HUGHESVILLE - In an effort to do away with PSSA exams for juniors and replace them with aptitude tests by subject, the current school year at East Lycoming School District will serve as a transition.
Keystone exams, which are end-of-course assessments designed to test a student's proficiency in a given subject, will run from Dec. 3 to 14 with algebra for sophomores and juniors and literature for juniors.
"The biggest challenge is playing catch-up," superintendent Michael D. Pawlik said.
He explained that many of the students will have to be tested in a subject they took two or three years ago. Half of the students took algebra I in eighth grade and the other half took it in ninth grade.
The practice of taking the subject then is standard so students who wish to take the upper level math courses, such as trigonometry, calculus and statistics, can start the progression early.
"They need as much exposure as possible," Pawlik said.
Sophomores and juniors then will take the biology Keystone exam Jan. 9 to 23.
From May 13 to 24, eighth graders and freshmen will take the Keystone exam in algebra I. Sophomores will take the literature exam. Freshmen also will take the biology exam.
Juniors who did not pass their exams in December also will be given another chance to pass at that time.
Students who take the exams before their junior year will not have it count until they are juniors, as part of what is known as the bucket system.
By May, the exams will be completely online, which Pawlik said will save money over the cost of printing tests.