A letter from Beverly Bisnett-Jenks, Instructional Administrator for Math, Science and Technology regarding accelerated classes
Dear Families of 7th Grade Students:
It is that time of the year when our 7th grade Math and Science teachers begin their process of collecting data and forming recommendations for acceleration in Math and Science. I have sent previous communications in December about what the acceleration program looks like at FMS and a general overview of the selection process based on what has been done in the past.
This year we will be utilizing assessments administered this school year including the iReady mid-year diagnostic test along with the skills test. The skills test is administered during students’ Math Core time and measures math fluency. The majority of this assessment is computation and without a calculator. It is not counted as a grade but rather serves as a benchmark assessment to evaluate students’ number sense proficiency for typical 7th grade students.
To summarize, the following criteria will be used to screen students for acceleration in Math:
- Quarterly grades for the first three quarters for grade 7 Math.
- Skills Test (March 17/18).
- The iReady diagnostic tool for Math.
- Teacher Recommendations for Math.
Those students who are selected for acceleration in Mathematics will then be considered for acceleration in Science for the 2022-23 school year. The grade 7 Science teachers will be carefully considering students for acceleration in science, based on specific criteria and their quarterly grades.
When forming a recommendation the following criteria will be considered. Successful accelerated students display the following:
- Access and use resources without prompting.
- Attempt to do their best work.
- Complete work in a timely manner.
- Take advantage of opportunities to extend learning beyond what is delivered during class time.
- Follow directions independently.
- Advocate for themselves and communicate with teachers frequently.
- Work consistently and demonstrate a desire to understand concepts rather than just finish assignments.
- Able to learn from mistakes and change behavior based on experience.
- Demonstrate mastery of mathematical (scientific) concepts (test at an 85 or better).
- Demonstrate focus and time management skills that support their learning.
- Actively participate in class instruction whether in person or remotely.
It is essential that students demonstrate these skills in order to be successful as accelerated students. This is due in part because students’ performance will be recorded permanently on their transcripts. It is extremely important that students are afforded this opportunity and also are not put in harm’s way if they are not ready to be accelerated.
Decisions regarding acceleration are shared with families in mid-May. If at any time you are concerned about your students’ performance and have questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Dr. Bev Bisnett-Jenks
Math, Science, and Technology Instructional Administrator.
Farnsworth Middle School