• Assessment Refusal

    Section 1112(e)(2) of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) requires divisions that receive Title I, Part A, funds to notify parents of students attending Title I schools that the parents may request information about any state or division policy regarding student participation in required assessments.

    On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) was signed into law. Section 1112(e)(2) of ESSA states that parents of students in Title I schools have a right to know about state or division policies regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by ESSA, including any policy, procedure, or parental right to refuse to allow students to participate in such assessments. If you would like to receive information about this topic, please contact your child's school.

    All students enrolled in Virginia public schools are expected to take the applicable state tests. The Virginia Board of Education Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia state:

    “In kindergarten through eighth grade, where the administration of Virginia assessment program tests are required by the Board of Education, each student shall be expected to take the tests” and “each student in middle and secondary schools shall take all applicable end-of-course SOL tests following course instruction” (8VAC20-131-30).

    The Virginia regulations do not provide for what is sometimes referred to as an “opt-out policy” for students regarding the Virginia assessments. If parents refuse to have their student participate in one or more of the required Virginia assessments, they should be aware that their student’s state assessment score report will reflect a score of “0” for any test that is refused.

    Right to Know

    On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 was signed into law. Section 1112(e)(B)(ii) of the law states that any school that receives Title I funds must inform parents if their child is assigned a teacher for four or more consecutive weeks who does not meet applicable state certification or licensure requirements at the grade level and subject area in which the teacher has been assigned.

    Teacher Licensure 

    On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law. Section 1112(e)(1)(A) states that as a parent of a student receiving Title I funds, you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the classroom teachers instructing your child. Federal law requires the school division to provide you this information in a timely manner if you request it.  Specifically, you have the right to request the following information about each of your child’s classroom teachers:

    • Whether the teacher has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction.
    • Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status because of special circumstances.
    • Whether the teacher is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification or degree he/she received
    • Whether paraprofessionals provide services to your child and, if so, their qualifications.

    If you would like to receive any of this information, please contact the principal at your child’s school.

    VDOE Website for Teacher License Queries