Important SOL Information - FAQ

Rock Ridge HS Spring 2021 SOL FAQ Parent Resource

Why are we giving SOL tests this year when we didn’t last year?

It's important to understand that administering SOL tests is not a local decision. LCPS is complying with state and federal legislation (ESSA).

In March 2020, Virginia public schools closed for the duration of the school year. Virginia was able to acquire a waiver from the United States Department of Education which freed LCPS from having to administer federally mandated assessments in Reading, Math, and Science. Virginia also issued a waiver which freed LCPS from having to administer state mandated assessments in Writing and History. To aid students in graduating or remaining on track to graduate, VDOE implemented emergency guidelines that allowed school divisions to award a locally-awarded verified credit to students enrolled in a high school level course at the time of the closure who passed the course/demonstrated mastery. Through this process students earned a verified credit without having to take an SOL test.

This year, schools are not closed and the United States Department of Education is not providing states a waiver. We must administer federally mandated assessments, regardless of the instructional model that LCPS is currently using, hybrid or distance learning.

What are the diploma requirements for students in grades 9-11?

Students in grades 9-11 pursuing either a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma require 5 verified credits. A verified credit is earned when a student passes a class and the associated end-of-course SOL test.

Advanced Studies Diploma or Standard Diploma Requirements for 9th-11th Graders

(Applies to Class of 2022- Class of 2024)

5 total verified credits:

Earned through these courses:

  • 2 English (reading & writing)

  • English 11

  • 1 math

  • Algebra 1, Geometry, or Algebra 2

  • 1 science

  • Earth Science, Biology, or Chemistry

  • 1 social science

  • World History 1, World History 2, or Virginia & United States History

Transfer students may have different requirements. Please see diploma requirement information from the Virginia Department of Education.

Understanding Your Child’s SOL Test Requirements

What does “Test Required for Verified Credit” mean?


This SOL is required to earn a verified credit. A verified credit is earned when a student passes the class and the corresponding SOL test. If you would like to delay earning this verified credit until the 2021-2022 school year, please complete the parent refusal form.

What does “Test Required for Federal Accountability” mean?


This SOL test is required to meet federal accountability requirements. Your child has already met the verified credit for this content area, but this test is federally mandated.

The Virginia Department of Education reports student pass rates from this SOL test to the United States Department of Education to meet federal requirements; therefore, Virginia school divisions must offer students the opportunity to participate in this SOL test. If you would like to refuse this testing opportunity, please complete the parent refusal form.

What is a “Performance Based Assessment (PBA) for Verified Credit” for my child’s history course?

In lieu of an SOL test, your child will complete two end-of-course Performance-Based Assessments (PBA) through their history class. Students will also need to demonstrate content mastery by earning passing scores on other instructional work, and pass the course to earn a locally awarded verified credit.

How will I know if my child has to take an SOL test?

Students may or may not be required to test based upon the need for verified credits to meet diploma requirements or federal accountability requirements from the US Department of Education. If your child is enrolled in an SOL course, and does not need the test for diploma requirements or federal accountability, then your child will not be required to test.

All students and parents will receive an email on Friday, March 12th with their child’s specific SOL requirements for this school year.

I would like to refuse testing for my child. How do I inform my child’s school of this decision?

LCPS recognizes that this has been a challenging year for students, and they may not feel prepared to take an SOL test or be comfortable with the in-person testing requirement. Parents have the right to refuse testing for their children. Please complete the LCPS Parent Refusal form and indicate which tests you are refusing within the form.

Will completing a parent refusal form impact my child’s course grade?

A refusal will not impact your child’s course grade or progression to the next course. However, if you refuse a test required for verified credit, this will delay your child’s testing to the next school year.

Will my child have to test in-person if we chose 100% distance learning for the second semester?

Yes, all SOL tests will be administered in-person, as required by the Virginia Department of Education, regardless of whether a student selected hybrid or distance learning for the second semester. LCPS has implemented rigorous health mitigation strategies to ensure the safety of students and staff while we meet these assessment mandates. In-person testing will be conducted using health screening forms and temperature checks, as well as mandatory mask wearing, frequent sanitization, and hand washing.

I have questions that were not answered here. Where can I find more information?

For more information related to SOL testing, visit the LCPS Assessment Office website, or contact Rock Ridge’s school testing coordinator, Katie Blessing, or Leigh Bennett, LCPS Assessment Services Supervisor.