AHPS Teacher Has Important Role

Teacher Has Important Role In Evaluating VA SOL Tests
Posted on 09/05/2023

The state uses tests of the Virginia Standards of Learning, also known as SOLs, to measure student proficiency in mathematics, reading, writing, history, and social science.  


Gibson, a third-grade teacher at Jeter-Watson, served on the Virginia Department of Education's SOL Item Review Committee. Members of the committee review items from SOL tests and look for errors, bias, and stereotyping.  


“We also looked at data and tried to determine if questions should be added to the SOL item bank,” she said.  The Virginia Department of Education encourages a thorough professional review of SOL test items. 


Gibson is beginning her ninth year as a teacher in the Highlands. She taught with the historic Covington City Public Schools and joined Alleghany Highlands Public Schools in July 2022. Gibson graduated from Alleghany High School in 2010. She received a degree from Roanoke College in 2014.


Gibson applied to serve on the SOL Item Review Committee after the Department of Education sent an email to school divisions throughout the state. Her application to serve on the committee was approved by Jeter-Watson Elementary School Principal Cynthia Morgan and Superintendent Kim Halterman and ultimately selected by staffers in Richmond who reviewed applications from many teachers.  


“We are always pleased when our teachers and staff in the Alleghany Highlands are able to work on state-wide projects and network with others around the Commonwealth,” said Kim Halterman and Melinda Snead-Johnson, leaders of AHPS. 


The Virginia Department of Education paid for expenses incurred by Gibson as she participated in the process, including her travel to the Richmond area.  


“We are proud of our teachers and their professional knowledge, and it is a wonderful gift to have local staff serving on such state-wide groups,” said Halterman and Snead-Johnson.  


Gibson wrapped up her work for the committee in mid-July. The Department of Education will spend the next several months reviewing SOL test questions, and it will incorporate the committee’s work into the process.


The Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Division was created on July 1, 2022, through the merger of Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center. The school division is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington. It serves approximately 2,700 students.


AHPS news and events are regularly updated on Facebook at AHPublicSchools and the division website www.ahps.k12.va.us.


The 2023-2024 school year for students begins on Wednesday, Aug. 23.



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