May a parent exempt his/her child from the Standards of Learning assessments?

Posted by Dave Lyon on 9/13/2018

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. However, a parent may refuse to allow his/her child to take an SOL test.

If a parent refuses to have his/her student participate in one or more of the required Virginia assessments, the parent will need to send a letter or email stating that refusal to the school's principal.  Parents who refuse to allow their child to take the test need to be aware that their student’s state assessment score report will reflect a score of “0” for any test that is refused.