Mathematics Course Placement Guidelines for Middle School
The Cambrian School District aims for all students to be successful in math. Our goal is that each child is placed in the math course that is most appropriate for their learning needs as they move through their middle school and high school years. The rigorous California State Standards for Mathematics require students to begin learning Algebra in much earlier grade levels. Many of the topics that used to be taught in a high school Algebra 1 or Geometry course are now being taught in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
The effect of this is that all students are being accelerated in their mathematics learning through middle school. Recognizing that some students are able to learn more quickly and that the progression of learning through each grade level is dependent on students having the opportunity to learn and master the standards from previous grades, the Cambrian School District has modified courses and placement guidelines for middle school students in the Cambrian School District.
Students who demonstrate readiness for early advancement in mathematics may be eligible for placement into an Accelerated Mathematics Course Pathway. Indicators of readiness include a high level of conceptual understanding, procedural skill, and application of mathematics. A willingness to engage in problem-solving, reasoning, communication, and connections, will also be indicators for students who are ready for early advancement. For more information about your student’s readiness for math acceleration, see Characteristics of a Mathematically Promising Student.
Criteria for placement for Accelerated Course Pathway is a two-step process.
- Meet 4 Prerequisites:
- Spring MARS & CSD Benchmark Assessments (Level 4 Cut Score);
- SBA (Level 4);
- SBA Claim Areas (All 3 areas “Above Standard”);
- Parental Consent
- Pass Qualifying Assessment (only provided to students meeting all 4 Prerequisites):
- Accelerated MARS Assessment (Level 4 Cut Score)
- Meet 4 Prerequisites:
Grade Level Course Pathway
Students in the grade level pathway will learn the standards for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade standards while in middle school. They will take Integrated Math I in 9th grade and have the opportunity to progress through four years of math and be ready for college-level math upon graduation. Students who need extra support may have the opportunity to enroll in an intervention support class in grades 6 through 8.
Students who do not participate in accelerated courses in middle school will still have the opportunities to accelerate at the high school level. See Appendix A: High School Mathematics Course Pathways below.
Accelerated Course Pathway
Grade 6 Math
All students in grade 6 will learn the standards for 6th grade standards. All students will be given the opportunity to participate in a compacted pathway in grade 7 at the end of the year. Qualification for the compacted pathway will depend on how students performed on the placement criteria.
Grade 7/8 Grade Compacted
Students who qualify for acceleration may choose to enter into the 7/8 compacted pathway as 7th graders. Qualification begins with students who achieve a score of Level 4 on the spring assessments (MARS & District Benchmark), Level 4 on SBA, and achieve Above Standard on each of SBA Claim Areas at the end of 6th grade. Students who are placed into the compacted pathway will learn all of the 7th grade standards and the first half of the 8th grade standards in one year.
Grade 8 + Integrated Math I (ASD 1 or ALEKS 2)
Students who qualify may be placed in an accelerated course in which standards are “compacted,” requiring students to learn at a faster rate in 8th grade. Students will be selected for this course after completion of 7th grade. Qualification will begin with students who achieve a score of Level 4 on the spring assessments (MARS & District Benchmark), Level 4 on the SBA, and Above Standard on each of SBA Claim Areas at the end of 7th grade. Students will learn all of the 8th grade standards and the Integrated Math I standards in one year.
Integrated Math I
Students who qualify may be placed in an accelerated course in which standards are “compacted,” requiring students to learn at a faster rate in 8th grade. Students will be selected for this course after completion of 7th grade. Qualification will begin with students who achieve a score of Level 4 on the spring assessments (MARS & District Benchmark), Level 4 on the SBA, and Above Standard on each of SBA Claim Areas at the end of 7th grade. Students will learn the second half of the 8th grade standards and Integrated Math I standards in one year.
ASD IMI - This course is available to qualified students at Price Middle School. This year-long enrichment class will be offered to students in the Grade 8 Math class that are demonstrating readiness of learning all Integrated Math I standards in depth, and working toward entering Integrated Math II in Grade 9.
ALEKS IMI - This course is available to qualified students at Steindorf K-8 STEAM School. It is web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. Students will be on an independent learning plan to complete this course in conjunction with attending their Grade 8 Math class. All requirements for this course will be completed online and will be supervised and monitored by an assigned math teacher. This year-long class will be offered to students demonstrating readiness of learning all Integrated Math I standards in depth, and working toward entering Integrated Math II in Grade 9.
Students who choose an accelerated pathway should be planning to take four years of math in high school, including AP or IB level mathematics.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact the school principal or the Cambrian School District Educational Services Department at (408) 377-2103.