Doctor's appointments (re: excused absences)

Discussion of Opting Out/Refusal of STAAR
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andrea.perkins
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:50 am

Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:29 pm

So obviously we're currently living in a fluid situation in regard to whether or not school will be in session during the STAAR window(s) due to the COVID-19 situation. I'm certainly not counting on Morath to cancel STAAR altogether either. That said, my daughter is in 5th grade and this will be our first time opting out, thanks to the info provided by this group and the amazing admin team. My plan was to schedule doctor's appointments during the testing window (and makeup days) in order for all of her absences to be excused. *But* due to the current situation with the virus and the understandable need for social distancing, the doctors I've called to schedule appointments with are currently not taking any non-essential appointments (orthodontist, pediatric well-check, etc.). So unless there's an immediate need for medical care, they're not making new appointments at the moment.

That said, I'm considering 'little white lies' to cover the absences by sending in notes that my daughter was unwell. I don't like that plan because it would entail needing my daughter to be complicit in lying to her teachers/admin. And, after three days I'll still need a doctor's note (which I won't be able to get). As it stands, we don't have enough absences left to just throw caution to the wind and allow her to miss that amount of school with unexcused absences. So what's recommended if I cannot get doctor's notes?

I do not think my daughter's anxiety (diagnosed, and on a 504 as a result) will allow her to actively refuse and write "refused" on the assessment booklet if I do send her to school on STAAR days. Additionally, I think she'd have a panic attack sitting in the room for 4 hours not allowed to do anything but stare at the desk. Her fear of upsetting the testing coordinator and/or proctor in the room would be about as stressful to her as just muddling through the assessment. So as much as I know that active refusal would help with the excused/unexcused absence situation, and that it's worked for many opt out families, it wouldn't help with our anxiety situation -- which is one of our primary reasons for opting out in the first place (but not the only reason).

Any thoughts?


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