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State forms committee to revamp SOL tests

A new statewide committee established to help revamp Virginia’s standardized testing system will hold its first meeting next week.

The 37-member committee will convene for the first time in Richmond next Tuesday, July 15, to begin its task.

Reform of the state’s academic assessment system received widespread support in the General Assembly earlier this year. Legislation passed in March reduces the number of required SOL tests for elementary school students from 22 to 17 for the upcoming school year and requires school districts to requires districts to develop project-based assessments in place of the nixed exams.

The new law also called for establishment of the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee to guide the testing reform. The committee will recommend further changes to the General Assembly and state Board of Education, as well as provide direction for the new project-based assessments.

The committee includes school administrators, School Board members, teachers and parents from across the state, as well as members of the General Assembly.

No educators from the Fairfax County school system are on the committee, though former Fairfax County assistant superintendent Terri Breeden, who now works for Loudoun County schools, is one of the members. Fairfax County is represented by Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-Dist.67) and Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Dist. 45).

Reston principal named president of VAESP

Shane Wolfe, principal of Aldrin Elementary, has been elected president of the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals for the 2014-15 academic year.

Wolfe, who has led the Reston school since 2012, has served on the state association’s board of directors for the past six years. Wolfe also served as president of the Fairfax Association of Elementary School Principals in 2011-12.

Before joining Aldrin Elementary, Wolfe worked as principal at Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences from 2010-12. While at Bailey’s, he received the 2011 Virginia School Bell Award from VAESP for outstanding contributions to his school and school system. Before that, he worked as principal at Armstrong Elementary from 2001-10.

Wolfe becomes the seventh Fairfax County principal to be elected VAESP president since 1978.

FCPS recognized for excellence in cybersecurity education

The Fairfax County school system has been named a Center of Excellence in cybersecurity education by the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program.

The Air Force Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the Air Force and aerospace education, established the CyberPatriot program in 2009 to encourage students’ interest in science and technology. The program hosts cybersecurity competitions for high school and middle school students.

The Fairfax County school system becomes the fifth Center of Excellence designated by the CyberPatriot program. FCPS was honored for expanding its cybersecurity program and for developing a network of mentors and business partners to support students.

“FCPS has developed innovative ways to sustain an environment for continued learning in cyber and technology,” CyberPatriot commissioner Bernie Skoch said in a statement.

The school district started participating in the CyberPatriot competition in 2011. In August, McLean High School will host a cybersecurity summer camp for high school students to help expand the program in the county and prepare students to compete in next year’s CyberPatriot competition.