P.O. BOX 2120
April 20, 2001
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Jo Lynne DeMary
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Update on History and Social Science Standards of Learning

The Virginia Board of Education adopted revised History and Social Science Standards of Learning on March 23, 2001. The PDF version of the document is available on the Department of Educationís website ( The History and Social Science Standards of Learning Teacher Resource Guide is currently being reviewed and revised to reflect the new standards. The completion of a draft resource guide is anticipated in May 2001. Following Board of Education review, the draft resource guide will be available for public comment. Adoption and distribution of the resource guide is targeted for June 2001.

A limited number of printed copies of the new standards will be provided to school divisions by June 30. The primary distribution method for the standards and the resource guide will be electronic (Internet and CD-ROM) and in PDF and WORD versions.

The Board of Education plans to discuss the implementation schedule for the newly revised History and Social Science Standards of Learning at its monthly meetings in May and June. The implementation schedule will address the revision of Standards of Learning assessments and the timeline for administering the tests that are fully aligned with the newly adopted standards. As the Board of Education discusses issues dealing with implementing the standards and revising assessments, we will keep you informed.

The Department of Educationís goal for the implementation schedule will be to allow teachers at all levels, beginning in the fall of 2001, to focus instruction on as much of the content in the newly revised 2001 History and Social Science Standards of Learning as their school divisions consider to be feasible.

Recognizing that curriculum alignment efforts require planning, time, staff development, and resources, school divisions should begin to

Beginning in the fall of 2001, teachers should provide, at a minimum, instruction in the Standards of Learning content common to both the revised 2001 standards and the 1995 standards (i.e., content in the 2001 SOL that was carried forward from the 1995 SOL and included in the corresponding 1995 SOL assessment blueprint). The remaining curricular content for a grade level or course could be drawn from the 1995 standards, the 2001 standards, or a combination of the two sets of standards.

If you have questions about Standards of Learning implementation, please contact Dr. Patricia I. Wright (, assistant superintendent for instruction, at 804-225-2979. If you have questions about SOL assessment, please contact Cam Harris (, assistant superintendent for assessment and reporting, at 804-225-2023. If you have questions about content in the revised standards, please contact Dr. Beverly Thurston (, specialist for history and social science, at 804-225-2893.