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Parent Rights

  • Loudoun County Public Schools is committed to providing ethical, accurate, and compliant test administration that supports learning for all students. Parents and guardians are an important part of the process and should be informed of the process and purpose.

    What Parents Should Know Before Refusing a Test

    A parent should consider the following important points before deciding to refuse any test:

    • Certain tests are used to help a school identify appropriate placement for the student in advanced academic, enrichment, intervention, and other programs. If your child does not test, his or her appropriate placement could be delayed.
    • If a child does not test, the school will not have academic data from the assessment to inform plans for the child's classroom instruction. 
    • When children do not test, the school does not gain a clear reflection of how it is meeting the instructional needs of its students as a whole.
    • If a student is enrolled in a high school level course that has an accompanying SOL test and does not test, they will not earn a verified credit which may be needed to earn a diploma. Parental concerns about this impact should be addressed to your child's School Counselor.
    • Students who do not take a grade level SOL test may still be promoted to the next grade, move on to the next sequential course, and will not experience an impact on their course grade.

    Federal and State Mandated Assessments LCPS must annually administer:

    • As required in Section 1111 (b) (7) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), school divisions must annually assess the English language proficiency of all English learner (EL) students K-12. The Virginia Board of Education selected the WIDA Consortium’s Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs®) test in 2007 as the state-approved English language proficiency (ELP) assessment. In Spring 2013, the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs® test became the state-approved ELP assessment for EL students who have significant cognitive disabilities. 
    • School divisions are required to identify gifted K-12 students and provide instructional services to meet their needs. The Virginia Board of Education adopted the Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students, which outline the requirements that school divisions need to include in their local plan for gifted education. Each school board approves a comprehensive plan for the education of gifted students that includes the components identified by the regulations. In addition, school divisions are required to submit a copy of their approved plan at the time of the VDOE’s request for a technical review. 
    • Virginia Board of Education's Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia are designed to ensure that an effective educational program is established and maintained in Virginia's public schools.
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Loudoun County Public Schools allows students who are absent during state and federally mandated testing to make up their missed test(s) as long as the make up occurs within the division's window.

Additionally, students who are fasting or are otherwise impacted by religious observance during the school day, within a test administration, may contact their School Test Coordinator and request scheduling support.

Students identified an English Learners (ELs) are generally eligible for test accommodations on SOL tests. VDOE specifies which test accommodations are allowable and requires EL Teams to meet annually to determine which accommodations the student requires in order to access the SOL tests. Once determined, the EL Team must note the specific accommodations in the student's EL Plan.

Parents, guardians and EL Teams should refer to the VDOE's Guidelines for Participation Document.

EL Guidelines for Participation Document

It is important to note that accommodations exist solely to allow students equal accessibility to the SOL tests and not for performance enhancement. Additionally, test accommodations must be utilized by the student within the instructional setting so that the student is comfortable with the accommodation and understands its purpose in aiding accessibility.

Students with a disability are generally eligible for test accommodations on SOL tests. VDOE specifies which test accommodations are allowable and requires IEP/504 Teams to meet annually to determine which accommodations the student requires in order to access the SOL tests. Once determined, the IEP/504 Team must note the specific accommodations in the student's IEP/504 Plan.

Parents, guardians and EL Teams should refer to the VDOE's Guidelines for Participation Document and/or the Special Test Accommodations Document.

Guidelines for Participation Document

Special Test Accommodations Document

It is important to note that accommodations exist solely to allow students equal accessibility to the SOL tests and not for performance enhancement. Additionally, test accommodations must be utilized by the student within the instructional setting so that the student is comfortable with the accommodation and understands its purpose in aiding accessibility.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, Federal legislation)

  • Under ESSA, students must be tested in reading and mathematics annually in grades 3-8 and once in high school (grades 9-12). In science, students must be tested once in elementary school, once in middle school, and once in high school. Students may meet the ESSA testing requirements by taking a Standards of Learning (SOL) test, or in the case of students with significant cognitive disabilities, participating in the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP).

2017 Revision to the Standards of Accreditation (SOA, State legislation)

  • In addition to changes under ESSA, the testing requirements (8VAC20-131-30) as described in the SOA have also changed. The requirements for students in kindergarten through grade 8 are:

"In kindergarten through eighth grade, where the administration of Virginia Assessment Program tests is required by the board, each student shall be expected to take the tests following instruction." 

  • The SOA requirements for testing students who are enrolled in classes with end-of-course SOL tests are: (Emphasis added by the Virginia Department of Education).

"Each student in middle and secondary schools shall take all applicable end-of-course SOL tests following course instruction. … Students who achieve a passing score on an end-of-course SOL test shall be awarded a verified unit of credit in that course in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-131-110. Students may earn verified units of credit in any courses for which end-of-course SOL tests are available. Students shall not be required to take an end-of-course SOL test in an academic subject after they have earned the number of verified credits required for that academic content area for graduation, unless such test is necessary in order for the school to meet federal accountability requirements."

Parent Refusal Form

 

What tests are administered at each grade level (for identification on the refusal form)?

Standards of Learning Tests

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

End of Course

 

Writing

Writing

Reading

Reading

Reading

Reading

Reading

Reading

Reading (English)

Math

Math

Math

Math

Math

Math

Algebra I

Geometry

Algebra II

 

Virginia Studies

 

Civics & Economics

World History I

World History II

VA & US History

World Geography

 

Science

 

Science

Earth Science

Biology

Chemistry

 

Parents of students with a significant cognitive disability may also refuse for their child to participate in the Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) by completing the Parent Refusal form accessed above. VAAP assessment are administered as shown above, with the exception of High School. Students participate in History and Science in grade 9, Mathematics in grade 10, and Reading and Writing in grade 11.

Parents/guardians may refuse for their child to participate in the ACCESS for ELLs or the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs assessment. Refusals must be submitted in writing to the School Test Coordinator annually and must stipulate assessment refusal separately from refusals for service.

 

If an English Learner (EL) refuses to participate in the ACCESS assessment, should the student receive EL services the following year?

Yes. Because the student is still classified as an EL, services should continue to be provided. Without a current proficiency level, instructional planning and delivery for the student may be difficult. The student may be rescreened, and language proficiency information from the screening may be used for instructional purposes. 

 

Are ELs who refuse to take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment eligible for accommodations on the SOL assessments?

In general, no. In order for ELs to be eligible for testing accommodations, a current English language proficiency level must be reported for the student. Page 6 of the English Learners: Guidelines for Participation in the Virginia Assessment Program states, "In Virginia, to determine an EL’s English language proficiency level, refer to the student’s Overall Proficiency Level on the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 score report. Students at Virginia English Language Proficiency Levels 1.0 through 4.3 are considered English Learners and may be eligible for testing accommodations on SOL assessments." 

Virginia State Superintendent's Memo 327-18 (11-30-18) states:

"Once a student has earned the required verified credits for graduation and met the federal testing requirements, the student is not to be administered additional end-of-course tests. Parents may, however, request that their student complete an end-of-course test beyond the required assessments by providing affirmative parental consent (“opt-in”) to the school division. Parents must submit their request in writing along with their affirmative consent for the administration of each end-of-course test requested beyond the required assessments.

It is to be made clear to the parent and student that not completing additional end-of-course tests (i.e., tests beyond those needed to earn required verified credits for graduation and to meet federal testing requirements) will not impact the student’s grade or academic record. Prior to the administration of any additional end-of-course test to the student, the school division shall obtain and maintain written documentation of the parent’s request and affirmative consent to complete each additional end-of-course test.

It should be noted that end-of-course tests administered at the request of parents after the student has earned the required verified credits for graduation and met the federal testing requirements will not be included in calculations for state accreditation or federal accountability."

Additionally, Loudoun County Public Schools students who, together with their parents, choose to opt-in to an additional SOL test will not receive any incentive or reward for doing so. Questions may be directed to the Office of Assessment Services at (540) 751-2590.

Parent Opt-In Form

The Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) tests and the Cognitive Ablilities Test are both administered at local option, which means there is no state or federal direction provided for documenting parental refusals. Loudoun County Public Schools requires that parents make their refusal in writing and submit it to their School Test Coordinator. The refusal is required annually and will be maintained in the student's Scholastic Record.

Last Modified on June 29, 2021