Fall Growth Assessments
Per 2021 legislation, students in grades 3-8 are required to be assessed in math and reading three times annually. In the fall and winter, students are administered growth assessments. These tests in conjunction with Standards of Learning tests are utilized to determine student growth. In the 2021-2022 school year, students will only be assessed two times- in the fall and spring. The fall growth assessments provide valuable information detailing a student’s strengths and weaknesses in the applicable subject area.
Standards of Learning(SOL)
In Virginia, students enrolled in public schools participate in the state assessment program. Standards of Learning tests are administered to students in grades 3-8 and for select high school courses. Generally, these tests are given online. Any student who is administered a paper test must have a documented need. In grades 3-8, sol administration occurs in the spring. At the high school level, students can be tested in the fall, spring, and summer.
- 3rd Grade-Reading, Math
- 4th Grade-Reading, Math, Virginia Studies
- 5th Grade-Reading, Math, Science
- Middle School
- 6th Grade-Reading, Math
- 7th Grade- Reading, Math
- 8th Grade-Reading, Math, Science, Civics, Writing
- High school
- Reading, Writing
- Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II
- Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry
- World History I, World History II, VA & US History
SOL Title I Notification-On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) was signed into law. Section 1112(e)(2) of ESSA states that parents of students in Title I schools have a right to know about state or division policies regarding student participation in any assessments mandated by ESSA, including any policy, procedure, or parental right to opt students out of such assessments.
All students enrolled in Virginia public schools are expected to take the applicable state tests. The Virginia Board of Education Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia state:
“In kindergarten through eighth grade, where the administration of Virginia assessment program tests are required by the Board of Education, each student shall be expected to take the tests” and “each student in middle and secondary schools shall take all applicable end-of-course SOL tests following course instruction” (8VAC20-131-30).
The Virginia regulations do not provide for what is sometimes referred to as an “opt out policy” for students regarding the Virginia assessments. If parents refuse to have their student participate in one or more of the required Virginia assessments, they should be aware that their student’s state assessment score report will reflect a score of “0” for any test that is refused.
VAAP- Students who participate in the Virginia Alternative Assessment Program must have documented significant cognitive disabilities. Students in grades 3-8 complete an online assessment in the spring for math and reading. In alignment with the Federal requirements for testing, students in grades 5, 8, and 11 are assessed online in Science. For writing and history, students complete a collection of evidence (COE) to demonstrate achievement of standards which have been modified in complexity and length. Writing is assessed in grades 5,8, and 11 while history is assessed in grades 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11. The collection of evidence is submitted by the student’s teacher and evaluated in the spring.
Access For ELLs 2.0- As required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA), a school division must measure the English language progress of all English learners in grades K-12. Students are administered the Access for ELS 2.0 test every year in late winter or early spring.
Local Alternative Assessments-The 2014 General Assembly eliminated Standards of Learning assessments in Grade 3 History, Grade 3 Science, Grade 5 Writing, United States History to 1865, and United States History: 1865 to the Present. As a result, local school divisions were required to measure student achievement with local alternative assessments which include performance-based assessments.