St. Patrick School Community,
As we close another trimester this year, report cards go home and we embark on the last trimester of the year it is important to note that behind the scenes a lot of preparation is already happening for next school year. Trips are being planned and booked, professional development workshops are providing our teachers with the skills they need to implement new programs for next year, job descriptions are being carefully crafted for new positions, meetings are taking place with resources in our community that can help us provide our students with the best opportunities for success and so on and so on. I have already mentioned meetings taking place to start a high school placement test prep course and now I want to inform you of a meeting I had this last Monday with the Math Department Chair at Arlington Catholic High School.
I had the great opportunity to be invited to visit AC and meet with Mr. Hyland to discuss a plethora of things in terms of math at the middle school level and transitioning into the high school level. We discussed different tracks according to student placement on the exams that 8th graders will take soon and how that will affect their coursework in high school and their opportunities at colleges and universities after high school. We also discussed methodologies of instruction, homework, assessments, and key concepts for the successful transition to high school.
Mr. Hyland was gracious enough to share with me the curriculum maps for their various freshman math courses so that in our planning process for next year we can make sure that we are aligning our curriculum to best prepare students for those high school courses. This will make a huge impact knowing exactly the units and skills that students will cover their freshman year.
I shared with Mr. Hyland a course plan for our 7th and 8th graders next school year and he was very impressed. He stated that this will be a great opportunity for our students and he is pleased to see this happening. I look forward to continually communicating the advancements we are making as a school and sharing the excitement that so many of us share in the future of St. Patrick School.
7th & 8th Grade Math Program
The middle school math courses are designed to both strengthen fundamental math concepts and transition students into higher level math courses at the pace that is appropriate to their developmental readiness. Seventh grade students will take either Pre-algebra or Honors Pre-Algebra. Each provides a strong foundation in computational skills as well as the building blocks for the abstract thinking needed in future math courses. Students strengthen their skills in operations with decimals, fractions, percentages, and integers. They work with and apply concepts in algebra, geometry, probability, and statistics. There is a focus throughout on problem-solving and reasoning skills, and students gain a greater appreciation of math by applying mathematical concepts to real-world situations.
Students in the Pre-Algebra course in seventh grade spend more time with each concept and continue with Honors Pre-Algebra in eighth grade (standard 8th grade track). These students will be prepared to take Algebra I in ninth grade. The students in the Honors Pre-Algebra course in seventh grade work through the curriculum more rapidly and are prepared to take Algebra I in the 8th grade and Honors Algebra I or Honors Geometry in 9th grade (accelerated track).
Eighth grade students take either Algebra I or Honors Pre-algebra depending on the math skills and developmental readiness of the student. MAP testing results, end of unit assessments in sixth grade, parent and teacher recommendation will be used as deciding factors for placement into appropriate course. Students in the latter course continue to broaden their arithmetic skills and move deeper into geometry, algebra, probability, and statistics while building a strong foundation for high school math courses. The Algebra I course is the same course as the local high schools course. The students move through the content at a faster pace and are challenged by factoring and other rigorous concepts.