Makeup Day – Return to Class Request

Update for 2016: The TEA manuals now clearly direct schools to accept refused assessments and submit them for scoring.  They also clearly permit return to class once an assessment (refused or otherwise) is turned in.  For that reason we have revised the Return to Class request to include references from the TEA manuals.

There has been a great deal of discussion recently suggesting that parents must or should keep their child out of school on the assessment day and on all makeup days.  This approach may be necessary if the school insists on assessing your child despite your refusal.  However, many schools have recognized that such an approach is punitive and that it makes no sense to force a kid to “sit and stare” at an assessment they refuse to take.  Those schools have permitted children to refuse the assessment and return to regular classes.  This letter can be used to request that common sense approach from your school.



  1. Jeanann Goss

    If you are at school refuse the test it is scored and if you stay home it isn’t. That is the only difference I can see.

  2. Ann Merrill

    How effective is the do not score letter? My school will not accept it. Has anyone been successful with it? My school has been told by the TEA that there is no other way to mark the assessment other than S for scored when the child refuses a test.

    1. admin

      Yes,the TEA is instructing the district to engage in data manipulation. We discuss this in an article on this site. They are going to score a refused assessment with or without the letter. By sending the letter, you preserve your rights to contest the scoring, to seek corrections pursuant to FERPA, to demand the letter be placed in your student’s records, and to document the data falsification in the event someone reports a violation of criminal law for data falsification.

      I have no illusions that the letter will make the TEA do the correct thing. It will preserve parental rights and leave the door open for later challenges.

      If any parent is afraid of refusing assessment because of a scored refusal, I think that is a totally misplaced fear that is exactly what the TEA is intending to provoke. They hope that there are some adults out their who are fearful of something in a “permanent record.” It’s nonsense. When was the last time you were asked about your grade school standardized test results?

      1. EI

        This is the first time I opt my 4th grader. The school said she can’t comeback till next week because they have make up days. They say if she goes back she has to take the test. She wants to go back cus her class have been working on a assignment and they get to. Work on them after testing day. If the students that finish it Friday gets a reward. So she is upset about that. 🙁

        1. admin

          Look at the form for return to class request. Take it to the school in person and try to get them to act like civilized adults. It is a procedure created by Austin ISD. Totally legit.

  3. Emily

    I wrote to the School District asking that my child be allowed to return to school on make up days and was informed that if he shows up on those days as well they are required by law to administer the test. It doesn’t seem to me that they are willing/able to allow him back. Very frustrating.

    1. admin

      They are absolutely able to do it. Dozens of districts do just that. Ask them if they would prefer that you keep him home and home school those days or that he just sign refuse on the assessment and go on to class.

      1. Robert

        How can a student go to class if all the students are in testing?? There are not regular classes on STAAR testing days. Even if he we to not take the test, he would still have to sit by himself for 4 hours. Any suggestions?

  4. Neal

    Admin you are forgetting, the 3rd graders are doing thee test in their class so you can’t just write refuse on the test and go back to class,
    here is a fact, the state of Texas Bonds all Teachers, Principals and Superintendents , the TEA fails to mention even the schools attorneys are also Bonded thru the state of Texas…I didn’t have to argue with the principal or administration or superintendent, I told them they work for me I don’t work for them, they do what I say I don’t do what they say, I also added that they are bonded thru the state of Texas and that bond isn’t placed for their benefit but in placed for my security Knowing they will perform their abilities to the best of their abilities and cause no un-needed stress on the children for whom they are hired to teach, I told them that I would pull their bonds place a claim and they would be removed from their positions til such time the claim is resolved or I drop it, a Bond is a insurance policy, same as if you had a car wreck you submit a claim, but in this case they are causing mental anguish and other related stress’s on the children, and trying to manipulate and bullying the children til they disobey the parents and undermining the parents authority and parent Rights, this explained as reason for claim and claim is enough to warrant an investigation from the bond company, this also suspends the person that is bonded from duty til such time the matter is resolved..when you tell them and TEA and the schools attorney that you are going after their Bonds,,,Lets just say my daughter isn’t taking the test because her Dad has all 9 editions of the blacks Law dictionaries and several current trust law books,
    I refuse to be bullied or have my daughter threaten in any way fashion or form, however the schools preach against bullying but yet they are the biggist bullies of them all………..

    1. admin

      First, not every third grader tests in class. Schools decide their own testing arrangements. Second, all the bond stuff is pure nonsense. I am glad it worked for you, but no school attorney would be the least bit intimidated by it. I agree with you 100% that schools are bullies and that when parents stand up to the bullies they can win. Good luck!

    2. Kelly

      Did you even read this? The 3rd grade tests are administered over the course of two days, usually a Monday-Tuesday. Wednesday-Friday are considered make-up days, and because they fall within the testing window, the school is obligated to try and administer the test. This letter is for the make-up days, to allow the child to go back to class, where the children who have already tested are.

      1. Gail Ann Babbitt

        Kelly, at our school they test in class. All of the teachers are moderating the tests. There is no class to return to. They are all obligated to remain in that room until everyone is finished testing. I don’t know how your school is.

  5. Gail Ann Babbitt

    My grandchildren are in Cypress Fairbanks ISD. This past year, I opted out my 7th grade grand daughter from the STAAR. She is an A student who has severe test anxiety. She has never failed a Staar, but this only adds to her anxiety. The pressures from the teachers and school administrators (I don’t care why they are pressuring these children, I really don’t) are reprehensible. It is my duty to protect her from these unreasonable expectations. She is 12 years old.
    She just asked if she is going to have to take the Staars in 8th grade, of which there are many.
    I told her that it is up to her, and that I will support her and help her through it no matter what she decides, and gave her my favorite phrase: “The only thing we HAVE to do is die someday.”
    The Staar is nothing but a money maker for those who write and distribute and score it. It is worthless, both to the children and to their future. If more of us would refuse, they would have to get rid of it. It only serves to humiliate, deter, and cause emotional pain.

  6. admin

    I wrote a year ago, and I quote “I only update when there are changes needed. If the form is still here, you can use it”

  7. Stacey

    My concern with this letter is I do not want my child to even have to write refused on the test during make up days, it feels like losing the battle. He could have just done this on day one of testing. I want him to have a no score not a 0 scoring. I have an 8th grader this year, last year he stayed home on those makeup days, per school stating they would administer to him. Now that he is in 8th grade his class grades will be looked at harder when it comes to opting out of STAAR and missing days will put him at disadvantage, especially with this two week window this year.

    1. admin

      Then refuse or just take the assessment if you are so scared of a “zero”. For the life of me, I don’t know why parents care about a fraudulently generated score on a meaningless assessment. And nobody gets a zero.

      1. Stacey

        It’s not being “scared”, it’s the negative effect placed on my child in the now. I am not concerned of any long term anything, because I know it will never matter again, aside from deciding whether or not to place into 9th grade.

        Today is testing day, I presented an Opt-out letter to principal. I received a phone call where I was told, “If he does not take it we will have no way to measure his ability, leaving him at risk to be retained.”
        I said “I am aware that a grade placement meeting will take place and he will not be retain over this test” and she says “that is a campus decision not yours have a great day” and hung up on me.
        Last year, when he was in 7th grade, I given all smiles on the decision to opt-out. What is it about 5th and 8th grade???

  8. Vannessa

    My 7th grader has been 100% virtual all year. He was “absent” on STAAR writing day (I called in an excused absence). On STAAR make up day, he virtually attended class all day as usual (Zoom meetings, quizzes, the works). I received a notice from the attendance clerk today that he had an unexcused absence because he did not come to school for STAAR make up. Should we just take the unexcused absence and move on? Should we request a note be added to his file that he was actually present in case there’s a truancy issue? Is the school following the law and coding this correctly? Thank you in advance!

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