NEW YORK (PIX11) — Elementary and middle school students in New York City will not be required to take state exams this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city Department of Education announced Tuesday.

Schools will offer the end-of-the-year ELA, math and science exams to all students in Grades 3-8 regardless if they are learning remotely or in-person, however, the DOE said those who choose not to participate will not be penalized. Additionally, exam results for children who do take the tests will not be used as part of student evaluations.

The state is requiring all exams be held in-person at school buildings regardless if a student is enrolled in an all-remote learning program, according to the city DOE. Remote testing will not be available.

In order for schools to plan for the health and safety of students and staff during test administration, parents who want their child to take the exams will need to sign up with their school. Schools will communicate with families about sign-ups and test scheduling, according to the DOE.

Students who do take the exams will find that the ELA and math tests are multiple choice-only. The science test for Grades 4 and 8 will include multiple choice and short-written answers.

This year’s ELA and math exams—normally held over two days—will each be administered in one session to facilitate health and safety protocols related to the pandemic.

Schools will schedule each exam within the following windows provided by the DOE and notify parents of the date and time:

  • ELA: April 19 to 29
  • Mathematics: May 3 to 14
    • Note: No testing May 13
  • Science: June 7 to 11
    • Note: No testing June 8

If a classroom is closed on the school’s testing date, students from that class will receive an alternate date and time to take the exam within the same testing window. If the classroom does not reopen within the testing window, students will not be tested, according to the DOE.

Parents who wish for their child to participate in testing must notify their school by the following dates:

  • Grades 3 to 8 ELA: April 15
  • Grades 3 to 8 Math: April 29
  • Grades 4 and 8 Science: May 28