SOLs: Surry improves in all subject areas

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

SURRY — Surry County public schools expect to receive full accreditation for the third year in a row, and overall Standards of Learning test scores showed increases in all subject areas, according to the Virginia Department of Education. 

What has dropped is enrollment, which fell five percent from 2015-16 to 2017-18, according to the Virginia Department of Education. 

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Surry High School’s enrollment has dropped by 9 percent, from 274 students in 2015-16 to 249 in 2017-18. 

Overall, reading, math and science scores went up three points, writing was up four points and social studies scores were up one point from 2017.  Surry students as a whole had an 81 percent pass rate for reading, 70 for writing, 78 for social studies, 76 for math and 82 for science. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The biggest gains were in writing at L.P. Jackson, up 20 points from last year, from 43 to 63; and reading at Surry Elementary, which was up 11 points, 72 to 83 percent of students passing, from last year

The pass rates statewide remained steady from the previous year, according to the Virginia Department of Education. 

Statewide, SOL pass rates for all students were 79 for reading, 78 for writing, 77 for math, 81 for science and 84 for social studies. 

“We are very proud of our students, teachers, building administrators, support team members and families for their commitment in making this performance and achievement goal a reality,” said Surry County Superintendent Dr. Michael Thornton. 

“We are particularly pleased that on a division-wide basis our students and schools demonstrated improvement in all subject areas this past school year.  Although we are pleased with our overall performance, we will continue to challenge and encourage our students to recognize and achieve their highest individual academic and developmental potential.  I want to congratulate our students, teachers and school community for their great work.”

Surry’s full accreditation reflects the state’s new system, which focuses on changes in overall proficiency and growth. Schools that are accredited are considered Level One or Two, meaning they are measured for annual growth rather than relying on simply passing or failing a test, according to the VDOE. 

High schools are also evaluated for raising graduation rates and reducing the number of drop-outs, according to the VDOE.

“Virginia has challenging standards and assessments, and students are performing at a much higher level today than when the state raised expectations six years ago,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “Pass rates are not the only measure of school quality. If we focus solely on annual pass rates, we miss the achievement of students who are making steady progress toward the benchmarks and the efforts of schools to address issues that directly affect learning and achievement. These factors are captured in the new accreditation system, and the ratings we will report next month will provide a more complete picture of where schools are today and where they can be enhanced in the future.”


Individual school SOL averages

        2016-17   2017-18

•Surry Elementary School 

English reading 75 83

Social studies   74 81

Math              75 74


•LP Jackson Middle School 

English reading  77 81

English writing   43 63

Social studies    79 79

Math                74 82

Science            76 78


•Surry High School

English reading 83 79

English writing 83 76

Social studies  77 77 

Math              71 68

Science          81 85