BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A large number of sophomores and juniors at Bridgewater-Raritan High School opted out of the PARCC test this year, according to Assistant Superintendent Daniel Silvia, presumably because it is not required for their graduation.

“This is a direct result of the New Jersey Department of Education’s attempt to offer a plethora of ways to meet the graduation testing requirements,” he said.

Most freshmen, Silvia said, took the test.

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According to the NJDOE, students in the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019 are not required to take the PARCC test to graduate because there are a number of other avenues to meet testing requirements, including achieving certain scores on the SAT.

The class of 2020, which is this year’s freshmen, must prove that they have taken all PARCC assessments associated with high school level courses they took, and received valid scores.

“Freshmen are required to take, though not pass, the test, and as such, it seems our numbers are strong,” superintendent Russell Lazovick said. “However, the message has seemingly also gotten out that upperclassman do not, and, as such, we have had a large number opting out.”

In the high school, Lazovick said, a total of 830 students refused the PARCC test.

In the lower grades, a smaller number of students opted out in each school. For the middle school, a total of 18 students opted out, eight in seventh grade and 10 in eighth grade.

In the intermediate schools, a total of 18 students opted out, 11 in Eisenhower and seven in Hillside. Finally, in the elementary schools, a total of nine students opted out, one in Adamsville, two in Crim, one in Hamilton and five in John F. Kennedy.