The Virginia State Board of Education has established a set of K-12 subject-area Standards of Learning (SOL) with corresponding and end-of-course SOL tests. These SOLs are incorporated into the ACPS Essential Learning for each course. All middle school students shall take all applicable SOL tests following course instruction. Each high school student shall take all applicable SOL or approved substitute tests following course instruction that are needed to earn verified credit and/or that are required for federal accountability.
Remediation opportunities (before school, after school, during school and in summer school) will be provided in certain subject areas for students failing one or more SOL tests. Students and parents/legal guardians should check with their school counselors regarding participation in these programs.
A student who passes a course and achieves a passing score on the corresponding SOL test is awarded a Verified Credit in that course. A Verified Credit is defined as 140 clock hours of instruction, successful completion of the course requirements and the achievement of a passing score on the SOL test for that course or on a Substitute Assessment. (See “Substitute Assessments” section below.)
The State Board has established the number of Standard Credits and Verified Credits required for the Standard Diploma and for the Advanced Studies Diploma. (See Graduation Requirements for Advanced Studies Diploma and Standard Diploma).
Locally Awarded Verified Credits
Students are eligible to earn locally awarded verified credits (LAVC) in English, Math, Science and History/Social Science. To be eligible to earn LAVC, a student must:
- Pass the high school course and not pass the related SOL test,
- Take the SOL test at least twice,
- Score within a 375-399 scale score range on at least one of the administrations of the SOL test and
- Demonstrate achievement in the academic content through an appeal process.
- For students entering 9th grade in 2017-18 and prior, up to three LAVC may be applied towards graduation for the Standard Diploma only.
- For students entering 9th grade in 2018-19 and beyond, only one LAVC may be applied towards graduation for either the Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.
- Students with disabilities found eligible for the use of credit accommodations may use LAVC to meet as many of the verified credit requirements of the Standard Diploma as needed as determined by the IEP team or 504 knowledgeable committee.
Appeal Process: A local review panel, appointed by the Alexandria City School Board, will review information that provides evidence of the student’s achievement of adequate knowledge of the SOL content. That information may include, but is not limited to, results of classroom assignments, division- wide exams, course grades and additional academic assignments (such as papers, projects, essays or written questions). Based on the evidence presented, the local review panel may award the LAVC, deny the LAVC, require participation in a remedial program and retesting, or make additional academic assignments prior to determining whether to award the LAVC.
Substitute Assessment (for SOL Tests)
As of October 13, 2000, the options for end-of-course tests to earn units of Verified Credit have been expanded. Students should keep in mind that the following information pertains to Graduation Requirements. They should carefully read these topics before choosing substitute tests.
Assessments that substitute for SOL tests and enable students to earn Verified Credit must meet the following minimum criteria:
- The substitute test must be standardized and graded independently of the school or school division in which the test is given.
- The substitute test must be knowledge-based.
- The substitute test must be administered on a multi-state or international basis.
- The substitute test must measure content that incorporates or exceeds the SOL content in the course for which Verified Credit is given.
- The grade or cut score will be pre-determined for approved substitute tests.
The State Board of Education has approved various tests that may substitute for certain SOL tests. See current listings and minimum acceptable scores (PDF). Please see your counselor for more information.
Verified Credits in Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Student-Selected Verified Credit
A student-selected Verified Credit can be earned in certain elective courses that include a test approved by the Virginia Board of Education. According to the Standards of Accreditation, a student may utilize additional tests for earning Verified Credit in Computer Science, Technology or other areas as prescribed by the Board.
The Board of Education has provided guidelines for awarding differentiated numbers of Verified Credit for CTE Certification and licensure examinations. The following guidelines shall be retroactive to students who first entered the 9th grade in 2000-01. Verified credits earned in CTE may be used to satisfy student-selected Verified Credit requirements for the Standard Diploma or the Advanced Studies Diploma. Your counselor will assist you in determining your Verified Credit status.
Criteria for Awarding Student-Selected Verified Credit
Student-selected Verified Credit will be awarded for certification or licensure examinations that meet all of the following criteria:
- Industry certification or licensure examinations that are approved to satisfy the requirements for the Board of Education’s CTE Seal and the Board of Education’s Seal of Advanced Mathematics and Technology will satisfy requirements for student-selected Verified Credits
- The teacher and/or the CTE program must be certified by the issuing organization relative to the industry certification or license
- A standard credit may not be verified more than once.
One student-selected Verified Credit will be awarded for passing each certification or licensure examination that meets all of the above criteria, and the student earns one standard unit of credit only in the CTE concentration or specialization.
COURSES THAT INCLUDE SOL TESTS
EARNING SCIENCE OR HISTORY/SOCIAL SCIENCE VERIFIED CREDIT IN CTE
Up to two Verified Credits will be awarded for passing each certification or licensure examination that meets all of the above criteria; and:
- The student meets program completion criteria listed in this course catalog; and
- The student earns at least two standard units of credit in the CTE program completion option.
- The student is working towards a Standard Diploma.
One student-selected Verified Credit will be awarded for students who entered 9th grade in 2017-18 and prior, and one Science or History/Social Science Verified Credit will be awarded for students regardless of year of 9th grade entry.