Preparing for the Two Week Online Window

Updated March 2021

Parents intending to opt out this spring by staying home during the assessment window need to be aware of the expanded window for online administration.  This year, the TEA expanded the window for online administration to two weeks for most STAAR assessments. (Note for 2021: The online window is now FIVE WEEKS).  The paper administration window continues to be one week.  Be aware that if you return your child on the second week, they may be set in front of a computer to complete the STAAR.   The TEA assessment calendar is available here.   We should also note that makeup exams are still a local option.  No school is required to offer any makeups or to offer them for the full period.  If you school decides to end all assessment after the first week, that is entirely within their rights.

Still, to prepare for the possibility of a two week online window, we have the following recommendations:

  1. ARD Parents Should Have Paper Administration Written into the IEP.  By making paper administration the only permissible method of assessment, you can assure your child is going to only have a one week assessment window to deal with.
  2. Work with school on refusal. If your school is willing to work with you, consider asking to refuse (preferably on paper) and return to class on the first makeup day of the assessment window.  Once your child has refused, they cannot administered the assessment in any other form.
  3. If your school does paper administration and won’t agree to facilitate a refusal as suggested above, consider same day refusal. The common refusal technique used by parents is to keep the kids home on the day of assessment and then refuse on a make up day.  This does open the kid up to individual targeting by teachers.  One option to limit this may be to attempt refusal on the first day of the assessment.  Because of the demands of test security and administration, there is much less a school can do if a student refuses in the assessment room.  Is your child capable of sitting there for the assessment and then turning in a blank assessment?  If so, this may be a better option than trying to refuse on a day when fewer students are being assessed
  4. Train Refusal Techniques. If the school is not cooperative, you may have to train your child to refuse.  For some students this is stressful, and it always is a chance for the school to try to force assessment against parental wishes.  If you go this route, I would suggest several strategies.  First, use the card and password system.  Second, inform the administration of your intention and try to obtain promises that they will not interfere.  If they can’t give you that promise, you need to think hard about going with this method.  Engage your district trustees about this issue and your expectation that the schools respect your decisions.

    Appropriate Refusal Techniques

    Paper Administration
    a. Do not bubble anything, write refused on the scoresheet and test booklet
    b. Bubble or more two ovals for each question

    Online Administration
    a. Page through to end and his submit, then confirm your intent to submit the assessment

  5. Withdraw for the entire assessment window. You have an absolute right to withdraw for the assessment period and re-enroll after the assessment window closes.  You can do that with every single assessment opportunity.


  1. Our district doesn’t do online administration. If they have access to the online system, they can still sit a returning student down in front of a computer during the second week.  Do not be lulled into a sense of security by the fact that the normal method of administration is not online.
  2. Bubbling all one answer or random answers or guessing wrong.  Any technique that results in marking one oval per question or submitting one answer per question online will have the effect of producing data that the school can rely on in prescribing accelerated instruction.  It is far easier to argue against this when there is no data, rather than data that could be real, even if it can be explained as being the result of purposeful protest.
February 22, 2019


March 30, 2021

Comments (12)

    • Good question. You should engage in homeschooling activities for those two weeks. You might try to talk to the teachers to see what they will be covering. If they are cooperative or sympathetic they may help you, but of course your child has no obligation to do or make up any work that is assigned when he/she is not enrolled.

  • I’m very green in this field. Can you please tell me what this sentence means?
    “ARD Parents Should Have Paper Administration Written into the IEP.”

    • If your child is in Special Education, his Individual Education Plan (IEP) is made by the ARD committee. As part of that process, the parent should demand that “Paper Administration Only” or “No Online Administration” be written into the IEP. This will keep them from using the longer, two week window to attempt to assess your child.

  • I will so the 2 week withdrawal will be hard. He’s 10 and has no where to go for 2 weeks doing the day hours. I would love to do this, I’m so sick of public schools!

  • My son is under the ADHD umbrella and may be persuaded to take it. I’m going to see if he can ride my school bus since he’ll be on vacation. Do I just tell them I’m Homeschooling for those 2 weeks?

  • I received this response last night after following all you steps. Not sure what I should do next.

    I have received your two letters. Unfortunately, state law is clear and Brooks Academies cannot accept or recognize either notice letters and state law does not allow us to reach agreement with you. Your child’s attendance is required under state compulsory attendance laws. If your child does not attend a testing or makeup testing date, it will be an unexcused absence. A student’s failure to complete and pass the STAAR exam may be considered as part of grade advancement decisions. Also note, we do not recognize dual enrollment in home school and the charter school. If it is your intent to homeschool, then that is considered a withdrawal from public school and we are required to honor such requests. I do not think that is what you intended to do when you sent the letter, so please clarify your intent.
    I may withdraw and reenroll…pls advise. Thank you.

    • Write them and say: “I do not know what you mean by “we do not recognize dual enrollment in home school and the charter school.” Is it your position that by enrolling in a taxpayer funded public charter school a parent loses the right to also instruct their child at home in subjects that may overlap your curriculum? Specifically, if I wish to provide religious education to my child in my home, and in so doing to instruct them in reading, writing, math, science and citizenship, I am only permitted to do so if I withdraw my child from you taxpayer funded charter school? Please respond in writing. I do not consent to withdrawal of my child involuntarily. “

  • Can you post the link to the TEA page that references the school district’s option to offer make up assessments, or that they have the flexibility to not offer for the full make up window? I received a response from one principal that was a bit ambiguous and I want to have references in front of me when I return the phone call. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Liked it? Take a second to support admin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!