Superintendent’s Memo #048-16

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

March 4, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: All Standards of Learning (SOL) Tests Transitioning to TestNav™ 8 Test Delivery Software beginning in Fall 2016

Previous Superintendent’s Memoranda  No. 234-15, dated September 18, 2015, and No. 294-15, dated December 11, 2015, communicated to school divisions that beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the online Standards of Learning (SOL) tests typically administered in elementary schools (Grades 3 through 5 Reading and Mathematics, Grade 5 Science, and Virginia Studies) and in middle schools (Grades 6 through 8 Reading and Mathematics, Grade 8 Science, and Civics & Economics) will be administered via new online test delivery software called TestNav 8.  This new test delivery software supports the use of additional devices (e.g., Google™ Chromebooks, Apple iPads®, Android™ tablets), including touch-screen devices while continuing to support the use of Microsoft Windows®-based and Mac OS®-based workstations for the delivery of online SOL tests.

The purpose of this memo is to announce that, due to recent technology industry changes, all online SOL tests will be transitioned to the TestNav 8 test delivery software during the 2016-2017 school year. Beginning with the fall 2016 test administration, online SOL tests typically administered in middle schools (Grade 8 Writing, Grades 6 through 8 Reading and Mathematics, Grade 8 Science, and Civics & Economics) and in the high schools (all End-of-Course Writing, Reading, Mathematics, Science, and History tests) will be administered to students in TestNav 8. The online SOL tests typically administered in the elementary grades will be administered in TestNav 8 beginning with the spring 2017 administration.
 
For school divisions to become familiar with the TestNav 8 delivery system in advance of the fall 2016 test administration, the existing SOL practice items and tools on the VDOE Web site will be made available in TestNav 8 no later than summer 2016.  These practice items will serve as an introduction to the new online navigation, online tools, item formatting, and overall functionality and appearance of TestNav 8.  To allow school division staff to experience the technical changes and updated system requirements of TestNav 8 prior to fall 2016, a TestNav 8 Infrastructure Test will be available in the PearsonAccess Training Center along with a TestNav 8 System Check application. School divisions will be notified when the TestNav 8 practice items are available on the VDOE Web site and when the TestNav 8 Infrastructure Test and System Check are available for use.

It is important for all school division staff to be aware that all online SOL tests will continue to be administered in the existing TestNav 7 delivery system during the spring 2016 and summer 2016 test administrations.  If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff by e-mail at student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.

SRS/cb