March 2020

Dear Parent(s) and Guardian(s),

Beginning next month, all school districts throughout Pennsylvania will participate in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA). 

At Emily Brittain Community Partnership & Demonstration School, we will follow the assessment schedule listed below.




English Language Arts

April 20 - 22

Grades 3 and 4


April 27 - 28

Grades 3 and 4


April 29

Grade 4


Through May 8, 2020

Grades 3 and 4


In order to help you understand more about the nature and purpose of these assessments, we are including with this letter, a parent information sheet designed to answer many of the questions you may have.  The state assessments include both multiple choice questions and open-ended responses and will assist the District in gaining a better picture of the quality of our programs.  When the results become available in the fall, reports will be sent to each building and your child’s individual scores will be sent home to you.  These will give you an indication of how your child scored in relation to other students in the State.

Please note that parents or guardians have the right to request that a student be exempt from the assessment.  According to state regulations, parents can preview the test and request to exempt their student from the assessment, only if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.  The exemption request must be submitted in writing to the building principal prior to the first day of the assessment.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has requested that Districts inform parents and students about the state rules and policies, which specify, “electronic devices are not permitted at test sites.”

  “Electronic devices include cell phones, smartphones, smart watches, E-readers, Nooks, Kindles, iPads, iPods, tablets, camera-ready devices, and any other electronic device which can be used to photograph or duplicate test materials, access the internet and/or communicate with others during the administration of the PSSA or Keystone Exams.  Please speak with your child and let him/her know that the possession and/or use of a cell phone or other electronic device during the administration of the PSSA or Keystone Exams will result in certain consequences.”

In the Butler Area School District, if a student uses and of these prohibited devices, in any way during the administration of the test, the devices will be confiscated and parents will be called to the school to ensure that the actions taken by the District are in alignment with all legal responsibilities of the school.  The student’s discipline will be consistent with the District policy; however, if the integrity of any assessment item is compromised, the parents and students may be responsible for the fine associated with the violation, as dictated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

If, after reading the attached information, you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact my office.


Mrs. Cassandra Pencek
Emily Brittain Community Partnership & Demonstration School

View parent letter and FAQ from Pennsylvania Department of Education>

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