Students sitting at desks in a classroom

Growth Assessments

  • Public Message Shared With Community On 8-23-21:

    The new school year brings a welcome return to in-person learning, creating opportunities to see what academic skills our students retained from last year and what supports they need for success this year. It is important that teachers spend time collecting data to inform their instruction so they can consistently remediate and enrich student learning. Some of the data is collected through day-to-day informal assessments and other data is obtained through formal methods, such as state and federal testing.

    To support student learning, the Virginia Department of Education has developed new growth assessments in reading and math which will be administered for the first time October 1-15, 2021. These tests will aid teachers in identifying any unfinished learning from last year and set a benchmark for measuring future growth, within year and across years. The online, computer adaptive growth assessments will be administered to students in grades 3-8. Students will take these tests in addition to the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests.

    Student Detail By Question (SDBQ) score reports from the growth assessments will be available for parents/guardians in ParentVUE under the Documents tab, soon after the test window has closed. The reports will show the academic standards on which the student was assessed and whether the test item was answered correctly, without assigning a passing or failing score. Questions about the report or the test administration can be directed to your student’s school.

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    Recent legislation requires the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to implement new assessments to measure student growth throughout the school year. These growth assessments will be phased in over the next two years and will be administered in addition to spring SOL tests. 

     

    Watch VDOE's video on growth assessments

    Visit the VDOE growth assessment webpage

     

    School Year 2021-2022: Year 1 Implementation

    The fall 2021 online growth assessments will be administered to students in grades 3-8 in reading and math. Middle school students who are enrolled in a high school math course will only participate in reading. 

    The growth assessments will be based on content from the student’s previous grade level to identify any unfinished learning from 2020-2021 due to the pandemic. For example, students enrolled in grade 5 will take growth assessments based on grade 4 content. The online assessments will be relatively short; with 17 and 25 test items. Paper assessments will be available for students requiring that accommodation; however, these assessments will mimic a full SOL test with significantly more test items. Students will take the regular SOL tests during the spring 2022 test administration (May-early June 2022).

    Score reports will be available for parents/guardians in ParentVUE under the Documents tab, soon after the test window has closed. The reports will show the academic standards on which the student was assessed and whether the item was answered correctly, without assigning a passing or failing score. Parents and teachers will be able to identify which standards students have mastered and which standards may require review. 

     

    School Year 2022-2023: Year 2 Implementation

    The online growth assessments will be expanded and modified to incorporate above and below grade content. They will be administered in the fall and winter, with students continuing to take the regular spring SOL tests. New calculations will be implemented to assess students' academic growth from the fall to winter to spring. This growth data will be made available to parents at the conclusion of each test administration.

     

    Sample Growth Assessment Report

    What should teachers and parents review?

    This report shows the SOL strands that your child was tested on and whether they answered the test item correctly, as well as the level of difficulty (H=high difficulty, M=medium difficulty, L= low difficulty). This information shows what academic content/skills your child knows well and which SOL strands may require review during the school year. Teachers can view this information for their class so they can pace instruction and build in supports where needed, which supports the acceleration model LCPS is employing this year.

    Sample Student Score Report

     

    What is a Vertical Scaled Score?

    Note that the growth assessments will not provide a "pass" or "fail" score as they are intended to provide teachers and parents with instructional guidance for SY 21-22. The Vertical Scaled Score shows the level of support that a student may need, by content area, to make academic growth. The lower the vertical scaled score, the more support a student will need to master new content. The higher the vertical scaled score, the less support a student will need to master new content. The focus on academic support is the context in which this information should be viewed and discussed. 

     

    VDOE Slides:

    Current SOL Scale       Vertical Scale Example

     

    More information on the use of vertical scale scores to measure student growth will be shared in the fall of 2022, after VDOE has provided additional information.

Last Modified on December 6, 2021