No 'sit and stare' in Lynbrook, East Rockaway

Students who opt-out of state tests can read books


As the English Language Arts portion of the state assessments for third through eighth graders draws nearer, Lynbrook parents who are planning on having their child or children opt-out of the tests received some welcomed news on March 12.

Superintendent Dr. Melissa Burak read a prepared statement at this month’s board meeting to inform parents that students who opt-out of the assessments will be moved to a separate classroom where they will have the option to read a book during the testing periods.

“Students in the non-participation testing room will not physically take the test,” Burak said.

“Children will be spending the entire time allotted for their grade level in either the testing or non-participation testing room to which they have been assigned,” she added. “Regular activities will resume at the end of the testing period when children return to the regular classroom.”

During previous school board meetings this year, parents asked administrators to allow students who opt-out of the tests to have the option to read a book instead of the “sit and stare” option.

East Rockaway administrators were fielding comparable requests this school year and announced a similar policy. Students who do not participate in the assessments will have the option to read a book, Superintendent Lisa Ruiz said, but whether those students will read in a separate room or in their normal testing room will be determined once the district gets a better idea of how many students are opting out.

Administrators in East Rockaway led a forum last week about the state assessments where district personnel outlined its responsibilities and informed parents of their children’s options.

“It’s important to know how they feel,” Ruiz said, “but parents also have to understand that we, as a public school, are bound by the regulations and we need to adhere to those procedures. We’re trying to make the best out of this situation.”

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