News & Announcements
Reminders and Updates Regarding the Implementation of the 2018 Science Standards of Learning (Supt’s Memo 254-21-This is a PDF document.)
Schedule for Implementation
2021-2022 School Year- Crosswalk Year
- 2010 Science Standards of Learning and 2018 Science Standards of Learning are included in written and taught curriculum.
- Spring 2022 Standards of Learning assessments (state and federal mandated assessments for grades 5, 8, and EOC Biology) will measure the 2010 Science Standards of Learning and include field test items measuring the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
- Spring 2022 Standards of Learning assessments for Chemistry and Earth Science will not include field test items measuring the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
- Required third grade performance assessments may reflect either the 2010 Standards of Learning or the 2018 Standards of Learning. The VDOE Grade 3-5 Common Rubric to be used to score assessments reflects the Scientific and Engineering Practices in the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
2022-2023 School Year- Full Implementation Year
- Written and taught curricula reflect the 2018 Science Standards of Learning
- Spring 2023 Standards of Learning assessments for grades 5, 8 and EOC Biology will measure the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
- Spring 2023 Standards Learning assessments for Earth Science and Chemistry will measure the 2010 Science Standards of Learning. Students needing these assessments for verified credit should be provided instructional support that addresses any gaps between the 2010 and 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
- Required third grade performance assessments must reflect the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
- All Science SOL tests measuring the 2010 and 2018 Science Standards of Learning will include access to the Desmos Virginia Online Calculator beginning in spring 2023.
2018 SOL Test Blueprints
In preparation for implementation of the new assessments measuring the 2018 Science Standards of Learning, new science test blueprints have been developed for the grade 5 science, grade 8 science, and EOC Biology SOL tests. The new science test blueprints are available online at the VDOE Science Standards of Learning Assessment page. It is important to note that science assessments developed using the new blueprints will be administered for the first time in the spring 2023 SOL test administration.
Science Instructional Plans (SIPs)
The Science Instructional Plans are uploaded periodically into #GoOpenVA and can easily be accessed through the Science VDOE group. Find lesson plans for each grade level and discipline that were created to engage students as they build science conceptual understanding using the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.
Interested in receiving updates from the VDOE Science Instructional Team? Please register to be included in these bi-weekly updates.
The Science Standards of Learning identify academic content for essential components of the science curriculum at different grade levels. Standards are identified for kindergarten through grade six and for a core set of middle and high school courses – life science, physical science, Earth science, biology, chemistry and physics.
In addition to the standards, curriculum frameworks, enhanced scope and sequence guides, test blueprints and released tests, the following K-12 science instructional resources are available.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Learning in Place Science Resources
The Virginia Department of Education’s Science Team has compiled several Learning in Place Science Resources to assist teachers, parents and students during this unprecedented time.
Virginia Standards of Learning – Science Tracking Logs
Virginia Standards of Learning tracking logs for grades Kindergarten through Physics have been developed to assist teachers with determining which standards students have had sufficient exposure and experience with prior to the COVID-19 school closure on March 13, 2020 and to make decisions regarding when and how experience with new standards might occur moving forward. Each log includes space for teachers to check off the standards that had been addressed before March 13 (the initial school closure date), those standards addressed during the closure, and those which have not yet been addressed (by the end of the ‘school year’). In addition, the K-7 Tracking Logs contain links to content in the next grade level in an effort to assist divisions should they choose to fold in the content not taught into the next school year grade or course.
- Kindergarten-This is a Word document.
- Grade 1-This is a Word document.
- Grade 2-This is a Word document.
- Grade 3-This is a Word document.
- Grade 4-This is a Word document.
- Grade 5-This is a Word document.
- Grade 6-This is a Word document.
- Life Science-This is a Word document.
- Physical Science-This is a Word document.
- Biology-This is a Word document.
- Chemistry-This is a Word document.
- Earth Science-This is a Word document.
- Environmental Science-This is a Word document.
- Physics-This is a Word document.
Science Inquiry from Home
The Science Inquiry from Home resources provides K-5 teachers and parents ideas for providing aligned, hands-on, science learning experiences at their current setting, The documents are aligned to the expectations within the 2018 Science Curriculum Framework and provide experiences using low-cost, widely available materials. All activities conducted at home should be supervised by an adult.
- Kindergarten-This is a Word document.
- First Grade-This is a Word document.
- Second Grade-This is a Word document.
- Third Grade-This is a Word document.
- Fourth Grade-This is a Word document.
- Fifth Grade-This is a Word document.
2018 Science Standards of Learning: Science and Engineering Practices
The Science and Engineering Practices reflected in the 2018 Science Standards of Learning describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate the natural world and the practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.
Science utilizes observation and experimentation along with existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and engineering technologies to answer questions about the natural world. Scientists investigate the natural world with skills that include systematic observation, measurement, and experimentation as they formulate, test, and modify hypotheses.
Engineering employs existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and technology to create, design, and develop new devices, objects or technology to meet the needs of society. Engineers apply science and mathematics as they engage in the Engineering Design Process. Useful resources for the Engineering Design Process can be found at:
The 2018 Science Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework includes science and engineering practices that are directly connected to science concepts. They are located within the Essential Knowledge and Practices and identified with a leaf bullet (). By utilizing both scientific and engineering practices in the science classroom, students develop a deeper understanding and competences with techniques at the heart of each discipline.
Professional Development Support Videos
In order to support teachers and divisions as they implement the 2018 Science Standards of Learning, professional development opportunities as well as ancillary resources are being created.
The 2018 Science Standards of Learning of Learning Curriculum Framework
Scientific and Engineering Practices in the 2018 Science Standards
Introduction to Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs)
The Engineering Design Process
Third Grade Science Common Rubric
Performance assessment measures subject-matter proficiency, requires students to apply the content and skills they have learned, and should present opportunities for students to demonstrate acquisition of the “Five C’s” – critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and citizenship – described in the Board of Education’s Profile of a Virginia Graduate.
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish expectations of what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects. The SOL in certain disciplines support Environmental Literacy explicitly and in others implicitly. Environmental Literacy offers connections to the Virginia Standards of Learning, school programs in action, teaching resources, grant programs, and more.
Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education recognizes Green Ribbon Schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates.
2019 Deeper Learning: Using the 2018 Science Standards of Learning to Support Instruction
The PowerPoints below were generated to support the 2019 Deeper Learning Science training. These resources are available to teachers and divisions to assist in personal and division led professional development.
- General Introduction to the 2018 Science Standards of Learning-This is a PPT presentation.
- Grades 3-5 Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
- 6th Grade and Earth Science Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
- Life Science and Biology Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
- Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics Presentation-This is a PPT presentation.
Teaching & Learning Resources
- ESS Sample Lesson Plans – Align instruction with the 2010 Science SOL by providing examples of how the knowledge, skills, and processes found in the SOL and curriculum framework can be presented to students in the classroom. Science Instructional Plans to support the 2018 Science Standards of Learning are anticipated to be released in August, 2010.
- Science and Engineering Progression: Kindergarten through 5th grade-This is a Word document. – The Science and Engineering Practices Progression chart identifies grade level expectations for each of the six practices as students progress through elementary school.
- Science and Engineering Practices Progression K-12-This is a Word document. - The Science and Engineering Practices Progression K-12 chart identifies grade level expectations for each of the six practices as students progress through elementary school and high school.
- Science Standards of Learning Crosswalk between 2018 and 2010 Standards-This is a Word document.
- Addressing Climate Change Using the Virginia 2018 Science Standards of Learning-This is a Word document. - This document summarizes student performance expectations from the Virginia Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework, and excerpts from the Content Guidelines that pertain to climate change.
- Project PROMISE – Hands-on, problem-based, inquiry-based K-3 science curriculum and related professional development resources.
Middle & High School School
- Virginia BIOSTEM Resources – The Virginia BioSTEM Resources project offers middle and high school educators a range of bioscience and technology resources they can use with their students.
- Energy in Virginia Guide (PDF) – Curriculum guide and supporting materials related to the Grade Six Science Standards of Learning energy standards.
- Using Significant Digits in Chemistry (PDF) – This technical assistance document provides some basic rules for determining significant digits and using significant digits in calculations.
- Technology Sparks, Ideas for Teachers: Integrating Technology with the Virginia Standards of Learning (PDF) – Resources and suggestions for incorporating technology into sixth-grade science, life science and physical science.
- VDOE Safety in Science Teaching (2018)-This is a Word document.
- Manuals available from ACS Chemical Science Safety in the classroom include:
- Safety in the Elementary Classroom (Grades K-6)
- Chemical Safety for Teachers and Their Supervisors (Grades 7-12)
- Guidelines and Recommendations for the Teaching of High School Chemistry (Grades K-12)
- Manuals available from OSHA Laboratory Safety Documents include:
- Laboratory Safety Guidance
- Chemical Hygiene Plan Fact Sheet
- Working with Small Animals Quick Facts
- CDC School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide
- Manuals available from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries include:
- Wildlife in the Classroom: What is Required to Display Wildlife in the Classroom
- Elementary & Secondary Wildlife Display Reporting Form
- Safety Observation Tool (Word)
- Science Safety Self-Assessment Checklist (Word)
- SOL Practice Items – Practice items provide examples of the new content and increased rigor of the 2010 Science SOL.
- Released SOL Tests – Released SOL tests in all subjects.
- Science SOL Test Blueprints – Much like the blueprint for a building, a test blueprint serves as a guide for test construction. The blueprint indicates the content areas that will be addressed by the test and the number of items that will be included by content area and for the test as a whole. There is a blueprint for each test.
- Ancillary Test Materials – Includes Periodic Table of the Elements
- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.
- Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST)
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- Virginia Science Education Leadership Association (VSELA)
- National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA)
- Meaningful Watershed Experience – The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, signed by Governor Terence McAuliffe on June 16, 2014, commits the Commonwealth to meet the goals and outcomes set forth in the multijurisdictional compact. The education Goal and Outcomes of the Agreement extend to all localities and watersheds of the Commonwealth and the target of environmental literacy for all students by graduation. One goal is to continually increase students’ age-appropriate understanding of the watershed through participation in teacher-supported, meaningful watershed educational experiences and rigorous, inquiry-based instruction, with a target of at least one meaningful watershed educational experience in elementary, middle and high school depending on available resources. These experiences connect standards-based classroom activities with hands-on field investigations. The following resources will assist teachers in meeting this requirement:
- Bay Backpack– Chesapeake Bay watershed-related lesson plans and activities, field studies, and professional development opportunities
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation – SOL-aligned curricula and professional development
- Department of Game and Inland Fisheries – wildlife and fisheries resources for students and teachers
- Science Museum of Virginia – information for planning field trips to the museum
- Science Museum of Western Virginia – educational programs for students and professional development for teachers in grades K-12
- Virginia Department of Forestry – conservation education information for students
- Virginia Living Museum - information on activities in the museum and outreach programs
- Virginia Museum of Natural History – information on professional development opportunities for teachers and resources for students including Virginia Science Standards Institute and Virginia Science Institute for STEM Education information and materials
- Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program – information on the commonwealth's official environmental education school recognition program
- Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom – educational program to increase agricultural literacy in grades K-8
- NASA – space-related educational resources for teachers and students
- Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching – information on the highest recognition that a K-12 mathematics or science teacher may receive
- Virginia Junior Academy of Science – information for programs and competitions for the advancement of science in grades 7-12