August 19, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Change in Standards of Learning Test Opportunities Available to Project Graduation Students

As referenced in Superintendent’s Memo No. 133-16, Project Graduation is now a formula-funded program from the Virginia General Assembly for school divisions to assist students in meeting graduation requirements. Students eligible to benefit from Project Graduation funded activities are those who have received passing grades for a standard credit-bearing course but, in a previous Standards of Learning (SOL) test administration, have failed the required SOL assessment needed to earn a verified credit toward the completion of their diploma requirements.

Prior to fall 2016, students participating in Project Graduation were eligible for additional SOL test opportunities on an end-of-course SOL test similar to Term Graduate students or those students attempting to graduate at the end of the year. Beginning in fall 2016, students participating in Project Graduation who are not also Term Graduate students will be eligible for one test opportunity per end-of-course SOL test in the test administration. In a non-writing test administration, if the student is not successful on the test but meets the expedited retake criteria, the Project Graduation student will then be eligible to complete an expedited retake.

Note that Project Graduation students who are also identified as Term Graduate students will be eligible for the additional SOL test opportunities afforded to Term Graduate students. The specific definition of a Term Graduate differs by SOL test administration. Please refer to the current SOL Test Implementation Manual for specific details regarding Term Graduate students.

If you have questions regarding assessment opportunities for Project Graduation students, please contact student assessment staff at student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-2102.

Further information regarding Project Graduation is available on the Virginia Department of Education’s Web site. If you have questions or need further information regarding Project Graduation funding, please contact Kim Powell, grants and reports manager, Office of Science and Health Education, Virginia Department of Education at Kim.Powell@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 225-3609.

SRS/SLR/cb