Exit Criteria for English Language Learners

The district will apply Pennsylvania's required exit criteria when exiting ELLs from the language instructional program. Students may not be exited from the language instructional program based only on their oral proficiency; proficiency in academic reading and writing must also be assessed.
In order to meet the required state exit criteria for Pennsylvania's English language instructional programs for ELLs, the district must use both of the required exit criteria listed below. In addition, the district must ensure that students meet one of the two additional exit criteria listed below to exit from an English language instructional program.
Required Exit Criteria

  1. Score of BASIC on the annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) math or Algebra I Keystone and PSSA reading or Literature Keystone.
    • PSSA and Keystone exam scores must be from the most recent academic school year.
    • For students transferring from other states, the results of academic achievement assessments used for accountability in other states may be considered when the academic proficiency level is comparable to BASIC on the PSSA/Keystone assessments.
    • For students that are in a grade that is not assessed with a PSSA or Keystone assessment, each of the remaining exit criteria must be met to exit (Required Exit Criteria #2, Additional Exit Criteria #1, Additional Exit criteria #2).
  2. Score of 5.0 on an ACCESS for ELLs Kindergarten assessment (accountability score) or score of 5.0 on a Tier C ACCESS for ELLs assessment.
    • Cutoff score flexibility is available in special circumstances.
    • Following the scoring criteria in the table below, the W-APT may be administered between June and September to students who scored below the minimum cutoff for program exit on the January administration of the ACCESS in order to demonstrate sufficient progress to justify exit.

NOTE: The W-APT may only be administered to a student once in any school year.

Grade Level


Required W-APT Scores*


Cut-off score flexibility not allowable for Kindergarteners



5.0 in each domain



5.0 in each domain



5.0 in each domain

NOTE: A student must score 5.0 in each domain (listening, speaking, reading and writing). A composite proficiency score will not be used.

    • A score of PROFICIENT on the reading PSSA or Literature Keystone assessments can be used along with the other required criteria outlined in this policy (Required Exit Criteria #1 and Additional Exit Criteria #1 or #2) to justify exit for students who achieve a composite proficiency score of 4.5 to 4.9 on the January administration of the ACCESS. In this case, W-APT scores are not necessary to demonstrate progress from the time of ACCESS administration to the end of the school year.

Additional Exit Criteria

  • Final grades of C or better in core subject areas (Mathematics, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies).
  • Scores on district-wide assessments that are comparable to the BASIC performance level on the PSSA math or Algebra I Keystone AND PSSA reading or Literature Keystone assessments.