SOLs bring good news as school year nears

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016

by Walter Francis & Stephen Cowles

The Virginia Department of Education released the passing rates for the 2015-2016 Standards of Learning assessments on Tuesday, revealing a one percent increase in the amount of students passing the tests in reading, mathematics and science, compared to last year.

“A one-point improvement in mathematics means that approximately 11,500 more students met or exceeded the benchmark for proficiency for their grade or course,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples in a statement.

“In reading, a one-point increase equals approximately 8,000 students, and in science, more than 6,000.

“The success of these students — many of whom have struggled in the past — reflects great credit on our teachers, especially given Virginia’s rigorous standards and challenging online assessments.”

All Southampton County schools are expected to be fully accredited in all subjects. To be accredited, students must have a 75 percent passing rate in reading and 70 percent passing rates in history, math and science. Official accreditation announcements will be made by VDOE in mid-September.

In the following notation of scores, this year’s scores are followed in parentheses by last year’s scores, for comparison’s sake.

Capron Elementary School’s students scored 81 percent in reading (74), 97 percent in history (96), 86 percent in math (79), and 82 percent in science (70).

At Meherrin Elementary School, 79 percent of students passed reading (76), 93 percent passed history (96), 85 percent massed math (88), and 93 percent passed science (70).

Nottoway Elementary School boasted an 90 percent passing rate in reading (87), 98 percent passing in history (96), 93 percent passing in math (90), and 90 percent passing in science (96).

Seventy-seven percent of Riverdale Elementary School’s students passed reading (68), 99 percent passed history (83), 81 percent passed math (80), and 93 percent passed science (71).

At Southampton Middle School, 75 percent of students passed reading (75), 93 percent passed history (90), 84 percent passed math (84) and 89 percent passed science (78).

Southampton High School students passed reading with 92 percent (91), 88 percent in history (94), 98 percent in mathematics (96), and 87 in science (84).


Franklin students failed to meet the benchmarks in high school math and middle school and elementary school reading, but performed well history and science.

S.P. Morton Elementary students scored 61 percent in reading (65), 94 in history (94), 72 in math (69), and 78 in science (64).

Seventy-one percent of Joseph P. King Jr. Middle School students passed their reading SOLS (74), 96 percent passed history (95), 72 percent passed math (74), and 83 percent passed science (79).

At Franklin High School, 79 percent passed reading (79), 81 percent passed history (85), 69 percent passed math (71), and 83 percent passed science (88).

“As a team, we always seek ways to continuously improve,” said Dr. Willie Bell, superintendent of Franklin City Public Schools. “We are excited about beginning another school year where we will continue to help our students grow academically.”



In Isle of Wight County, all schools scored above the benchmarks in each subject and are expected to be accredited.

“We are very happy,” said Lynn Briggs, director of gifted services, community and media relations at Isle of Wight County Schools.

Carrsville Elementary received an 90percent in reading (86), 100 in history (100), 91 in math (95), and 95 in science (894).

Windsor Elementary students passed reading with 86 percent (76), history with 94 percent (91), math at 84 percent (87), and science with 92 percent (78).

“I am very pleased with the progress our students made this past year,” said Ellen Couch, principal of Windsor Elementary. “All students and staff have worked extremely hard to make such great gains in all areas.”

At Georgie D. Tyler Middle School, students passed reading at 84 percent (81), history at 93 (894), math at 91 (93), and science at 87 (88).

Windsor High School passed reading with 91 percent (91), history with 91 percent (91), math with 80 percent (83), and science with 83 percent (87).

“All in all, it looks we stayed fairly steady or improved,”

Briggs said. “The superintendent is not tremendously focused on the SOL data, he wants to see more of what he calls ‘deeper learning’ and project-based learning.

If we focus on that, not so much multiple choice tests, our students are going to do just fine on the SOLs every year, but they’re going to go out college, career and life-ready when they leave our school system, which is our ultimate goal.”