SUCCESS! School Sends Opt Out Form for Signature

From CG

My son is in 4th grade at Jim Ned Lawn Elementary School (Jim Ned CISD).  I became aware of the possibility of opting out of STAAR when he was at the end of his 3rd grade year.  I dove in doing as much research as I could and joined Texans Take Actions Against STAAR on facebook.  In February 2023, I emailed the first opt out letter to the school including the principal, counselor and all three of his teachers.  A little over a week later I received a telephone call from the school admin office.  I received the standard lecture about how opting out is not an option, he has to take and pass the STAAR to graduate, if he is at school we have to make him take it, you can’t keep him home because the testing window is 17 days and that would put him over his limit of missed school days, his teachers really feel he can pass this with no issues.   I explained that I have no doubt that my child can pass the staar but that has nothing to do with our decision for him not to participate.  I advised her to please put all of this in writing and send it to me and that she was actually incorrect on multiple things she listed and needed to do some research before calling anyone else on this subject.  A few weeks went by and crickets.  I had heard nothing from the school.  So on April 5th I emailed the follow-up opt out letter this time to the same people but including our school superintendent.  A week to the day later I received an email from the principal with an attachment.  The attachment was on school letterhead asking for my signature with information they needed to make sure I “understand” for opting my child out.  the standard you must submit a written request to exclude your child; you understand your child’s test will be marked as “s” which will result in the lowest possible score; performance on staar/eoc assessments are required by TEC;  HB4545 specifies they are required 30 hours of accelerated instruction per subject (I added at the end that it is required the school offers it not that we have to accept); and the score your child will receive as a result of you choosing to exclude them will hurt the campus and district’s state and federal accountability ratings.   I have signed and returned the school’s CYA letter and honestly feel like this wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be.  Staar for our kids start next week and run for the next 17 days.  I fully expect to hear from my child that they didn’t push it.  He has been instructed and we have been preparing daily for him to politely refuse and if anyone gets ugly to call me.  But I’m truly not expecting any issues from this point forward.

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4th grade, Jim Ned ISD, opt out

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