State Assessment Opt-Out Procedures

Information for Spring 2021

Updated March 2021


Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pa. Code (22 Pa. code 4.4) provides for the right of any parent/guardian to excuse his/her child from the state assessment if, upon inspection of the testing materials, he/she finds the assessment to be in conflict with his/her religious beliefs. This is the only basis under Chapter 4 rules for a parent/guardian to excuse his or her child from the statewide assessments.

The protocol for request for exclusion from the State assessment is as follows:

  • Parents who feel that the assessment may be in conflict with their religious beliefs must contact their building principal to set up a time to meet and review the assessment.

  • Assessments will be available for review by parents and guardians. The assessment must be reviewed on district property and district personnel must be present at all times. Districts must provide a convenient time for the review (see below).

  • Parents and guardians must sign the Parent Confidentiality Agreement. Parents and guardians may not photocopy, write down, or in any other manner record any portion of the assessments, including directions. 

  • If after reviewing the test parents/guardians find the test to be in conflict with their religious beliefs and wish their student(s) to be excused from the test, the parents/guardians must provide a written request that states the objection to the Superintendent. 

  • If the student is excused from the assessment due to parental request, the school personnel will provide an alternative learning environment and/or assessment for the student. Students opted out of the assessment due to parental request will not negatively affect the individual child.  The school’s participation rate can potentially have a negative impact on the school’s accountability status.

Important Dates

  • The 2021 PSSA testing window begins Monday, May 3, 2021.

  • Tests can be viewed from April 12-23, 2021.

  • No opt-outs will be accepted after April 26, 2021.


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