Information About 2021-22 Accelerated Classes

A letter from Beverly Bisnett-Jenks, Instructional Administrator for Math, Science and Technology regarding accelerated classes

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 gives students an opportunity to participate in the curriculum at a faster pace than their peers.

The purpose of this letter is to provide information about acceleration and the criteria that are used to determine if a 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 a student qualifies for the acceleration program, families will be notified by letter in mid-May of 2021. Because of this year’s unique structure due to COVID 19, there are slight revisions to the criteria, which is denoted below.

Acceleration: Regents Algebra I (Common Core)

Algebra I is the first course in a Regents sequence aligned with the NYS Learning standards which culminates with the NYS 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. Students are selected to participate in Accelerated Math based on a number of criteria:

  • (New for 2021-22) Quiz/Test average from Quarter 1 and 2
  •  (New for 2021-22) A Benchmark assessment to be given in March or equivalent assessment(s)
  • Quarterly Grades (for the first three quarters)
  • Teacher Recommendation based on the NYS Standards for Mathematical Practice.

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.

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 receive 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 or 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.

Kind Regards,

Beverly Bisnett-Jenks, EdD
Instructional Administrator for Math, Science and Technology
Farnsworth Middle School
bisnettb@guilderlandschools.net

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