Cell Phone and Electronic Devices: PSSA and Keystone Test Administration

The PA Department of Education has issued guidelines regarding a student Code of Conduct for PSSA and Keystone Exam testing. Furthermore, the PA Department of Education (PDE)   requires that school personnel confiscate cell phones and other electronic devices at the testing site. In an era of cell phones, smart phones and other electronic devices which can easily photograph and instantly share photographs, confidential and secure test materials can be easily compromised. Not only is it expensive to replace a compromised test item, the material contained on the PSSA and Keystone Exams is copyrighted property of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Copying or duplicating the material from the assessment, including the taking of a photograph, is a violation of the federal Copyright Act. Penalties for violations of the Copyright Act may include the cost of replacing the compromised test item(s) or fines of no less than $750 and up to $30,000 for a single violation. As required by the PA Department of Education, The Carlisle Area School District has outlined the following procedures to ensure the security of the test administration:

Elementary students are not allowed to have cell phones or other electronic devices in their possession or at their desk during the school day. This same rule will be followed during PSSA test administration. Principals and test administrators will review the Code of Conduct with students prior to the first test administration. Disciplinary action will be taken for any student caught cheating or attempting to cheat on these exams. Any student caught cheating on the PSSA and Keystone Exams will have a “Do Not Score” label placed on their test booklet.  PDE requires that the student retake the entire test.

Middle and high school students are allowed to have cell phones or other electronic devices in their possession during the school day except during the administration of PSSA and Keystone Exams.  Prior to the test administration,  all students who are observed to be in possession of a cell phone or other electronic device will be directed to place these devices in an envelope, mark their name on the envelope and place the envelope on the desk in the front of the room. Students will be allowed to pick up the labeled envelope at the end of the test period. These devices will be temporarily removed from a student’s possession. Principals will announce these procedures to students prior to the first day of testing. Principals and test administrators will review the Code of Conduct with students prior to the first test administration. Disciplinary action will be taken for any student caught cheating or attempting to cheat on these exams. Any student caught cheating on the PSSA or Keystone Exams will have a “Do Not Score” label placed on their test booklet. PDE requires that the student retake the entire test.

Electronic devices include cell phones, smart phones, smart watches, E-readers, Nooks, computers, Kindles, ipods, tablets, any camera ready device, any device that can photograph or any device that can access the internet or communicate with others, etc. These devices cannot be in a student’s possession during the PSSA and Keystone test administration.


Updated: 2018
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