Information for Parents & Guardians-2017 PSSA Testing

2016 - 2017 PSSA Testing Windows


April 3 - April 7, 2017

Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


April 24 - April 28, 2017

Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Science PSSA

May 1 - 5, 2017

Grades 4, 8

Each year the Pennsylvania Department of Education provides parents with information regarding the state PSSA testing program in grades 3 to 8. In the two-page handout you will find general information about the testing program and the general types of questions asked as well as short descriptions of the PSSA tests in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science. 

Please click on this link for the official PDE handout for parents/guardians. 

Information about the use of cellphones and electronic devices
Included along with this handout is a letter to parents from the Department of Education which districts are asked to share prior to PSSA testing. This letter addresses the rules that are in place for all Pennsylvania schools related to problems with test security caused by cell phones and other electronic devices. Students are not allowed to use cell phones or other electronic devices during test sessions, even if a student has finished the test while other students are still answering questions. This is not a change in policy for the 2017 school year as cell phones have been prohibited in other years as well. Students are asked to bring a book to read if they finish a test section early. 

Parent Procedures for Excluding a Child from PSSA Testing
The Pennsylvania Department of Education procedures for parents/guardians to exclude their child(ren) from PSSA testing includes the steps listed below. Note that Pennsylvania only formally recognizes a request for exclusion if the parent reviews the test and finds it to be in conflict with their religious beliefs.

Because parents must review the actual PSSA test booklet, the process cannot start until two weeks before testing begins and booklets arrive in schools. In 2017, PSSA testing begins on April 3rd, with booklets available for review beginning on March 20th.

  1. Parents contact the school to make an appointment to review the PSSA test.
  2. If after reviewing the test the parent determines that the test is in conflict with their religious beliefs, they may then request that their child be excluded from PSSA testing.
  3. The parent request is made to the district superintendent in the form of a letter or email noting that they have reviewed the test, found there to be a religious conflict, and are requesting that their child be excluded from testing.
  4. The superintendent notifies the school that the student will be excluded from testing.

Please click on this link for the official PDE handout for parents/guardians that addresses student exclusion from PSSA testing. This is addressed in the section on page 1 titled May parents see the assessments? 

February 21, 2017