Charlotte County students surpass state average on SOL tests

Published 8:00 am Friday, August 26, 2022

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Despite school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) outperformed the state SOL average pass rates for 2021-22.

The same couldn’t be said, however, statewide. Across Virginia, only 66% of students passed math, compared to 82% pre-pandemic. Only 65% of students in the state passed science, compared to 81% in the 2018-19 school year. There were also problems with history, as just 66% of Virginia students passed, compared to 80% two years ago.

Now in each case, the statewide numbers were better than last year, when the majority of tests saw 60% or fewer pass. But state officials say it’s clear there’s work to do.

“The bottom line is that in-person instruction matters,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow. “We can see the difference our teachers made once they were reunited with their students in their classrooms. I want to thank all of our teachers for everything they did last year to begin what will be a multiyear recovery effort.”

Learning loss apparent

School Superintendent Robbie Mason said the learning loss that students experienced during the 2020-21 school year were apparent in students; even though CCPS students only had a brief period of fully-remote instruction, the academic and social impacts have been evident.

“However, as demonstrated through our 2021-22 assessment results, our students are clearly making successful progress and quickly getting back on track,” Mason said. “I salute our staff for their incredible work throughout this difficult journey.”

Mason noted that It is important to realize that the SOL pass rates released by the VDOE are federal pass rates that are not adjusted for individual student growth.

When it came to math, CCPS students’ SOL pass rates for math were seven percentage points higher than the state average.

“The reason for our students’ gains in math was simply the hard work of our staff and our students,” Mason said.

Assessing Charlotte County students

Teachers assessed students to find out their individual achievement levels at the beginning of last school year and worked through direct instruction and remediation to help students realize instructional gains, Mason said.

“Math is a challenging subject to learn remotely. Having students back in front of their teachers five days per week has made a tremendous difference.”

The 2021-2022 school year marked the return to in-person learning for all 132 Virginia school divisions and the return to normal levels of student participation in the state testing program.

According to Mason, State accreditation percentages will be released later this fall, and these rates will be significantly higher than the ones just released.