The “Required” Summer School Notice

As the first results of the STAAR assessment come in and the days left in the school year slip away, more and more parentsof kids who failed or did not take the first assessment are receiving notices that their kids are “required” to go to summer school.  Round Rock ISD is even sending notices that the district has registered the student for summer school.  They may tell you that if they don’t attend, they will be in violation of the compulsory attendance laws.  They may tell you that unless you attend summer school you can’t be promoted by the GPC. As parents of 5th and 8th graders there is one simple and important fact you need to know:

Schools cannot unilaterally require your child to attend summer school as a result of their STAAR results.

The notices these schools are sending are a blend of truth and fiction, and it is important to understand what part is true and when you need to be concerned about it.  Let’s start with the part that has some truth to it.  The compulsory attendance statute does state that (d)  “Unless specifically exempted by Section 25.086, a student enrolled in a school district must attend:

* * *

(3)  an accelerated instruction program to which the student is assigned under Section 28.0211;

and Section 28.0211 (a-1) states that “[a]ccelerated instruction may require participation of the student before or after normal school hours and may include participation at times of the year outside normal school operations.”

This would seem to indicate that a school really can require your kid to go to summer school if they fail STAAR.  However, for parents of 5th and 8th graders, the key is this.  After the second administration of STAAR, if a child has still not passed, the accelerated instruction must be determined by the Grade Placement Committee that you are a part of.  This is clear in the statute where it states:

“After a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument a second time, a grade placement committee shall be established to prescribe the accelerated instruction the district shall provide to the student before the student is administered the assessment instrument the third time.”

And the parent is a member of this committee!  In other words, the school may not unilaterally send your kid to summer school for not passing STAAR.  A quick caution, there is no GPC process for grades 3, 4, 6 or 7.  If you get a summer school notice in those grades you will need to either protest and reach a new agreement with the school, exercise your 26.010 opt out rights, or withdraw your child from the school for the summer.

It is apparent based on parental reports that most schools are skipping the GPC meeting after the second administration and sending out summer school notices. So what should the strategy be for parents who are receiving these notices.  The first option would be to request your GPC meeting as soon as the second STAAR assessment is taken and come up with an agreeable Accelerated Instruction plan.  Since there is no required time, length, form or content of accelerated instruction, I recommend that parents propose a short home based or online program.  The more research you have done into what a plan like this would look like, the better chance you have of succeeding.  The school just needs to document their file for the state.  The more you help them do that, the better chance they agree.  The second option would be to simply ignore it.  Any accelerated instruction plan following the second assessment that is created by the school and not by the GPC is legally void.  Make sure that you are looking carefully for notices and do not miss the meeting if your school schedules one.  If you ignore the notice of the GPC meeting, the school can proceed without you.

Finally, please note that when the GPC meets to consider promotion, they are again required to prescribe accelerated instruction.  Further, for 5th and 8th graders note that “A student who fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument specified under Subsection (a) and who is promoted to the next grade level must complete accelerated instruction required under Subsection (a-1) before placement in the next grade level. A student who fails to complete required accelerated instruction may not be promoted.”  For this reason, it is dangerous to refuse the accelerated instruction that follows the first failed attempt.  It is very important that the parents and the school agree on what that accelerated instruction should be.  Make sure that when you refuse, the schools agreement is specifically phrased as an agreement on accelerated instruction – not just an exemption or excuse.  Again, accelerated instruction can be as simple as a single online lesson or one in school tutorial.  Whatever it is, make sure it is documented and agreed.

49 Comments

  1. Tara

    So they have to do accelerated instruction I. Order to get promoted to 6th grade if they took the test. My daughter failed math horribly, so she will be required to do an accelerated program if she doesn’t pass the next one? What if she doesn’t pass any of them? She doesn’t do well in math, she is passing grade wise but the tests she did horrible. And how is it that if we opt out they just go to 6th grade but if they take the test they have to do an accelerated program to hopefully go to the next grade?

    1. admin

      This is explained in the article. After the first administration, the school decides what accelerated program is required. Parents dissatisfied with that can try to negotiate it, particularly if they are not doing the second administration. After the second administration, AI can only be determined by the GPC.

  2. Aileen

    I received an email this evening saying that I submitted registration for summer school for my child who did not pass the first administration of the STAAR test. This registration was submitted my someone other than myself. They used my email address, my phone number and even agreed to terms for me. I am absolutely shocked that the school would use my information to submit a registration. This is not an automated email. This was done deliberately on a Friday night at 7:08 PM to avoid a sticky situation with an upset parent. Has anyone else experienced this? My daughter hasn’t even had a chance to take the 2nd administration of the STAAR test.

  3. Jillayne Cain-Healy

    I delivered our opt-out letter on Friday – I was told by the Principal that our 3rd grade girl – who has been on the a-b honor roll all the time – will be required to attend summer school if she does not take the tests on May 9 & 10 and she will be retained if she does not do the summer school. She said that I would be getting a certified letter from the school informing me of this – what are my legal options ??? My daughter has been just torn up worrying about STARR. Thank you. There is only one student in 5th grade opting out, one student in 4th grade and our daughter in 3rd. We are in the Skidmore – Tynan ISD.

    1. admin

      Find your school’s written promotion policy (EIE-Local) and see if it matches what the principal says.

  4. Ann Merrill

    So if I received a letter from the school after the first absence from STAAR (8th grader) stating AL, they are not following TEA policy?
    Upon contacting the school about a GPC meeting, I was informed that it would occur only after the 3rd administration in June. I was also informed that the meeting would be scheduled via phone, not letter.
    I’m just wanting to cross all my t’s and dot all my i’s. Plus the district is just now starting to proceed legally on our 3rd year of opting out. Otherwise I would not just be asking.
    It seems that everything I’ve read on the TEA website and txedrights is not being followed exactly by our district. So it makes me wonder how the school lawyers are interpreting the TEA policies and procedures.

    Thanks for your time and continual efforts.

  5. Tasha

    if the child does not go to summer school, are they “required” to take the third administration?
    Sorry, this is the only part I’m confused on.

    If the gpc and AI are determined, are we still supposed To opt out of the third test? Or is that a given since we already did the gpc meeting.

  6. Victoria

    My son is special needs and they are telling us that he will not be promoted grade wise if he does not pass the STAAR. I thought that Special Needs children were exempted from these kinds of consequences? Any help is appreciated.

      1. Victoria

        They just confirmed that yes he failed his second attempt so he is required to go to summer school or be held back in 5th grade.

  7. Liz

    My daughter is in 5th she took the 1st test and failed miserably both math and reading. She tends to get test anxiety which her teachers know this. She is passing all her classes. She retook them on may 9th and 10th. They told me she might have to go to summer school but she won’t be here for the summer she’ll be in another state. Will she be left behind?

  8. lesli jones

    My 5th grade son had failed the math AND reading the 1st time. Just found out he passed the math but failed the reading again on second testing. Got a voicemail from AP telling me I need to be at a GPC meeting in the am. What does this mean? Is he not going to be promoted? This is so frustrating! I’m in Round Rock ISD… Tx

  9. Dana Montalbano

    I’m understanding correctly that if my son take agreed apon AI then the GPC can advance him to 9th grade since he has taken 2 test and cannot force a third.

  10. Stephanie

    My child was sent home with a letter stating he would need to attend summer school if he did not pass the second reading attempt. Summer school started today and I got a call from the principal on 5/31/16 @ 1:13pm stating my child did not pass and would have to attend summer school. I wish I knew about all this before I sent him to summer school today. Can I still do anything to where he does not have to attend summer school. There was not a GPC meeting just the principal that called me and the way she talked, he did not have a choice.

    Stephanie, Lindale ISD

  11. Lainey Drum

    I had a GPC meeting today, all 3 of us on the GPC committee agreed one on one private tutoring with a certified licensed teacher, using their ISD curriculum would benefit my 8th grader in lieu of summer school. We will have to show proof of student completing The Advanced Instructional Plan at our 3rd GPC meeting in july. We are also waiving taking 3rd attempt at STARR as it will cause undue stress on my child. First and Second STARR results were EXACTLY same score of 1583…12 points shy of passing..2 questions. Documents printed for all 3 on GPC committee and about to sign and Principle vetoed and said no private summer school allowed, must attend public summer school approved and offered by district…..principle wasn’t even at GPC meeting, only myself, teacher, and VP.
    Now talking to superintendents offc and calling an attorney,.

      1. Kristina marie Alvarez

        Hi admin, can i email you something? Im in a very serious dilemma right now about my 5th graded failing staar test and not attending summer school and they said he will be retained

        1. admin

          If you need insight or assistance, I would suggest you go to the Facebook group Texans Take Action Against STAAR and post your question/documents there.

  12. Yolanda

    My daughter is in 5th grade and she failed the math star test twice and her school metcalf is demanding her to go to summer school. We will not be home that week. Will she still go to 6th grade

    1. admin

      Have you had a GPC or just received the summer school notice. No results are back yet from the second math. How do you know she failed?

      1. Renee

        My daughter has dyslexia in the 5th grade she failed the Reading part of the STAAR test twice we already had plans to go out of town not able to change my tickets because it will cost too much we will be gone the second week of summer school will she fail the fifth grade because she will miss a week of summer school but will be here to take the STAAR test the following week

  13. JANA DUFF

    If my 9th grader fails his algeba 1 class, but passes the math staar test, will he need to take summer school to gain that credit?

  14. Concerned Parent

    My son is in 8th grade and failed the math and reading both times. He already had two math classes and an extra math tutoring before school for this semester as well as an extra reading class just before the 2nd administration of the reading STAAR. We have a meeting this coming Friday to discuss his options. Since he is passing his classes and already had extra academic intervention (AI) for both areas can we opt out of summer school and a third test?

    1. Cassie

      Hi… did you get an answer to this? I’m also interested to know if the tutoring and AI that was already done counted and if summer school had to happen or Not? Thanks

  15. Tonya

    Mydaughter is a 8th grader and failed her math star test she passed everything else now they want her too attend summer school i have not received a notice or nothing and we just found out today

  16. Annette

    My daughter failed her reading for the second time. Her school is making her to go to summer school. Who does the GPC committee consist of? I met with the Vice principal, reading teacher, and the instructor that helps them with the Staar test tutoring. How do I find out? And are there any other options besides summer school?

  17. Angel Cano

    So if my son did not passed the third attempt on the staar test,can he still get promoted to 6 gtade?

  18. Victoria Romo

    My daughter 8th grade daughter failed her math and reading twice she was reqired to attend Summer School to do a 3rd testing wich she failed even lower scores from her previous tests.(wich all were three to four questions wrong).To this day im unsure if shes retained or not I have not recieved any information its the Summer School starts in 3 weeks I went online to check her scores.Im very upset her School basically forced her to do a third testing in Summer School what would be my next move?

  19. Savanna

    Soooooo if i only miss one question on the mathamatics staar do i have to go to summer school over one question

  20. Loren Glenn

    if they fail a 3rd time in summer school, she takes the starr the 3rd time next week– will they try to get her take it AGAIN in 9th grade ?

  21. Heather

    Hello! My son failed the math the first two times he took the staar test. He attended Summer Schooll and retook the 3rd test. When will we know the results to this test? I have been in a panic checking to see if the scores are in yet or not on the website. He is in 8th grade.

  22. Nicole Baccus

    My son failed the Math Starr Test twice during school and was required to attend summer school. He then failed the Math a 3rd.time. l have a meeting w/ the school this week to determine If he is eligible for the 9th grade. What can t expect during this meeting? Thanks!

  23. Libby

    My 8th grader failed starr test 2 times..I have custody of her ( grandmother) but she went to her mom’s on last day of school..I went out of state.i told the mother she had summer school she did not go..they had a meeting(without me they said they couldn’t get ahold of me) an made the decission to fail her..is am not fighting with school to get her in 9th grade…what can I do? Will an attorney help??

  24. Ashleigh Garza

    I just informed my sons school that he will not take the STAAR again this year. He’s in 5th grade and I know I will need a GPC in order to move on to 6th grade. They have already threatened me with summer school or he wont be promoted. Not sure what to do . We are in Houston ISD

    1. admin

      About the only thing I would do at this point is send an email asking them to confirm what they said. “I advised you that my son would not participate in the STAAR Assessment. In response, you stated that he would have to attend summer school or he would not be promoted. Please confirm for me that I understood your position accurately. If I have misunderstood anything, please provide me with a clarification.”

  25. Jenny Tejeda

    My 8th grader passed his math and failed his reading portion. Will he go to 9th grade or will he get held back ? We live in Texas ? Does he have to go to summer school? What if he fails the 3rd time?

    1. admin

      Please read these articles and THEN ask me if you have questions. All your questions are answered on this site, but I will not do your work for you.






  26. Joanna

    So what should happen if I never received no formal notice that my child needs to attend summer school? I took it upon myself to call and ask if they needed to, just because of the simple fear of them being held back if they did not attend.

    1. admin

      Well what you have done then, if you sent your child to summer school is let the school off the hook for not doing their job. AI (summer school) can only be determined by the GPC. There is no “formal notice” that requires him to attend, yet parents all across the state cower in fear and do whatever the school says when the school is not following the law. Notice or no notice, what should happen is that the Grade Placement Committee meets and makes a determination. If you have never had a GPC meeting, your child is not required to attend summer school. However, if you waived the meeting by signing up, I think you would need to either ask for the meeting or keep sending your kid.

  27. Tabatha Terry

    My son took two rounds of the staar test
    Second time he passed the math but failed the reading . I am being essentially refused a GPC meeting until august. I told them that they are breaking the law just so they can go in summer vacation. They are under the impression that they have to wait until the third taking of the test in order to hold the GPC meeting
    Look, we moved from there directly after school was out due to we had already bought a house in a different city two hours away. I had already given them heads up two months prior as to relocating. And that I emailed the principal, the teachers and the coordinator all requesting the meeting before school was out and after the results from the first round. I was then told that they could do that meeting until the second results. Well guess what? I’m still waiting. Now they have told me that they aren’t under contract at the moment and wont be back in office until August due to going on vacation. Basically telling me it’s not their problem. My husband has given his info to the school here and is waiting to hear back from them. Problem with that is he just wants to see if our son can skip summer school but take the reading a third time. Bottom line is this. Isnt Abilene ISD breaking the law concerning the GPC meeting by refusing to have one. Like I said, I had already submitted to each of them in writing, I’ve been in communication, jumped through hoops and am continuously getting the run around. Any suggestions? Because I’m exhausted and stressed out. Oh and my son passed on his report card for fifth grade and has never failed a grade.

    1. admin

      They are required to hold a GPC to determine Accelerated Instruction. The GPC to determine promotion is not required until after the third administration, although if the parent waives the third administration, the school may, but is not required to, determine promotion at that point.

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