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FAQs on Opting Out

​States are required by federal law to administer math and ELA (English Language Arts) tests to every public school student in 3rd-8th grade. However, it is your right as a parent to refuse these tests on behalf of your child.

  • How do I officially opt my child out of the state tests?

    • A parent/guardian will need to write a simple letter to our testing coordinator, Assistant Principal Halee Hochman at and be sure to CC your classroom teacher as well.

      • In this message, please...

        • State that you are choosing to opt your child out of the upcoming NYS exams

        • Include your child's first & last name, classroom teacher's name and class number.

        • Include your name and relationship to the student

    • Please note that you can refuse to have your child take specific exams or ALL state exams – so please be specific in your letter: name ELA, Math, Science, Field Testing* or ALL state exams.

      • *PS 29 is sometimes chosen to "test out" future state exams through additional "field testing."

    • Here is an example letter that you can copy and modify to fit your specific needs.

    • **Please submit your letters as soon as you can, so that the ILT is better able to create an instructional and staffing plan for testing days.**

  • What is PS 29’s official position on testing and opting out?

    • We are required to administer the State exams.

    • It is a family’s decisions as to whether or not they want their child to take the exams. Every child and family has their own unique circumstances that should be considered and respected. Families should do what they believe is best for their individual child and circumstances. 

    • If you are unsure about your decision, please reach out to your classroom teacher soon to have a conversation about it. 

    • In recent years, anywhere between 10% - 60% of PS29 students in grade 3-5 have opted out of the State exams. Nearly all students have opted out of field testing. 

  • What do students who are not taking the test do during the days of the test?

    • Once we have a better idea of opt out numbers this year, we will make an instructional plan for the school day. The sooner we know your child is opting out, the easier it will be for us to plan accordingly. 

    • Once the test is complete for that day, children will return to their classrooms.

  • How can this impact the middle school admissions process?  

    • District 15 implemented a plan to increase diversity in all D15 middle schools, which centers on a lottery-based, open admissions method with NO SCREENING (i.e. for academics, attendance, etc) and with admissions priority for certain groups. ALL district middle schools in D15 will now use this open admissions method, meaning they will no longer screen or select students based on their academic records. This means that both report card grades and state test scores will no longer be a part of middle school admissions decisions.    

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