Local Alternative Assessments

In 2014, the General Assembly eliminated Standards of Learning assessments in Grade 3 History, United States History to 1865, and United States History: 1865 to the Present. Additionally, the Assembly’s action required local school divisions to continue to teach the content and to measure student achievement with local alternative assessments, including authentic or performance assessments. Current guidance for continued implementation of local alternative assessments is included in Guidelines for Local Alternative Assessments: 2021-2022 and Beyond.

School divisions are required to continue to develop Balanced Assessment Plans for each course in which local alternative assessments are administered and to continue to utilize resources provided by VDOE that promote consistency across the Commonwealth. These plans are to indicate a variety of assessment types, including performance based assessments.   Performance Based Assessments measure subject-matter proficiency by requiring students to apply the content and skills they have learned to an authentic task.  PBAs should present opportunities for students to demonstrate acquisition of the “Five C’s” – critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration and citizenship – rather than traditional assessments which focus more on factual rote memorization.

Parents will receive score reports periodically through Parent Vue.  Translations of the score report can be found using the links below.

3rd Grade Translations: Spanish / Amharic / Mongolian / Arabic

6th Grade Translations: Spanish / Amharic / Mongolian / Arabic

Information on the assessment plans for 3rd Grade World History and 6th Grade US History I and II are detailed below.

3rd Grade World History

Students in third grade World History explore 9 units of study (Civics, Government, Geography, Economics, Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Mali).  In each unit students will engage in a variety of assessment experiences that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Diagnostic Assessments: Brainstorming, Four Corners, Written or Oral Assessment, KWL Charts, etc…
  • Formative Assessments: Exit Tickets, Quizzes, Questioning, Teacher Observation, etc…
  • Summative Assessments: Teacher created assessments (multiple choice and performance assessments) and Division Performance Assessments (DBQs, Inquiries, Skill based assessments)

During the 2021-22 school year, students will participate in three common performance assessments developed by APS as part of the balanced assessment plan.  These assessments are as follows*:

  1. How was life in Ancient Egypt influenced by the geographic features of the area?
  2. How were the contributions of Ancient China and Ancient Greece to present day life similar and how were they different?
  3. What made Mali one of the richest kingdoms in history?

* Some schools and programs may be offering slightly different assessments based on the needs of the program and students.

6th Grade US History I and II

Students in sixth grade US History explore 4 units of study (United States Geography over time, Conflict and Change, Progress and Perspective, Turning Points and the Emergence of Modern America).  In each unit students will engage in a variety of assessment experiences that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Diagnostic Assessments: Brainstorming, Four Corners, Written or Oral Assessment, KWL Charts, etc…
  • Formative Assessments: Exit Tickets, Quizzes, Questioning, Teacher Observation, etc…
  • Summative Assessments: Teacher created assessments (multiple choice and performance assessments) and Division Performance Assessments (DBQs, Inquiries, Skill based assessments)

During the 2021-22 school year, students will participate in three common performance assessments developed by APS as part of the balanced assessment plan.  These assessments are as follows:

  1. How did geography shape life in the past?  Students explore a variety of resources to determine one or more ways that geography has shaped life in the past.
  2. Cause and Effect:  Students explore a variety of resources in order to determine multiple causes of an event.
  3. Comparing and Contrasting Perspectives:  Students explore a variety of resources in order to answer a question in a way that compares historical, cultural, and/or political perspectives.