Letter to Grade 7 parents regarding acceleration criteria for Grade 8
Nov. 7, 2016—
A letter from FMS Instructional Administrator
for Math, Science and Technology Beverly Bisnett-Jenks
Dear Parents/Guardians of 7th Grade Students:
At Farnsworth Middle School, we seek to identify each student’s unique talents. Students who have demonstrated exceptional abilities are provided with opportunities to move beyond the core curriculum through acceleration. Acceleration provides students with an opportunity to participate in curriculum at a faster pace than their peers. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information about acceleration and the criteria that is used to determine if your student is ready to participate in the High School level courses in Algebra I and/or Regents Living Environment (Biology) as an 8th grader next year. If your student qualifies for the acceleration program, you will be notified by letter in mid-May.
Acceleration: Regents Algebra I (Common Core):
Algebra I is the first course in a Regents sequence aligned with the Common Core standards which culminates with the New York State Regents Exam in June. Students will be expected to acquire and demonstrate mathematical problem solving skills and will be expected to identify and justify mathematical relationships. Topics will include relationships between quantities and reasoning with equations and their graphs, descriptive statistics, linear and exponential functions, polynomial and quadratic expressions, equations and functions, and synthesis of modeling with equations and functions. Students are selected to participate in Accelerated Math based on a number of criteria:
• Midterm Exam – scheduled to be taken in January 2016
•The 7th grade Skills Test in Math – scheduled to be taken in March 2016
• Quarterly Grades (for the first three quarters)
• Teacher Recommendation based on Common Core Math Practice standards
The selected students will take Algebra I and do NOT participate in 8th grade Math. To support all participating students as they transition from 7th grade Math to the High School Algebra I course, a prerequisite, independent summer bridge program has been developed. The 7th grade Math program also provides opportunities for students to become exposed to some 8th grade Math topic areas and has, inherent to its curriculum, avenues for enrichment.
Acceleration: Regents Living Environment
Students are selected for Regents Living Environment (Biology) first if they have qualified for Algebra I and have maintained an “A” average in Science for the first three quarters of their 7th grade year. In addition, students must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in their lab work, and obtain a recommendation from their Science teacher. Living Environment classes will be offered as part of the regular school day. Participating students in the Accelerated Science program do NOT participate in 8th grade Science.
The acceleration program provides an opportunity for students to take high school level courses as an 8th grader and is a serious endeavor for our students, families, and our faculty. These experiences have an effect on our students’ educational career and their high school transcripts. Students who participate in Regents Living Environment (Biology) during their 8th grade year are expected to perform at a mastery level and are encouraged to complete five years of Math and Science prior to high school graduation.
Every year we offer this program, the staff at Farnsworth Middle School is overwhelmed by the talent pool. Please encourage your child to continue to work hard and do their best.
Instructional Administrator for Math, Science and Technology