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Student Achievement Progress Assessments

PSSA and Keystone Exams Testing Dates

  • Please reference the school calendar for posted dates.

For more information on state testing, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Assessment and Accountability page.

For questions regarding PSSAs and Keystone Exams at Renaissance Academy, please contact David Cosme at

Academic Achievement Testing

In addition to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSA) and PA Keystone Exams, Renaissance Academy also tracks the academic progress of students using the Northwestern Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing and the Classroom Diagnostic Tool (CDT).

How are the assessments used?

NWEA assessments are used to measure your child’s progress or growth in school.  You may have a chart in your home on which you mark your child’s height at certain times, such as on his or her birthday.  That is a growth chart.  It shows how much he or she has grown from one year to the next.  NWEA assessments do the same sort of thing, except they measure your child’s growth in mathematics, reading, language usage, and science skills

The scale used to measure your child’s progress is called the RIT scale (Rasch unIT).  The RIT scale works much like feet and inches on a yardstick.  It is used to chart your child’s academic growth from year to year.  MAP assessments are important to teachers because they keep track of progress and growth in basic skills.

The results let teachers know where a student’s strengths are and if help is needed in specific areas.  Teachers use this information to help guide their instruction in the classroom.

Classroom Diagnostic Tool (CDT)

Renaissance Academy is currently participating in the voluntary use of the Classroom Diagnostic Tool (CDT).  The CDT is a set of online assessments, divided by content area, designed to provide diagnostic information in order to guide instruction and remediation.

The CDT assists educators in identifying student academic strengths, and areas in need of improvement.  The purpose of the CDT is to provide information that will help guide instruction by providing support to students and teachers. The CDT reports are designed to provide a picture or snapshot of how students are performing in relation to the Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors & Eligible Content and Keystone Assessment Anchors & Eligible Content.

The CDT goes beyond focusing only on what students should know and be able to do at a particular grade and/or course. It also provides a snapshot of how and why students may still be struggling or extending beyond the grade and/or course Eligible Content.  The CDT helps identify, and provides suggestions, for “next steps” in student academic development.  Currently, the CDT is available for Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Composition (administered at 9th grade), Literature (administered at 10th grade), Biology, and Chemistry.

PA Department of Education Assessments

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