March 2016

Dear Rocky Point Parents and Guardians:

As the time for administration of the NYS assessments draws near, a number of parents and guardians have requested information regarding how the district will address the issue of students not taking these tests, often referred to as “opting out.” Let me state that the district firmly supports parental engagement in the education of their children, including the important issue of the administration of the NYS assessments. As a district we will seek to honor requests regarding these assessments while complying with State Education Department (SED) regulations.

To address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this matter, as well as reported changes to the assessments, below you will find responses to these important questions.

I have heard that the ELA and math assessments have been changed this year. What changes have been made to these assessments?
In January, 2016, the New York State Education Department reported certain changes to the 2016 grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments. Information regarding these changes may be viewed via the following link: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/2016/changes2016grades3-8ela-math-tests.pdf

If I don’t wish to have my child take the test(s), what should I do?
Parents and guardians who do not want their child to take the NYS assessment(s) may utilize the online form found by logging into the eSchool Parent Portal (copy and paste this link: https://parentportal.eschooldata.com/) or send a letter indicating this request to their child’s principal.

On the days of testing how will my request be honored?
If you have previously submitted a letter indicating your request to your child’s principal, on the days of NYS testing your child will be assigned to an appropriate location within his/her school. Although we are required to present each student in attendance on the testing days with an exam, upon refusal the exam will be removed and your child will be permitted to read quietly.

Does my decision to “opt out” negatively impact my child’s education at Rocky Point UFSD?
No, the district will ignore the absence of a NYS assessment score in determining advancement, placement or access to advanced courses (GATES, AP, honors, accelerated classes, etc.) and support services (AIS, ICARE, Summer SHARP, etc.).

Will my child’s education beyond Rocky Point UFSD be impacted if he/she does not participate in the assessments?
Although we cannot say how other public schools will handle the absence of an assessment score should you move to another school district, the NYS assessment scores are not part of documentation necessary for college and careers and will not be a factor for those aspects of your child’s future.

Since these are just several of the most common questions we have received, if you have additional questions please feel free to contact your child’s principal.

Sincerely,
Michael F. Ring, Ed.D.

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