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May 19th, 2017
The Annunciation middle school math department, the Annunciation math team, and our 5th grade team have spent time analyzing our math pathway over the past several years to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all of our learners. In 2017-2018, Annunciation will make available an additional accelerated math pathway that includes Geometry for students who demonstrate exceptional abilities in math. We have offered a one-year accelerated track for the past several years to students with advanced mathematical abilities.
As part of our review process, we have consulted with many of the area high schools that Annunciation students go on to attend. Several expressed concern that some students who are accelerated during middle school go on to accelerated high school math and struggle. This may be the result of students who are “good at school” but not necessary “exceptional in math” finding themselves on an accelerated track in high school where they are unable to succeed. It is an important distinction to consider for placement.
Appropriate placement is one of the most critical tasks for math teachers. We want all of our students to not only pass their math classes, but also develop the fundamentals for short-and-long-term comprehension, confidence, and academic success, while enjoying mathematics to the greatest extent possible. Ultimately, moving at a suitable pace is crucial to ensuring a child’s success in math. Please remember that our goal is to have all students experience success in math at Annunciation at a pace that is appropriate to them; for most students, this will mean they will be on the grade level pathway. All of our classes will be at grade level or higher, so no placement will be detrimental to a student’s long-term math success.
Students will be identified for acceleration at the end of a school year, unless transferring to Annunciation at which time the same criteria will be used. The criteria used to identify students for acceleration include the following:
- MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) scores
- Current math class performance/grades
- OLSAT score
- An "end-of-year" placement test (incoming 6th graders only)
The accelerated courses will move at a very rapid pace. The one-year accelerated class will cover all the Algebra 1 standards (9th grade standards) by the end of 8th grade allowing students to take Geometry in ninth grade. Similarly, the two-year accelerated program (the Geometry option) are for those students who demonstrate they are capable of completing 5 years of math within their 3 years of middle school, thereby completing Geometry by the end of 8th grade and allowing students to take Algebra 2 in ninth grade.
Accelerated students are required to maintain a GPA of at least a B- each semester. Students who need to slow down may have to repeat some curriculum, but in most cases not an entire year. Similarly, students on the grade level pathway who are identified for acceleration at the end of their 6th or 7th grade year will be required to complete work over the summer and pass a placement test in order to ensure mastery of prerequisite materials and move to the accelerated pathway.
In this year of transition to include the new pathway, we will be offering 4 levels of math for 8th grade for the 2017-2018 school year to ensure that students do not have to repeat material. However, students in 7th and 8th grade who are identified and accept to be on the Geometry pathway will need to complete some work over the summer.
We look forward to working with your child next year and challenging all of our students to achieve in mathematics. If you have additional questions, please contact a your child's teacher.