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I’ve been asking for opt-out stories and here is one that takes the cake:
SBAC Sit-In: aka The Opt Out Lounge at STEM
by Hannah Danforth
West Seattle’s Louisa Boren STEM K-8 school just wrapped their first round of SBAC testing for fourth and fifth graders this week. STEM’s staff was extremely supportive of those students who Opted Out. Tutors gave up their classroom during the week in order to accommodate our supervised, student led choice time. We wanted the Opt Out experience to be more than just refusing the test and sitting silently in the office all day. So, parents of these students got together and donated games, art supplies and engineering activities.
All the Opt Out students at STEM are intelligent and quite computer savvy, they would probably fare well on the SBAC and they know it. Yet, they also have a clear understanding that what they’re doing is important and they’re proud of themselves for taking a stand.
The groups, interestingly enough, are made up of kids who might not normally find themselves in the same social circles. We play games as a large group or engineer a giant marble run, organically developing better ways of communicating and problem solving while bridging social gaps that may have existed before.
A parent volunteer of a fourth grade student kept the kids engaged with art projects, reading time, engineering challenges and a walking field trip to the Delridge Public Library. With the support of STEM’s parents and staff, the “Opt Out Lounge” has been a very successful experience.
Go STEM Seattle!
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