Why test? Aside from the fact that it’s required, limited testing can be useful.
Virginia Testing Program
In Charlottesville City Schools, we participate in the Virginia Assessment Program, which includes required assessments in certain subjects at various grade levels. The program includes readiness testing for kindergarteners, PALS testing in elementary schools, and Standards of Learning (SOL) testing in grades 3 through 8 and in certain high school courses. In most cases, these SOL tests are written assessments, but the state is now also accepting some project-based assessments in certain areas.
|ACCESS for English Language Learners (ELLs)||State-required annual assessment to determine the language progress and proficiency of English Language Learners.|
|Advanced Placement courses give students the chance to try college-level work in high school. Information on exam dates, college and university policies on AP credit acceptance, and more can be found on the College Board website.|
(Assessing Math Concepts)
|AMC assessments focus on the concepts of counting, comparing, number composition and decomposition, place value, addition and subtraction, and beginning multiplication and division. For PreK-1st grade only.|
|Brigance Preschool Screen II||Brigance II is a widely-used screening tool for 3-year-olds. It provides a norm-referenced snapshot of children’s language, motor, social-emotional, and early learning skills.|
(Devereux Student Strengths Assessment)
|A standardized, strength-based assessment that measures the social and emotional competence of students. Because Clark and Greenbrier Elementaries have been piloting this work, additional assessments are taken at those schools.|
Division Term Assessment (Quarterly)
|Division-created assessments to determine student understanding of quarterly and cumulative standards of learning content.|
(Measures of Academic Progress)
|Nationally norm-referenced, skill-based assessment in English and mathematics. Given in fall and spring to document student growth.|
(Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for Pre-K, 1-3 and Plus)
|State-provided universal screening tool for Virginia’s Early Intervention Reading Initiative (EIRI) and as a screener/diagnostic measure in literacy.|
(Phonological Awareness Test)
|A standardized assessment of skills related to phonics/letter sounds– phonological awareness, phoneme-grapheme correspondence, and phonemic decoding skills.|
|Performance Assessment||A form of testing that requires students to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list.|
(Preliminary SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test)
|The PSAT is a “practice exam” for the SAT, a widely used standardized college entrance exam. High school juniors’ scores count toward a scholarship program. The PSAT measures critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills.|
|SOL Tests (Standards of Learning)||SOL tests determine student understanding of Virginia’s learning standards in the following areas: math, history, reading, science, and writing. SOL tests are given in certain grades or at the end of specific high-school courses. End of course tests are labeled EOC.|
(Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program)
|A state mandate that assesses students entering kindergarten in the areas of mathematics and social-emotional learning (SEL).|
How Do Schools Use the Testing Data?
Scores from the SOL and other indicators are used to determine federal benchmarks and Virginia accreditation for the schools. Schools also use the test results to identify students with special instructional needs, to identify the need for special courses and programs, to provide data for instructional improvement, and to pinpoint areas of the school program which need further study. The school will notify parents when the city-wide tests are given during the year and will provide parents with information on their child’s performance as measured by the tests. Parents who have questions about the testing program or their child’s school performance should contact the classroom teacher.
English Language Proficiency Tests
Each year English language proficiency assessments are administered at all grade levels to English learners. This assessment is a state and federal requirement.
Students with disabilities and English language learners may require special testing accommodations and have additional rights; parents should consult the principal for further information. Additional assessment programs may also be administered to students as appropriate for instructional planning.
School Quality Profiles by the Virginia Department of Education
The Virginia Department of Education posts “School Quality Profiles” about every public school in the state. The School Quality Profile for Charlottesville City Schools can be found at https://schoolquality.virginia.gov/divisions/charlottesville-city-public-schools.