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News & Announcements

Review & Revision of the 2018 Science Standards of Learning

At its February 2, 2023, meeting, the State Board of Education (Board) authorized the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to proceed with the development and revision process of the 2018 Science Standards of Learning consistent with the schedule adopted by the Board.

2018 Science Standards of Learning to be tested Spring 2023

The elementary (grades 4-5), middle (grade 6, Life Science, and Physical Science), and Biology end-of-course assessments in spring 2023 will reflect the expectations of the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.  These expectations include the integration of the scientific and engineering practices and content as seen in the 2018 Science Curriculum Framework and the 2018 Science SOL Blueprints.  The Chemistry and Earth Science EOC assessments will reflect the 2010 Science Standards of Learning.  Desmos calculators will be used on all Science Standards of Learning assessments starting in the fall of 2022.

The information pertains to seniors currently enrolled in Biology who need a verified credit in science.

Because the grade 5, grade 8, and Biology tests assessing the 2018 Science Standards of Learning are new assessments being administered for the first time this spring, the potential exists for delays in the return of students’ test results. A delay could be problematic for students attempting to graduate in spring 2023 who are currently enrolled in Biology to earn a verified credit in science.

With this in mind, school divisions with seniors currently enrolled in Biology who need a verified credit in science are strongly encouraged to administer the Biology test that assesses the 2010 Science Standards of Learning to those seniors. Administering the 2010 version of the Biology test to those students attempting to graduate this spring ensures that the students’ test results will be available within 24-hours of completing their test and prior to graduation. Note that students who were instructed in Biology prior to 2022-2023 and are retaking the Biology Standards of Learning test to earn a verified credit should continue to take the Biology test based on the 2010 Science Standards of Learning.  Please refer to the Instructional Support for Biology Teachers document which highlighting gaps in content between the 2010 and 2018 Science Standards of Learning.

Science Instructional Plans (SIPs)

The Science Instructional Plans are uploaded periodically into #GoOpenVA and can easily be accessed through the Science VDOE group. Find lesson plans for each grade level and discipline that were created to engage students as they build science conceptual understanding using the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.

VDOE Science Teacher Webinars

These monthly webinars are intended to support science teachers with instruction of the 2018 Science Standards of Learning.  The webinar on January 18, 2023 at 4 PM is Creating Meaningful Connections with Instruction and Assessment with a focus on designing cluster style assessment questions.  VDOE Science Teacher Webinars are held the third Wednesday of the month at 4:00 PM. Register now to attend the next VDOE Science Teacher Webinar!


For additional information on science Instructional Resources, Assessment Resources, and Professional Development – navigate using the following buttons.

Science Standards of Learning: Science and Engineering Practices

Students in science labThe Science and Engineering Practices reflected in the 2018 Science Standards of Learning describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate the natural world and the practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.

Science utilizes observation and experimentation along with existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and engineering technologies to answer questions about the natural world. Scientists investigate the natural world with skills that include systematic observation, measurement, and experimentation as they formulate, test, and modify hypotheses.

Engineering employs existing scientific knowledge, mathematics, and technology to create, design, and develop new devices, objects or technology to meet the needs of society. Engineers apply science and mathematics as they engage in the Engineering Design Process. Useful resources for the Engineering Design Process can be found at:

The 2018 Science Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework includes science and engineering practices that are directly connected to science concepts. They are located within the Essential Knowledge and Practices and identified with a leaf bullet (leaf bullet). By utilizing both scientific and engineering practices in the science classroom, students develop a deeper understanding and competences with techniques at the heart of each discipline.

Science Update

Interested in receiving updates from the VDOE Science Instructional Team? Please register to be included in these bi-weekly updates.

Need Science Instructional Support?

Please reach out to any member of the Science Instructional Team!