MIDDLE ISLAND - Longwood Central School District invited parents to the middle school Saturday morning to talk about the controversial Common Core curriculum.

School officials said they hoped parents came away with the knowledge and resources to help their children understand the new system better.

Parents upset with the curriculum changes protested outside the building. They say students who opt out of the standardized tests are not given other school work to perform during that time period. They say they disagree with Longwood’s so-called “sit-and-stare” policy.

Dr. Phyllis Ryan, Longwood’s assistant superintendent, says no such policy exists and “sit-and-stare” is a distortion.

Common Core has been adopted in 45 states and education officials say it is meant to emphasis critical thinking and deeper learning.

Parents across Long Island have said the new approach has left their children confused. News 12 spoke with two fourth-grade boys who say the new challenges are frustrating.