Act 55: PDE Reminds LEAs of New Grad Requirements (July 19, 2022)

On July 18, 2022, Dr. Jeffrey Fuller, PDE Acting Deputy Secretary, disseminated a PennLink messafe to all LEAs titled Act 55 Amendment to the State Graduation Requirement; State Board of Education Action Amending State Graduation Requirement. He states that the purpose of the memo is to inform LEAs of two significant changes to the statewide high school graduation requirements and that PDEencourages LEAs to take them into account before scheduling students for retests in the summer and winter Keystone Exam windows. Those changes are:

1. Two Score Keystone Composite
Act 55 of 2022 amends the Pennsylvania School Code to further assist students in meeting statewide high school graduation requirements. Effective immediately, any student may graduate via the Keystone Composite Pathway provided the student:

2. Extension of the Pandemic as an Extenuating Circumstance
On September 9, 2021, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education approved the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic to the list of extenuating circumstances for which pathway-specific graduation requirements may be waived by a chief school administrator for students in the graduating classes of 2023, 2024, and 2025. Each student granted a waiver must complete locally established, grade-based requirements for academic content associated with each Keystone Exam in which the student does not have a numeric or non-numeric Proficient/Advanced.

If waivers exceed more than 5% of the graduating class, the school entity may be required to submit an improvement plan or be subject to an audit.

Refer to the SAS Graduation Toolkit for additional information on non-numeric scores, locally established grade-based requirements, waivers, and other related topics. Questions may be submitted to ra-edgradrequirement@pa.gov.

LEAs are advised to  note that the Tracking ToolSAS Toolkit, and PDE website are in the process of revision but will not reflect these changes immediately. Please check back for updates and emerging details on PDE Open Office Hours and training opportunities available late summer/early fall.