COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 178
November 20, 1998

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Standards of Learning (SOL) Test Enrollment Request Forms

 
  The Department of Education is in the process of determining
  the number of SOL test booklets and answer documents needed
  for the spring 1999 administration. While the Department
  will use the 1998 fall membership counts to estimate the
  number of test booklets and answer documents that are needed
  in most situations for grades 3, 5, and 8, we need
  additional information regarding the following:

  1.      The number of students needing to take SOL high
            school tests. In addition to students enrolled
            in credit-bearing courses, you may have
            students who fall under the SOL test graduation
            requirements (class of 2004, current seventh
            graders) who have previously failed a SOL test
            and need an additional opportunity to retake
            the test and earn a verified credit. 

  2.      Your decision on giving the grades 5 and 8
            History and Social Science SOL tests to
            students in grades 4 and 7, respectively. The
            Board of Education voted on October 28 to allow
            school divisions the option of giving the
            grades 5 and 8 History and Social Science tests
            to students in grades 4 and 7, respectively
            (see Informational Supts. Memo. No. 171, dated
            November 20, 1998).  Please note that for
            school divisions exercising this option, fourth
            and fifth graders would take the grade 5 SOL
            test in the spring of 1999. Likewise, for
            school divisions exercising this option,
            seventh and eighth graders would take the grade
            8 SOL test in the spring of 1999. In subsequent
            years, only fourth and seventh grade students
            would be tested in school divisions exercising
            this option.  Please note that school divisions
            must elect this option on a divisionwide basis,
            rather than on a school-by-school basis. 
            School divisions may elect to exercise either
            or both of these options.

  3.      Students taking grade 8 tests prior to grade 8.
            Beginning with the spring 1998 administration,
            students in grade 7 or below, who are expected
            to take a credit-bearing course in grade 8 for
            which an SOL test is required, may take the
            grade 8 test at the end of grade 7 or below. 
            This will eliminate the student having to take
            two SOL tests in the same content area at the
            end of grade 8.  

  The SOL Test Enrollment Request forms have been sent under
  separate cover to your designated division director of
  testing (DDOT). Instructions for completing these forms are
  included in the mailing to your DDOT. A sample form and a
  set of instructions are included with this memo. For your
  reference, a copy of Informational Superintendent's
  Memorandum No. 39 (Approval of Courses to Satisfy Graduation
  Requirements), dated March 6, 1998, is enclosed. 

  It is important that this enrollment information is accurate
  and that it is forwarded to the Division of Assessment and
  Reporting no later than December 11, 1998. We appreciate
  your time and effort in providing this important
  information.

  Should you have questions or need additional assistance,
  please phone Kevin Hughes in the Division of Assessment and
  Reporting at (804) 225-2102.

  PDS/KH/jc

  Enclosures:     A hard copy of this memo and it attachment
                  will be sent to the superintendent's
                  office.