Losing My Summer or My Electives? False Choice!

This video is a wide ranging discussion of the scope of HB 4545, the provisions regarding accelerated instruction, the limits placed on schools and the parental right to refuse/opt out of AI under Education Code sec. 26.010.

May 25, 2022


May 25, 2022

Comments (21)

  • What if I already agreed to the ratio waiver for the summer? Can I change my mind, I hadn’t seen this video before and am now just realizing what I did. My son has adhd and now will be in that ratio I shouldn’t of signed off for, but I felt pressured in the IEP meeting. They were saying they didn’t have enough teachers to not do the waiver.

    • Hi,
      This is a similar situation that happened to us! Mine is in the 504 program and when we had a phone meeting they told me he has to take summer school or lose an elective. We went for the first day of summer school (Katy ISD) and it was a complete disaster and my son’s name wasn’t on the list which he was signed up for. I had to pick him up from school. I have emailed and tried to contact them with no response or help. I’m so tired of this. He has good grades but it’s horrible at testing! Is there something I can do to get him out of this? I have read a lot of the information I’m just afraid bc I said ok to summer school I can’t get him out now. Any information to help us would be greatly appreciated!!

      • Hello Hilary. My daughter also attends Katy ISD school also in the 504 program. Did you have any additional issues with your son electives for the new coming year? Thank you.

  • I received letter following our no participation in STAAR as anticipated.
    We are given two items to make choices on.
    1) waiver of 3:1 ratio – that was easy, check no.
    2) choose an option (a) son will attend summer school to begin required intervention time – obviously a no. OR (b) “not attend summer school & complete intervention during school year, possibly during or in place of an elective.”
    I downloaded the summer opt out letter and understand one will be produced for the Fall, but since this letter already states the Fall requirement (& I couldn’t believe it actually said in place of an elective) do I draw through that statement and only address summer school? Make a note that we decline both?

    • Do not waive.
      Send summer opt out letter.
      Don’t return the other form.
      Send the fall opt out letter when ready!

  • My daughter’s school has not yet sent out a letter offering the STAAR summer hours of accelerated learning but they have sent us a letter of test retake dates for summer. She is high school level. Do we simple just send the opt out letter for test retakes?

  • My son is in elementary. His principal said if i chose to not send him to summer school then they would use his study hour during the school year. Since he doesn’t have electives can this be opted out of? I’ve read and read but it doesn’t specify.

    • I don’t know what you’ve “read and read” but this site is pretty clear (as is the TEA) that you can opt out of AI.

  • Amanda Moss Warncke

    I LOVE your video!!! Thank you so much for all the extremely helpful information!!! I am a fighter and already familiar with our schools grievance processes and I am ready to take this on! My son is 504 dyslexic and Has full accommodations yet they did not give him the option to read the passages or answer choices (3rd grade reading ) so he inevitably failed and I was told at 8am the second to last day of school that I have a “meeting” ( never mentioned if it was an aRD) at 3:15pm that same day because he didn’t pass. I was not prepared and actually was removing my child early that day from school and told them that’s not a good time for me and the teacher offered a phone call which I accepted because I honestly had no clue what the issue was or that House bill 4545 existed and I am kicking myself for not doing research sooner because laws and bill and fighting these types of things I am usually pretty good at and I went into this phone call with no information. I was out on speaker phone with principal teacher and counselors on the phone call similar to an aRD but I was never told it was an ARD . They explained that he would have to do a week of summer and the 30 hours And if he did not do the week in summer that he would have to do before after school. I work nights in the medical field and he does not get to school until it begins and he is part of a gymnastics team that sometimes I pull him early from school just to be at his extracurricular activity after school. So I verbally agreed to the summer school and verbally agreed to waiving the ratio because they presented it to me as a reading camp that they were trying to make fun for the kids and when I asked do I have a choice they told me no. Now after researching and seeing your fabulous video I do not want to send him. Especially when I believe that they gave him the wrong type of star test anyway (should have been Staar A with him being 504 ) but at this point this was his first star test and I want to refuse all going forward. So they said that they would email me the paperwork to sign they never emailed it and they sent it home with him on the last day of school of course I have not signed and have not returned any of the paperwork but since I verbally agreed to it is that binding or can I still return and opt out letter for the summer? I was hoping since I had not signed anything that what I said verbally did not matter plus it was somewhat under duress anyway as I was driving with my children in the car and I was almost forced to take this phone call that day. Basically does my agreement in whatever phone call that was mean that I cannot send my opt out for summer now???? I will send an opt out letter for Summer and then I will wait and send the one for the before and after school instruction but do I send that a couple weeks before school starts or wait till school starts.
    I feel terrible and am so mad at myself that I did not find the site sooner and I thank you wholeheartedly for helping all parents with your information!

  • Amanda Moss Warncke

    Just talked to counselor she was very accommodating and I have an ARD scheduled for the beginning of the school year to address the 30 hours but she said it definitely can be taken care of there 🙂 They seemed more than willing to allow me to opt out !!! Thank you so much for this video you have no idea how it helped me with my conversation and how it out this momma at ease!! Bless you!!

  • Has the Fall letter been released? I just got a call and they demanded I make Decision right now over the phone . I told them I was against the star and didn’t want him to do in school or after school: I said I had to speak with his father .

    • Ma’am, it is the very first letter in the Forms and Resources section of the site. There is a link t it on the front page.

  • I only recently learned of opting out. My son has attended Connections Academy through Houston I.S.D. for two years now. He just completed middle school but due to financial hardships, he missed the tests this year. (Testing center was almost a hundred miles away on four separate days). He was given summer tutoring which he attended. Now, the principal has informed me is forcibly withdrawing him. I can’t imagine this being a legal practice and am unsure of both our rights and how to proceed from here. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • You chose a charter school. They can pretty much kick you out for any reason you wish. Connections is owned by the same company that makes STAAR. Do you really think they will say OK to people skipping their precious test? Going with a charter school means agreeing to whatever terms the private entity running that school comes up with. Your right to free public education is found in your home district on the assigned campus. Past that, you are a guest of whatever special setting you ask for.

  • First I did not know that I could opt my child out until the pediatrician suggested it. My son is now going to be a sophomore who has had many issues for many years. He has a sezuire disorder, touretts, ADHD, anxiety and recently through the school testing with the special Ed director has been diagnosed with Autism. We’ve know for a long time that he had it. He failed English STAAR test last year and the retest over the summer. A few weeks ago is when the Pediatrician said I could opt him out. Since he will be in Special Ed this next year, can I still opt him out even though he’s taken it twice already? We have an ARD tomorrow due to them wanting to put him in the 3:1 class again this year like he was last year. These test are so stressful on him and interfere with his health issues.

    • Yes he can opt out. In the ARD you should be looking for an agreement that he will attempt once and that graduation will be based on credits and progress toward goals.

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