Graduation Requirements

Graduation from Carlynton Junior-Senior High School shall be in accordance with the standards as established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Board of School Directors of the Carlynton School District. These requirements are summarized below.

Credits Required for Graduation:

English 4.00
Mathematics 3.00
Science 3.00
Social Studies 3.00
Health/Phys. Ed. 2.50
Electives 8.50
TOTAL 24.00 Credits
 

COURSES REQUIRED for graduation:
English – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
Science – Biology
Social Studies – American Cultures I; American Cultures II; American Government and the Economy or AP U.S. Government and Politics Wellness I
Health/Physical Education – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

A credit is earned for a course upon satisfactory completion of one hundred twenty (120) clock hours of instruction in a planned course. However, credit for a course can be forfeited for excessive absences (20 or more days) in a year course or (15 or more days) in a semester course. In order to make yearly progress towards graduation, students in grades 9-12 should earn a minimum of six (6) credits per year. Failure to do so can jeopardize a student's ability to graduate with his or her class.

Promotion to higher class standing requires a minimum of 5 credits earned for sophomore status, 11 credits earned for junior status, and 17 credits earned for senior status. Failure to earn the required credits will result in the student's retention in the appropriate grade level homeroom.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the credit requirement for graduation, students must demonstrate proficiency on each of the three Keystone Exams; Algebra 1, Biology, and Literature. If a student scores below proficient on a Keystone Exam, they will need to complete the corresponding Keystone fundamentals class prior to retaking the test. If a student scores below proficient on their second attempt, they will be enrolled in the corresponding Project Based Assessment course. After a second attempt on a Keystone Exam, they will need to either complete the Project Based Assessment or score a proficient score on the Keystone Exam to fulfill the state level graduation requirement. Students are permitted to take the Keystone Exams while they are currently enrolled in the Project Based Assessment class. Students cannot retake a Keystone exam without receiving supplemental instruction between each attempt.


Recent Changes to Keystones and Project-Based Assessments (Senate Bill 136 of 2020)

CLICK HERE for a easy-to-understand PowerPoint Presentation unveiling the changes to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), new Act 158 requirements, and the new Keystone Exam requirements

Act 158 Graduation Requirements

Act 158 was signed into law on October 24, 2018, moving Pennsylvania’s reliance on high stakes testing as a graduation requirement. Act 158 of 2018, in conjunction with Act 6 of 2017, expands the options for students to demonstrate postsecondary readiness. Formerly, Pennsylvania’s statewide graduation requirements were more restrictive, requiring most students to pass the Keystone Exams or end of course exams in Algebra I, Literature, and Biology.

Act 136 - A Shift in Statewide Graduation Requirements

The new statewide graduation requirements were set to take effect starting with the graduating Class of 2022. However, on November 25, 2020, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1216, making it Act 136 of 2020. Act 136 shifted the new statewide graduation requirements to take effect starting with the Class of 2023. It did not modify the actual requirements. Act 158 of 2018 establishes five pathways for students to demonstrate college, career, and community readiness. The high school guidance team is available to support students in determining the pathways to graduation that are appropriate and achievable for each individual student.

Students in the Class of 2023 and forward can meet the statewide graduation requirement within the Carlynton School District through one of the following pathways:

Pathway 1: Keystone Proficiency Pathway: Scoring proficient or advanced on each of the Keystone Exams - Algebra I, Literature, and Biology.

Pathway 2: Keystone Composite Pathway: Earning a satisfactory composite score (4452) on the Algebra I, Literature, and Biology (while achieving at least a score of proficient on at least one of the three exams AND no less than a score of basic on the remaining two exams).

Pathway 3: Alternative Assessment Pathway: Earning a passing grade in the courses associated with each of the Keystone Exams on which a score of proficiency was not achieved AND satisfactorily completing one of the following:

Attainment of an established score on one of the following approved alternative assessment:

  • SAT (Score of 1010)
  • PSAT (Score of 970)
  • ACT (Score of 21)
  • ASVAB (the minimum score needed to gain admittance to a branch of the armed services in the year the student graduates)
  • Attainment of Gold Level on the ACT WorkKeys Assessment;
  • Advanced Placement Test (Attainment of a 3 or higher on an in the content area associated with each Keystone Exam in which a score of proficiency was not achieved.
  • Dual Enrollment Courses (Successful completion of a dual enrollment course in the content area associated with each Keystone Exam in which a score of proficiency was not achieved.
  • Successful completion of a pre-apprenticeship program;
  • Acceptance in an accredited 4-year nonprofit institution of higher education and evidence of the ability to enroll in college-level coursework. (i.e. letter of acceptance, placement test results, college registration form, etc.)

Pathway 4: Evidence Based Pathway: Earning a passing grade in the courses associated with each of the Keystone Exams on which a score of proficiency was not achieved AND demonstrating three pieces of evidence consistent with goals and career plans.

Including one of the following pieces of evidence:

  • Attainment of Silver Level on the ACT WorkKeys Assessment
  • Attainment of a 630 on an SAT Subject Test;
  • Attainment of a 3 on an Advanced Placement test;
  • Acceptance to an accredited nonprofit institution of higher education other than a 4-year institution and evidence of the ability to enroll in college level coursework; (i.e. letter of acceptance, placement test results, college registration form, etc.)
  • Attainment of an industry-recognized credential;
  • Successful completion of a concurrent enrollment or postsecondary course.

 Including two of the following pieces of evidence:

  • Satisfactory completion of a service learning project. Project proposals must be presented in writing to a guidance counselor for pre-approval by the principal/assistant principal. The proposal should include goals, activities, and contributions to the community. Projects must be supervised by an adult and completion must be verified in writing. (i.e. National Honors Society, Junior Rotarians, Boy Scouts, etc.);
  • Attainment of proficiency or advanced on a Keystone Exam;
  • A letter from an employer guaranteeing full-time employment;
  • A certificate of successful completion of an internship or cooperative education program;
  • Satisfactory compliance with the NCAA’s core course for college-bound student athletes with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.

Pathway 5: Career and Technical Education Pathway: Earning a passing grade in the courses associated with each of the Keystone Exams on which a score of proficiency was not achieved AND one of the following:

Attaining of an industry-based competency certification related to the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Concentrator’s program of study.

Demonstrating a high likelihood of success on an approved industry-based competency assessment. (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) or the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS).

 

2019-2020 Keystone Testing Cohort

Act 136 of 2020 states:

"For the 2019-2020 school year and any subsequent school year in which the federal government has waived the testing accountability requirements of the elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, - Any student who completed a course in an academic content area associated with a keystone exam shall not be required to take the keystone exam related to that course and shall be deemed proficient... provided that the student demonstrates successful completion of locally established, grade-based requirements for the academic content area associated with each content area exam."

This means:

If a student was part of the 2019-2020 Keystone Exam cohort and is graduating in 2023 or later, then, the student must meet one of the five pathways to graduation. However, any Keystone Exam that was missed in 2019-2020 due to the COVID-19 shutdown will be considered to be PROFICIENT for the purpose of graduation, provided a passing grade in the course was earned.

In this case, PROFICIENT is for the purposed of meeting graduation requirements and is not an assigned numerical score. Pathway 2 includes a composite score. Some students may still need to take the missed Keystone Exam in order to achieve an actual numerical score for the 2nd pathway to graduation. Because of the graduation requirements that will take effect in 2022-2023, we want all 9th and 10th grade students to participate in Keystone testing, as this will improve their composite score for graduation.

If you are interested in your child taking the missed Keystone Exam, please contact Dr. Edward Mantich, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, edward.mantich@carlynton.k12.pa.us or call 412-429-2500, ext. 1130.

Please note, as additional guidance is distributed to districts from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, this webpage will be updated.


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