Superintendent’s Memo No. 247-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

September 5, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Additional Test Administration Dates for Paper/Pencil Spring 2015 Writing Standards of Learning Tests

The schedule for the administration of the 2014-2015 Standards of Learning (SOL) tests was published in Superintendent’s Memo No. 133-14 dated May 23, 2014. At the request of school divisions, additional dates for administering the paper/pencil versions of the Spring 2015 SOL Writing tests are being implemented. The additional dates may enable school divisions to set their paper/pencil writing test dates so they more closely align with their online writing test dates for Grade 8 and End-of-Course (EOC) SOL Writing tests administered in spring 2015.

Previously, all paper/pencil versions of the Spring 2015 Grade 8 and EOC SOL Writing tests were to be administered on the same dates statewide.  The paper/pencil multiple-choice component was to be administered on March 2 or 3, 2015, and the paper/pencil short-paper component was to be administered on March 4, 2015. All make-up tests and additional Term Graduate and Project Graduation tests were to be completed such that answer documents could be shipped no later than March 20, 2015.

The revised Spring 2015 Grade 8 and EOC SOL Writing test administration schedule instead offers school divisions the option to continue with the previously established paper/pencil writing test dates or to choose one of two new options for administering the paper/pencil writing tests in spring 2015. Overall, the three available options are detailed in the table that follows:

Spring 2015 Paper/Pencil SOL Writing for Grade 8 and EOC1, 2, 3        Revised: August 21, 2014
    Test Dates: Answer Document
Ship Dates:
Term Graduate & Project Graduation Paper/Pencil Multiple-Choice Component March 2 or 3, 2015 March 17, 2015
Paper/Pencil Short-Paper Component March 4, 2015
Option 1 Paper/Pencil Multiple-Choice Component March 2 or 3, 2015 March 17, 2015
Paper/Pencil Short-Paper Component March 4, 2015
Option 2 Paper/Pencil Multiple-Choice Component March 9 or 10, 2015 March 24, 2015
Paper/Pencil Short-Paper Component March 11, 2015
Option 3 Paper/Pencil Multiple-Choice Component March 16 or 17, 2015 March 31, 2015
Paper/Pencil Short-Paper Component March 18, 2015

1 Paper/pencil SOL Writing tests are to be administered only to students with a documented need for a paper/pencil test who were instructed under the 2010 English SOL OR students who were instructed under the 2002 English SOL and are retaking the EOC SOL test for verified credit.

2 Term Graduate and Project Graduation students completing paper/pencil EOC Writing tests must complete their 1st and 2nd test attempts in the test window labeled, “Term Graduate & Project Graduation.”

3 Each school division must select Option 1, 2, ­or 3 as the one window when all schools in the division will administer paper/pencil Grade 8 Writing tests and paper/pencil EOC Writing tests to students who are not Term Graduate or Project Graduation students.

School divisions should note that the writing test dates for Term Graduate and Project Graduation students have not changed in the revised schedule.  The online test administration dates also remain unchanged. An updated document, the 2014-2015 SOL Test Administration Dates, includes the revised paper/pencil writing dates (see pg 2 of 3) as well as all other 2014-2015 writing and non-writing test administration dates.

Division directors of testing will identify their division’s Spring 2015 SOL Writing test dates for paper/pencil and online writing tests between November 24 and December 10, 2014, when they provide their division’s SOL Participation Counts for the Spring 2015 Writing Test Administration. Based on the selected paper/pencil test window, Option 1, 2, or 3, specific sets of grade 8 and EOC paper/pencil writing prompts will be provided to the division for each school with students needing paper/pencil writing tests.

If you have questions regarding this information, please contact the student assessment staff at student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2102.

SRS/SLR/cb