COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P.O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO NO. 132
September 21, 2001

INFORMATIONAL
 
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Fall Standards of Learning (SOL) Test Administrations

 

A number of school divisions have asked if they are required to offer students the opportunity to participate in the fall administration of the SOL tests. The Standards for Accrediting Public Schools require students to earn verified credits to graduate with a standard or advanced studies diploma beginning with those students classified as ninth graders in 2000-01 [8VAC 20-131-50]. Based on this regulation, it is the responsibility of each school division to provide students who need verified credits to graduate (the class of 2004 and beyond) with the opportunity to participate in each test administration designated by the Department of Education.

Please note that while there may be local requirements, there is no state requirement that a student retake every failed SOL test. Students must be counseled as to the applicable requirements for verified credit for graduation and must be afforded the opportunity to retake any failed SOL test in order to meet those requirements. Of the twelve available high school SOL tests, students need to pass only six of them to receive a standard diploma or nine to receive an advanced studies diploma. In addition, the Board of Education has provided a high degree of flexibility in meeting this requirement in the years through 2006 and through the use of substitute tests.

At this time, the Department authorizes three test administrations each year for the SOL end-of-course tests summer, fall, and spring. School divisions must plan to give students these test administration opportunities.

If you have questions, please call the Division of Assessment and Reporting at (804) 225-2102.

JLD/SLR/GT/jc