Eighth-graders’ writing SOL is canceled


Rujvi Thakkar

From left: Simone Shah and Sathwika Vummadi are drafting their essay for their SOL alternative.

Rujvi Thakkar, Writer

Fairfax County announced the cancellation of the eighth grade writing SOL at the beginning of March, after deciding on an alternative that eighth-graders will take instead. 

The alternative is an expository essay on problems students think the school board should fix. Students have to research a problem and provide evidence of why this problem needs to be fixed. The whole process took around two weeks and included brainstorming, planning, editing, peer editing, and finalizing. 

Many students had different opinions about the writing SOL alternative. Some of them were disappointed. 

“I was sad that they canceled the SOL since we only have 2 writing SOLs in our whole school life,” said Shruthi Mandava, an eighth-grader on the Xtreme team, “Now we have to do it again in 11th grade with no experience. Not the best situation.” 

While some were happy and relieved. 

“When I heard the information, I was relieved. There are so many SOLs in eighth grade, and I was happy that one was canceled. Even though there was still an alternative,” said Simone Shah, an eighth-grader on the Yellow Jackets team. 

Many students thought the alternative was much easier than the SOL as they got two weeks to finish, students were provided with a planning slideshow, and students were required to edit someone else’s essay. 

Another opinion was that a topic for the alternative was easy to find as there are so many websites already out there about flaws in a school environment. 

“I spent around 5 minutes searching for a topic and evidence. After that, it was really easy to write the essay,” said Sathwika Vummadi, eighth-grader on the Dolphins team. 

Overall, a lot of eighth graders seem to have positive feelings about their alternative. 

“I already submitted mine!” said Zoya Ghantiwala, an eighth-grader on the Voyagers team.