SOL Tests Begin in Rockingham County Schools

By: McKinsey Harris Email
By: McKinsey Harris Email

Parents, teachers and administrators are working hard to make sure those their standards of learning, or SOL, test scores improve.

Judy McNett's two children attend Mountain View Elementary in Rockingham County, and their afternoons are quite packed.

"They send a lot of homework home to prepare for the tests, but in between dance and soccer and church choir, it's kind of tough to work all of that in," says McNett.

As SOLs kick off and practice tests are sent home, McNett says she works with her kids to get ready for this year-round.

"So, as the kids are learning things in school, we're talking about those things over the dinner and talking about them in the car as we go to various activities," says McNett.

Superintendent Dr. Carol Fenn says they've been working hard in the classroom and in after-school tutoring programs to make the best scores possible.

"The benchmarks are higher for SOL mastery for success for all students and yes, it's going to be a greater challenge. We'll know here shortly in a couple of weeks if we've met those benchmarks," says Fenn.

She says they always focus on the areas they've seen as trouble spots in the past.

"We identify by question, by students where we need to focus our instruction and our attention, our extra remedial efforts and then hope for the best," says Fenn.

McNett says it's important students pass, but she says she wishes that was enough and the emphasis wasn't on perfection.

"But I think the teachers really want to the children to do as well as possible, and sometimes that translates into you need to get 100 percent, and that's a lot of pressure on little people," says McNett.

Fenn says they've also started to incorporate test taking strategies the past couple of years and not just practicing the content itself.

She says it covers things like how to best answer a multiple choice question, by narrowing down the answers.


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