Fairfax County Public Schools Sees Steady Growth Toward a Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels in Standards of Learning (SOL) Data

By Office of Communication and Community Relations
August 18, 2022

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has announced 2021-22 Standards of Learning (SOL) data for school divisions that shows Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has made steady progress towards a return to pre-pandemic levels.

FCPS annual pass rates for 2022 indicate that, while the road to recovery continues, FCPS students made promising gains in reading, mathematics, and science over the course of the 2022 school year. 

The data show that FCPS reading rates this year are nearly commensurate with pre-pandemic levels at 79%, while math rates are up by 13 percentage points to 74%. Science pass rates have improved by a third this school year.

Graph of Data

FCPS continues to outperform the Commonwealth of Virginia as a whole as well as other divisions in the region.

Data from Graph Presented as Text and Numbers Only  

Reading Pass Rates 2019-22: 

  • 2019: FCPS = 81% compared to Virginia = 78%
  • 2021: FCPS = 73% compared to Virginia = 69%
  • 2022: FCPS = 79% compared to Virginia = 73%

Math Pass Rates 2019-22: 

  • 2019: FCPS = 86% compared to Virginia = 82%
  • 2021: FCPS = 61% compared to Virginia = 54%
  • 2022: FCPS = 74% compared to Virginia = 66%

Science Pass Rates 2019-22: 

  • 2019: FCPS = 84% compared to Virginia = 81%
  • 2021: FCPS = 65% compared to Virginia = 59%
  • 2022: FCPS = 72% compared to Virginia = 65%

Note: Data for 2020 is not available. SOL exams were not hosted in 2020 because of the pandemic

Plans for Continued Improvement of SOL Pass Rates

Although improvement for FCPS students overall is on pace with a multi-year recovery effort, certain student groups have been impacted more directly by the reduction to in-person support during the pandemic, especially students in the Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, and English Learner groups. FCPS continues to see persistent outcome gaps for many students in these groups, and is committed to a divisionwide effort to improve these learning outcomes.

According to research by the NWEA, a not-for-profit organization that conducts research into educational services and supports, the expected recovery period for pandemic academic loss is three to five years. Based on this research, 2022 pass rates show FCPS is on track to close our pandemic gaps and in line with our pursuit of excellence in the academic outcomes for all our students. 

“While we have made real gains over the past year through deliberate and intentional COVID recovery efforts, we still have considerable work to do. We need to keep our work over the course of the next year student-centered and focused on equity to ensure that every child gets the supports they need,” said Dr. Michelle Reid, Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools.

FCPS has allocated $170 million to support students with academics and social-emotional learning, as they recover from the pandemic, and is committed to ensuring all students experience an academically strong school year.

Today’s data reflects the percentage of FCPS students passing or proficient on state assessments out of all those who tested in school year 2021-22. Unlike the rates that will be used to determine school accreditation in September, these annual pass rates do not include adjustments to account for student growth, English language development, or transfer students who were instructed outside our schools. 

For more information about SOL data, see the Virginia Department of Education’s news release,  Virginia School Quality Profiles and Frequently Asked Questions