Interpretation's Date: January 12, 2001
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: IV. Students

January 12, 2001

Steve Baldwin
Greenbrier County Schools
P.O. Box 987
Lewisburg, WV 24901

Dear Mr. Baldwin:

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated December 15, 2000 relative to the amount of involvement of parents in the decisions of curriculum and testing of their children. You advised that the Accelerated Reading Program utilized in your system constitutes approximately 30% of the students' reading grade.

In particular, you asked:

1. Can a parent tell an elementary school that his or her child will not participate in any curricular program such as the "Accelerated Reading Program", and if they can tell us what their child will or will not study, are we forced to use material from their personal library to teach their child?

It is the county's responsibility to determine the grading policy and a school/teacher decision to define what constitutes a grade within each course. The Accelerated Reading Program appears to be a strong motivation to read program. Motivation to read is one of seven necessary dimensions of a strong, balanced elementary reading program and it may be appropriate to evaluate the amount of weight given to each dimension in assigning a reading grade. In those evaluations, it may appear that one dimension would not have more weight than another without reasonable explanation.

Furthermore, you asked:

2. Also, can any parents tell us their child will or will not participate in the state required testing program?

Steve Baldwin
January 12, 2001
Page 2

It is strongly recommended that every attempt be made to convince parents of the importance of the testing as it relates to sound instructional decisions for the child. In the case that the parent would continue to be opposed to the assessment program, the county should request that the parent submit a written request to have the student dismissed from the testing process. An original of this written request would be given to the school principal with a copy to the county superintendent.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am,



David Stewart
Superintendent of Schools



Back to Superintendent's Interpretations Home