Fairfax County Public Schools said Thursday a recent internal investigation revealed a "testing irregularity" in the way some Fort Belvoir Elementary School students took 2011-2012 Virginia Standards of Learning exams.
The investigation showed some teachers in third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms at the school "did not consistently follow the instructions in the examiner’s manual," according to an email sent by Superintendent Jack Dale to the School Board on Monday.
"In these classes, students completed their work in the test booklets before they were allowed to bubble in their answer documents, and some booklets were reviewed for completeness before the students were permitted to proceed. These practices are not allowed and resulted in the testing irregularity," Dale wrote.
FCPS spokesman John Torre told Patch on Thursday the system regularly conducts random audits of SOL tests across the county every year. The school system has reported the Belvoir Elementary irregularity to the Virginia Department of Education.
Parents will have the option to have their child's reading, writing and math scores invalidated, without a consequence to their academic record.
"If you choose to invalidate one or more of your child’s scores, the score(s) will be permanently removed from your child’s record and replaced with a testing status indicating the score is invalid. Although there will be no opportunity for your child to retake the test(s), the absence of a score will not adversely affect your child’s record in any way," according to a letter sent to parents by Belvoir principal Jane Wilson.
All teachers at Fort Belvoir Elementary will have to participate in a detailed training session in test administration, the system said, and its Department of Professional Learning and Accountability will conduct a testing audit at Fort Belvoir during the upcoming school year.
The school is also required to submit a corrective action plan to the VDOE, "outlining preventive steps to ensure this situation will not occur in the future," the system said.