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A Parent's Guide to Virginia's Standards of Learning Program

— State: Virginia Department of Education
Updated on Dec 19, 2011

Testing, Standards of Learning (SOL) & Achievement

The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools describe student learning and achievement expectations in grades K-12 in English, mathematics, science, history/social science, technology, the fine arts, foreign language, health and physical education, and driver education.

These standards represent a broad consensus of what parents, classroom teachers, school administrators, academics, and business and community leaders believe schools should teach and students should learn.

Annual assessments – including SOL tests, the Virginia Alternative Assessment Program (VAAP), Virginia Grade Level Alternative (VGLA) and Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP) – provide information on individual student achievement including those with special needs.

SOL assessments measure student achievement in English, mathematics, science and history/social science. Students are assessed in English and mathematics in grades 3-8 and at the conclusion of certain high school-level courses. SOL tests in science and history are administered in grades 3, 5 and 8 and at the end of high school-level courses in these subjects. Some students may take tests at other grade levels based on the school’s curriculum.

You can find more information about testing and Standards of Learning at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/index.shtml

Standards of Learning Assessment Results

Virginia's accountability system supports teaching and learning by setting rigorous academic standards and through annual assessments of student achievement. These assessments include SOL tests and other measures of student achievement, including alternative assessments taken by certain students with disabilities and children with limited English proficiency.

You can find more information about SOL Assessment Results at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/achievement_data/index.shtml

Released Tests

 

VDOE releases sample sets of Standards of Learning (SOL) tests that were administered to Virginia public school students during the previous spring test administration. The released tests are not inclusive of all SOL tests administered during the previous year; however, the tests are representative of the content and skills assessed.

You can find the released tests at:

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/index.shtml

How Can Parents Help?

  • Read aloud to your child, beginning at an early age.
  • Require regular attendance in school.
  • Encourage good study habits.
  • Be familiar with the curriculum associated with your child’s classes and grades.
  • Talk to your child about what he or she is learning in specific subjects.
  • Expect homework of some kind to be done every night.
  • Set aside a specific time for homework.
  • Ask questions about your child’s homework.
  • See that your child brings home and reviews class notes and other work done in school that day.
  • Help your child balance study time with recreational time.
  • Think of activities your child can do at home that relate to information being taught in school.
  • Help your child apply his or her school learning to real-life situations in the news or life.
  • Emphasize the importance of high academic achievement. Let your child know that you understand that tests may be challenging, but that taking them provides the opportunity to show how much he or she has learned.
  • Be supportive and encouraging.
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