Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Opt Out of Specific Instruction

In Pennsylvania parents have access to review curriculum, academic standards, instructional materials and assessment techniques. Any instruction that a parent finds objectionable can be opted out of per the below PA Law.  

Some examples are:

  • Test prep for PSSA and/or Keystone exams
  • Keystone elective/remedial classes and/or the Project-based assessment for students graduating in 2015 and 2016
  • Sex education, ‘new’ or non-traditional math, history topics, science (creation/evolution)

This is the PA law that allows for opting out of instruction:

PA School Code Chapter 4.4(d)(1)(2)(3):

(d) School entities shall adopt policies to assure that parents or guardians have the following: 
(1) Access to information about the curriculum, including academic standards to be achieved, instructional materials and assessment techniques. 
(2) A process for the review of instructional materials. 
(3) The right to have their children excused from specific instruction that conflicts with their religious beliefs, upon receipt by the school entity of a written request from the parent or guardians. 
This means if a parent has objections to a class or instruction, they may opt their child out for religious reasons.  No statement describing the religious is necessary.
This opt out of instructional materials applies to ANY instruction parents wish to opt their student out of.

Sample letter (may be used in whole or part):
Dear Principal/Superintendent,

Pursuant to Pennsylvania Code Title 22 Chapter 4, section 4.4 (d)(1)(2)(3) I am hereby exercising my right as a parent to have my child, [ NAME ], excused from [specific instruction] because of religious and philosophical beliefs.



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