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SOL Academy begins next week

Suffolk Public Schools will start its Standards of Learning Academy at Nansemond River High School next week.

The SOL Academy is a free program offered to students that need to pass SOL tests to earn verified credits.

A verified credit is acquired from passing the end-of-course SOL, and students are required to earn six verified credits to graduate with a standard diploma, according to the Virginia Department of Education.

There will be eight teachers at Nansemond River to facilitate the remediation — three math teachers, one English teacher, two science teachers and one history teacher. All the teachers will provide remediation for one subject.

“The course is for the students that don’t pass the SOL, but they passed the class,” said Director of Secondary Education Dr. Stenette Byrd. “We provide students with almost two weeks of remediation, and then they retake the test.”

Students from all high school grade levels can be invited to take part in the program. Most of the seniors that take part in the summer graduation ceremony go through the program to receive their last verified credit.

While students that need to retake the test are invited, they are not obligated to participate.

“You can still retest in December or in June, as long as you’re not a senior hoping to graduate,” Byrd said.

There is still a chance that after remediation students may not pass the standardized test, but Byrd believes that it is still beneficial for students to participate in the program whether they pass or not.

Sometimes students don’t pass, but they show growth, Byrd said. Once students come back to school, they can receive more remediation and retest in December or June to pass.

These kinds of programs should exist in most school divisions, according to Byrd. Students that participate in summer SOL programs help the division’s accreditation status so they can meet targets for testing.

It is also best practice to provide students with a chance for remediation before retesting, Byrd said.

The program will run from July 16-26 as a half-day program, and two of those are set aside for retesting.