COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

PRINS. MEMO NO. 22

March 2, 2004

ELEMENTARY / MIDDLE / SECONDARY

TO:

Principals

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Online Reading Tutorial

 

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce statewide availability of the Online Standards of Learning (SOL) Tutorial for English/Reading. The tutorial was successfully piloted during the fall and winter of 2003 2004 as part of Governor Warners Project Graduation initiative. All schools may now enroll seniors who have not yet passed the English Reading/Literature and Research (RLR)SOL assessment. Superintendents Informational Memo No. 36 dated February 13, 2004, contains the attachments referred to in this memorandum.

The tutorial is designed to determine student academic needs through an online assessment and tailor Web-based lessons to those needs.  Upon completion of all recommended lessons, students will take a final online assessment. When students successfully complete the final assessment, they will be well prepared for the English RLR SOL examination. Students may review tutorial lessons and retake the final online assessment until they and their teachers are confident the student is prepared for the SOL assessment.

Although students may engage in lessons from home or school, each school must provide a facilitator to serve as a mentor and guide to enrolled students. Facilitators should be endorsed English instructors. Facilitators will have access to student accounts, will monitor student progress, and offer individual guidance. Designated facilitators must complete a hands-on training program. Princeton Review will offer several regional training sessions as well as online training. The department highly recommends that the student to facilitator ratio should not exceed 10:1.

Specific Enrollment Criteria:

Tutorial enrollment for spring 2004 is open to all Virginia public school seniors scheduled to graduate in the spring or summer of 2004 who have not yet passed the English RLR SOL assessment. If the demand for tutorial enrollment statewide exceeds the total number available, positions will be pro-rated based on data collected from Project Graduation surveys returned by school divisions. School divisions may enroll additional qualifying students if necessary. The Department of Education strongly encourages schools to enroll all qualifying at-risk seniors, to take advantage of this excellent opportunity.

The tutorial will be open to qualifying rising seniors during the summer and fall 2004, based on spring SOL assessment results.

Each student, parent or guardian, facilitator, and school principal must agree to and sign the attached participation agreement to be kept on file at the school.

Student Registration:

Attached is an EXCEL spreadsheet that must be completed and e-mailed to Princeton Review for acceptance. Instructions for completing the spreadsheet and list of school identification numbers are also attached. E-mail completed spreadsheets to VATutorial@review.com. Incomplete spreadsheets will not be accepted.

The e-mail with attachment to Princeton Review must contain the following:

From field: Must contain a mailbox that can receive an e-mail reply. This e-mail address will receive newly created usernames and passwords, as well as any data error reporting.

Subject field: This field should include school or school division name and date. Example for Amherst County: AmherstDivision-02152004

Body of e-mail: Please include the following:

School or division name (no spaces, Example: AmherstDivision)

 

Contact name and phone number:

Princeton Review will e-mail usernames and passwords to the designated facilitator within three to five business days.

The Department has arranged with Princeton Review to provide live regional facilitator training sessions during the first three weeks of March. These two-hour hands-on sessions will demonstrate tutorial features, enhancements, and best practices from the pilot.

 

Training dates and times:

 

March 3: Bethel High School, 1067 Big Bethel Rd, Hampton. Take I-64 to exit 261 A (Hampton Roads Center Parkway). At the light, take a left on Big Bethel Rd. The school is located 1/4 mile on the right 3 p.m.  5 p.m.
 

March 10: Roanoke County School Administration Building 5937 Cove Road, Roanoke. Cove Road is immediately South of I-81 Exit 141 off Rte. 419 3 p.m. 5 p.m.

 

March 15: James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th Street, 18th floor, Richmond 3 p.m. 5 p.m.

 

Space is limited at training sites. Please call (800) 246-8736 to confirm attendance.

 

In addition, on March 24 Princeton Review will provide training through Web Ex. If your facilitators would like to participate in this training, please send an e-mail to JaimieR@Review.com to register. In order to participate, there must be a computer and phone available for the facilitator.

 

For more information contact Greg Weisiger, (gweisige@mail.vak12ed.edu), associate director,

teleproduction at (804) 692-0335, or Tracy Robertson,(troberts@mail.vak12ed.edu) English specialist, secondary instruction at (804) 371-7585.

 

PIW/MH