Spring 2021 SOL Testing Update

  • Overview

    The Virginia Board of Education (VDOE) established the Standards of Learning (SOL) as minimum expectations for learning in a course of study.  Virginia's accountability plan requires public school divisions to administer SOL assessments in specific subjects (English, Math, History, and Science) and grade levels each year as part of school accreditation and to meet federal testing requirements.  The US Department of Education has notified states it is still requiring public schools to administer assessments in reading, math, and science this school year, but has afforded states flexibility in how state assessments may be administered.  VDOE is requiring students to take SOL tests under assessment conditions, which means they must take the SOL tests at school under the supervision of school personnel.  However, VDOE will allow students in grades 3 through 8 who are a 100% distance learning (virtual) to take Virginia's new state growth assessment remotely if the child's parent has refused to allow the child to take the SOL test at school due to COVID-19 concerns (see below for more info).  


    Grades 3 through 8 SOL Tests

    Students in grades 3 through 8 will take the grade level reading and math SOL tests.  The science SOL test will be administered in grades 5 and 8.  Schools will administer SOL tests at school between mid-April through May 21, 2021.  Each school will notify parents and students of specific testing dates.  Expedited retakes for students in grades 3 through 8 will not be offered this school year.  Manassas City Public Schools (MCPS) will utilize locally developed alternative assessments in lieu of administering the Grade 4 Virginia Studies SOL test, Grade 8 Civics and Economics SOL test and the Grade 8 Writing SOL test. VDOE offered this flexibility to school divisions to help mitigate concerns about COVID and SOL testing.

    Students who are attending school in-person will be tested on days they attend school.  Students who are distance learners will be scheduled to take the SOL test at school and will receive communication from the school regarding specific dates and times.  Virginia does not allow parents to opt their children out of SOL testing, but parents have the right to refuse testing.  If a parent is not comfortable with sending their child into a school for SOL testing because of concerns related to COVID, the parent may refuse to allow their child to take the SOL test.  Refusal to test will not negatively impact a student’s course grade or grade promotion, and it will be reflected on the student’s SOL score report as a refusal. If a parent of a student who is a 100% distance learner refuses to allow their child to take the SOL test, arrangements will be made for the child to take Virginia's new state remote progress test from home.  Please note, the parent must contact their child's school and inform them of the refusal so the remote test session can be made available. 


    High School End-of-Course SOL tests

    EOC SOL tests are required for federal and state accountability and to satisfy graduation requirements.  When a high school student passes an EOC SOL test, it is referred to as a “verified credit”.  Verified credits are required for graduation.  High school students must take the EOC SOL test this year if they are enrolled in a SOL tested course and need to earn the verified credit for graduation.  Again, parents have the right to refuse to allow their child to take the EOC SOL test.  If a parent refuses to allow their child to come into the school building to take an EOC SOL test, the child may take the EOC SOL test during a later administration window.  The administration windows occur during the summer, fall, and spring each school year.    

    VDOE has given flexibility to school divisions to locally award verified credit in lieu of passing the EOC SOL test, but the student must meet the eligibility requirements.  A link to the eligibility requirements is stated below: https://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2021/041-21.pdf