Students Will Take Another SOL Starting this Fall

Some students will take a state-mandated fall Standards of Learning assessment beginning this year, in addition to the existing spring SOL and three yearly Measures of Academic Progress Assessments, which will be used to compare student growth during the year and across different years.

State legislation passed in March 2021 requires the Virginia Department of Education to create and implement the fall growth assessments that are aligned with the Standards of Learning. As with the spring iteration of the assessment, parents have the option to opt of the fall testing.

These new assessments will be phased in over the course of the next two school years, beginning with the administration of math and reading assessments to elementary and middle school students this October. Kindergarteners and second graders are not administered the assessments, though.

School Board members expressed concern over the additional testing at a meeting of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee on Tuesday.

“The test taking in elementary is a big stress on all children… five exams is just too much,” School Board member Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn) said.

The MAP assessments are governed and used by the school district as a “universal screener,” and, according to school district officials, provide a better understanding of students’ mastery of a subject than the state-mandated tests do, making them invaluable tools for teachers to understand their students. The MAP assessments are used for students until high school. High Schoolers take iReady Assessments three times a year as a universal screener.

Ryan Tyler, the district’s Director of Research, Assessment, and School Improvement, explained that the MAP assessments are indispensable, and reducing testing by eliminating MAP assessments is not a viable option.

“We are able to project a student’s path from 4th grade, to see whether they’re on a trajectory to be college-career ready by 11th grade. We have longitudinal data points. We’re able to see, are they staying within that path of a student at the 60th percentile? Are they losing ground with a long-term perspective?” Tyler told the committee.

Changes to the data provided by SOLsbeginning this year might just offer a solution to the frequent testing; Ashley Ellis, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, said that if the “growth SOLs” provide adequate data, it would be possible to consider eliminating the MAP assessments.

Board member Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) pointed to the collective learning loss students suffered during the pandemic, which was evidenced in the spring SOL results. The October test date, Serotkin believes, won’t give teachers enough time to understand where students may have knowledge gaps. Ellis responded that teachers will rely on the fall MAP assessments, which are administered beginning on Sept. 7. Ellis acknowledge the lofty task that teachers will face as they return to classrooms full-time, for the first time since March 2020.

“We have already started with school leaders talking about how to address schooling loss from a global perspective… Helping leaders be able to support their teachers when they return,” Ellis said.

Teachers returned to schools on Wednesday to prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, which begins on Aug. 26.

5 thoughts on “Students Will Take Another SOL Starting this Fall

  • 2021-08-19 at 2:59 pm
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    ah the day or reckoning for the school administrators and board for their decision to close the schools, i can’t wait to see the results of the SOL. Still no explanation as to how the private schools were open when the public schools were not.

  • 2021-08-19 at 6:28 pm
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    The explanation why private schools stayed open is that their goal is profit not safety. There were numerous classes being sent into quarantine during the peak. Being private they had no obligation to report any of it or care about the safety of their teachers or students. If you’d been paying attention you’d know this already but I suspect you’re here just to throw shade.

    • 2021-08-20 at 11:36 am
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      The goal of private schools is to educate.
      It’s supposed to be the goal of public schools as well, but that’s something that was discarded long ago by LCPS.

      Are you suggesting that private schools were somehow able to circumvent mandatory reporting? That they have special arrangements with labs to conceal positive tests? If you have proof of that, you should definitely reveal it ASAP.

  • 2021-08-19 at 7:24 pm
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    “The October test date, Serotkin believes, won’t give teachers enough time to understand where students may have knowledge gaps.”
    Here is a hint. You closed Loudoun schools for almost a year. The kids really didn’t learn anything from a laptop. Well, you taught them to fear a virus that impacted less than .05 %.

    You have a ONE YEAR KNOWLEDGE GAP, SEROTKIN.

    Since everyone supports “peaceful” protest….what would happen if our school kids participated in their own protest and all of the FLUNKED the SOL’s ON PURPOSE?

    What would happen if parents encouraged all ages to flunk on purpose to send a clear message that Loudoun education is BROKEN?

    FYI to parents. SOL scores mean NOTHING to your kids actual academic rankings/scores.

  • 2021-08-19 at 7:57 pm
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    An additional test are these morons so clueless as to see the pressure this puts on kids in a current situation so packed with pressure that they want th o pile on. I look forward to their next pathetic move to hold teachers accountable for attendance.

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