Different schedule, same SOLs

7th+grader+Gabby+Flamish+stressing+out+before+the+SOLs.+She+is+in+luck+because+the+LCPS+have+changed+the+SOLs+to+calm+students.
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Different schedule, same SOLs

7th grader Gabby Flamish stressing out before the SOLs. She is in luck because the LCPS have changed the SOLs to calm students.

7th grader Gabby Flamish stressing out before the SOLs. She is in luck because the LCPS have changed the SOLs to calm students.

7th grader Gabby Flamish stressing out before the SOLs. She is in luck because the LCPS have changed the SOLs to calm students.

7th grader Gabby Flamish stressing out before the SOLs. She is in luck because the LCPS have changed the SOLs to calm students.

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It’s time for comfy clothes, long study days, and jolly ranchers. Sunny, warm weather and light drizzles. And, as always, it’s time for SOLs, yet again. But, this year things have changed for the Standardized Tests, and is it for the better or worse?
This year, SOL testing methods have changed. Students are to sit with their class, and are able to choose seats. Instead of the library or the computer lab, each class is assigned a classroom. The teacher that teaches in that room is the only one in the room. No more big computers, because the SOLs

Up above is a classroom full of students studying for the upcoming SOLs. This year students will be placed with their own class.

are completed on the school provided Chromebooks.
Haley Blake says, ¨My classmates are not leaving the classroom every now and then, and it’s more relaxing when there isn’t a ton of students with me¨
Students seem to enjoy this method a lot more than the old method. It’s easier to focus, and it’s a lot less time-consuming. The choice of seating and Chromebook makes standardized testing feel more comfortable.
8th grader Haley Blake also says ¨It’s easy to focus because now I’m less focused on time and I rush fewer.¨.
This seems to be a very common opinion. Mrs. Prieti says ¨If students were leaving to early, even if they were done, it would cause a distraction to the others around them.¨ Students also feel more comfortable using their Chromebooks because they have has it all year. The new SOL system seems to be enjoyable for both students and teachers. So why the big change?
Most students and teachers believe that the SOL testing has changed because it was more convenient for students and administration. Students don’t feel rushed and aren’t distracted by other students leaving the classroom. Teachers aren’t stressed with the planning and time frame.
Mr. Barnhouse said, “Having some students take the SOLs at a different time is convenient because instead of going back to teach you would have half of the class being taught and the other half testing.”
The SOL system has changed, and both students and teachers have gotten used to it. Even though it messed up their schedule, they’ve managed to work with it. When students are taking SOLs, they have to stay in the room they tested in until the end of the second block, then head to the third block. Teaching for teachers is hard because the SOLs are getting in the way and taking up time for them to teach anything.
¨When students all have access to a Chromebook, it’s a lot easier to implement the SOLs all at once instead of having it interrupt a lot of days.” states Mrs. Soukup.

Thumbs up for the new SOLs with chromebooks! Now that SOLs are on chromebooks students feel more comfortable.

Most teachers believe that these new methods are better for students. Mr. Barnhouse says ¨It’s made lesson planning a lot easier for the teachers because there is no morning or afternoon session.¨
Overall the SOL change has been a positive experience. Students feel more comfortable, and teaching is easier. Let’s hope it stays that way. Good luck to all the students in May!