Thanks for SOL Academy

Published 9:09 pm Thursday, July 13, 2017

Student success in early grades leads to student success in later grades. It’s an obvious conclusion, but education research has increasingly shown that, when students get to high school, the effect magnifies.

Research published in the journal “Education” found that ninth grade is a pivotal year that determines whether a young person will move on or drop out of high school.

If students can be successful in their ninth grade year, it stands to reason, they are more likely to have the knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation to carry them through the rest of high school and earn a diploma.

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But if a student passes a course but not the Standards of Learning test associated with it, it can be a blow to their self-confidence at any grade level, and they may very well give up, believing they can never catch up to their peers.

That’s why Suffolk Public Schools has instituted the SOL Academy for students who passed a class but not the SOL and need that class for a verified credit. Students must have six verified credits for a standard diploma and nine for an advanced, but sometimes they fall just short on a standardized test.

Students from all three schools have gathered at Lakeland High School to receive several half-days of additional remediation in the subject area they need. Near the end of the three-week SOL Academy, they will be able to start taking the SOL test they need.

The hope is that all of the students will pass, said Dr. Earling Hunter, an assistant principal at Lakeland and administrator for SOL Academy. Those who almost pass will have one more opportunity during SOL Academy.

At the end of this program, more students will be on track to graduate in four years than when they started, and that will give them the nudge they need to keep going.

Many teachers and administrators have put a lot of work into this program, and we applaud them for their commitment to making sure these students graduate. We also applaud the students, who signed up without coercion, or maybe just with their parents’ coercion, to help themselves.