 8 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be taking the PSSAs. It's our standardized assessment in Reading and Mathematics. Students in Grades 3 and 8 will also take the Science section of the assessment.

The PSSAs are an UNTIMED test. Students may take as long as they need in order to complete every section. At Disston, we will administer one section per testing day. However, if a student is absent or late, they must take a make-up section at a later time. Each testing session can range up to two hours, which includes the actual testing time along with distribution and collection of testing items. As permissible, students are only allowed to use school authorized tools (calculators, rulers, highlighters, etc.).

PSSAs Testing Dates

Here are the Testing Dates for the 2018 administration of the PSSAs:
  • Week of April 9th: English Language Arts (Grades 3-8)
  • Week of April 16th: Mathematics (Grades 3-8)
  • Week of April 23rd: Science (Grades 3 and 8 only)

  • Testing will begin shortly after Morning Admissio.! All students must arrive on time.
  • We can't interrupt testing sessions. No early dismissals will be honored before 11 a.m.

Important Reminders for Students and Families!

Please read this section carefully.
  • Testing will begin shortly after morning admission each testing day. Students, as normal, should enter the building at 8:25 a.m. with their homeroom teachers.
  • Breakfast will be available for ALL students during the testing window.

Once the test begins:
  • Our building goes into SILENT MODE. There will be limited movement in the hallways.
  • If a student is late, they will not be permitted into the classroom. They will wait in a designated area until the entire class has completed that testing section. They will have to take the missed section at a later time.
  • No early dismissals will be honored. Students must complete the entire section. They are not permitted to return to a section once testing has begun.
  • No phone calls will be transferred to classrooms. If you need to speak with a teacher, leave a message in the Main Office (or send the teacher an email or Class Dojo message).
  • Students will not be able to use any electronic devices during the testing window.

Electronics Device Policy at Disston Elementary

As shared in the statewide Parent Letter regarding Electronics Device Policy, electronic devices are not permitted in testing areas. Here are our procedures regarding devices during testing:
  • ALL Electronic Devices (phones, game systems, etc.) are powered down, collected and placed into Ziploc bags provided for each student with their name labeled inside.
  • Once all tests have been collected in the room, devices will be returned to students.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Devices are seen during testing will be taken and held by a school administrator. This violation MUST be reported to the state. The phone will be held and checked to ensure no photographs/videos of test items are found on the phone.
  • Fines range from $750.00 up to $30,000.
  • "You will be contacted by the school if your child is discovered using and/or having a cell phone or other electronic device in his or her possession during the administration of the PSSA or Keystone Exams. Students who ignore this directive will be subject to the school’s discipline policy and the Department of Education’s requirement that the student’s test will not be scored and the student will be required to retake the entire exam. The electronic device will be held by school staff, and the device’s stored photographs and other functions will be examined with your permission. You may request to be present when the electronic device is examined. If a photograph of the PSSA or Keystone Exam is discovered or if permission to search other functions of the electronic device is refused, the device will be held by the school staff. The Pennsylvania Department of Education holds the copyright to all material contained within the PSSA and Keystone Exams, the Pennsylvania Department of Education will be contacted and further action may be taken" (Pennsylvania Department of Education - Electronic Device Letter to Parents/Guardians, 2018).

Parents, please advise your students to comply with this very strict school and state policies. Failure to follow them could lead to severe consequences.

Hamilton Disston Elementary School

Home of the Disston Dragons!