Phoenix Flyer #30

Dear Phoenix Families,

As we begin our testing window, we would like to offer you the Special SOL Edition of the Phoenix Flyer:

The DHMS students have learned so much this year despite the many challenges that the pandemic has presented.  This year’s Standards of Learning assessments will give staff a good understanding of where our teaching has been strong, and where we might need to adjust.  DHMS students will take the SOL Tests, in-person, during the May 10-June 14 testing window.  All staff and students who come into the building will adhere to the CDC and APS safety protocols regarding Covid-19.

To find your student’s testing dates please visit our testing page on the DHMS website.

Parents/Guardians of distance learners who don’t wish for their child to participate in the SOL testing should complete and return the following form to Andral Hills, School Testing Coordinator.  Please complete the opt out form as soon as possible.  For SOL testing, opt outs are coded as ‘parent refusal.’

Distance learners that have not been formally opted out will be scheduled for SOLs with the assumption that they will test in person. Distance learners who opt out will be given the opportunity to take the Virginia Remote Student Progress Test (VRSPT). This virtual assessment is not a replacement for the SOL. It is only for students who receive all their instruction virtually and who are opting out of SOLs due to Covid. This assessment is being used to gather data on student progress during virtual instruction.

The APS Transportation Department has determined bus routes for full-time distance learners that qualify for transportation. If your child is eligible, that information is available through ParentVue. Buses will run the same routes every Monday from May 10th – June 14th, except Memorial Day.  Please be advised the transportation department cannot change any stops or routes for the full-time distance learners on Monday routes. Buses will run as if regularly scheduled, dropping full-time distance learners off at (7:43 AM) and picking them back up at dismissal time (2:43 PM). Lunch will be provided free of charge for any students remaining in the building until bus pickup.

If a distance learner rides the bus the morning of a test, but you prefer that they walk home after completing their test, you must notify us in writing. Please send an email including your child’s full name, date of test, and granting permission for them to walk home instead of taking the bus to  Andral Hills. This pertains only to distance learners who are eligible for bus transportation and who are taking an SOL test on Monday.

FOR DISTANCE LEARNERS: If you are picking your child up from a Monday SOL test, please do not arrive prior to 10:30. Students will not be able to leave the testing area until this time in order to limit distractions for those still testing.

Technology Checklist

Technical to Dos for students prior to SOL tests:

  • Make sure that the APS iPad is in working order and the student can unlock the iPad if they use a lock screen passcode.
  • Check that the TestNav app is installed on the iPad and your child has completed the TestNav system check with their TA teacher. If not, have your student check in with their TA teacher.
  • If there are any cracks or technical issues with the iPad, submit a student tech help form. We would like to resolve as many issues as possible prior to testing.
  • Ensure the iPad is fully charged before leaving home on testing days.

On the day of your scheduled SOL Test:

  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast.  APS offers grab and go breakfast each morning, free of charge.
  • Please bring in a fully charged APS iPad.
  • If your child does NOT have an APS issued iPad on the day of the test, your child can use a student laptop. There are limited laptops, so please make every effort to have your child bring in a fully charged iPad for SOL testing.
  • Bring a book to read after completing the test.

SOL Frequently Asked Questions

Why are all tests for Distance Learners being administered on Mondays?
Mondays was the only day that transportation could be offered for Distance Learners.

Can my child take the SOL at home?
No, all SOLs must be taken in person.

Can students use a personal device, or an APS issued MacBook?
No, students must use an APS issued iPad because it runs the system where the SOLs are housed (TestNav).

How will SOLs be administered in person for distance learners?
Students will come to the building to test.  Parents must have completed the Qualtrics screener sent to parents daily either via text or email. Upon arriving to DHMS, students will show a staff member their Qualtrics green check and have their temperature taken. Students will be sent to their fifth period classroom where their testing session is located. Students will always remain at least three feet apart. All students and staff will wear masks.

How long will SOLs take?
We anticipate that the reading (6-8) and science (8) SOLs will take no longer than 2.5 hours for most students. Typically, math SOLs take a little longer. SOLs are untimed so there is no set time for students to finish.

What if my child finishes early?
Please have your child bring a book or something non-electronic and non-distracting to engage in while they wait.

What about Arrival/Dismissal for Distance Learners on Mondays?
Transportation is available and busing information will be provided to families whose children are bus eligible. Students riding the bus will not be picked up from school until the normal dismissal time of 2:43 PM. Those staying at school will be provided lunch (or students can bring their own lunch).

If your child would like to walk home and not remain at DHMS for the duration of the day, please email the DHMS Testing Coordinator, Andral Hills giving them permission to walk home instead of waiting for the bus.

If you would like to pick up your student by car, please stage on the DHMS Driveway no earlier than 10:30.  If you student needs to continue to test, your student will give you a call with a staff member to arrange pick up time.

Wishing you all a wonderful Mother’s Day. Hoping you can celebrate with your loved ones, whether in person or virtually.

All our best,
Lisa, Laurel, Janae & Ellen