6th to 7th grade math placement

Dear Families,  

 

It’s spring!  This letter is to inform you of your student’s math placement options for 2022-23. As students finish sixth grade, there are two math options: 7th Grade Math and Algebra 1. Please read this document carefully to make an informed choice.  

All students will be enrolled in the grade-level appropriate course, 7th Grade Math.  If your student’s skills, data, and goals clearly indicate that Algebra 1 is an appropriate placement, please click here to select that option for your student: https://forms.office.com/r/yZ3sDJsqSW. Please reply by March 31, 2022. Please carefully consider this choice.  It may not be possible to change your student’s placement mid-year.   

  1. Recommendation: The strong recommendation is that current 6th graders take 7th Grade Math.   

The core concepts and skills learned in 7th Grade Math are foundational to future math learning and are not covered in depth in later courses. Some of the essential topics in 7th grade math include: 

  • Ratio and proportion concepts that are necessary in math courses and out of school situations. 

  • Operations with positive and negative numbers, including decimals and fractions that support all higher-level math topics. 

  • Statistics and probability concepts for analyzing mathematical and out of school situations.  

  • Foundational geometry concepts such as scale factor, surface area, and volume underlie important ideas in geometry and are also very useful in out of school situations. 

 

  1. Access to High Level Math: Students who take 7th grade math will be able to reach high level mathematics courses in high school including Calculus, AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC.  See pathway below. 

For more information about 7th Grade Math and the other courses offered: 

 

  1. Data Considerations for Acceleration:  Some families and students may be interested in acceleration to Algebra 1 in 7th grade. To plan for a successful experience in math next year and beyond, here are data points that can help predict student success in Algebra 1 as a 7th grade student. At minimum, a student considering acceleration should have: 

 

  • Score of 4 on the two most recent Math Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA)  

  • Score of 3.5 or higher on one or more semesters of math from 5th grade 

  • Grade of B+ or higher on the Semester 1 report card from 6th grade 

  • On Track for being at standard by the end of the year on FastBridge screener. 

 

Please check your email to review your student’s scores for the criteria listed. 

In addition, students who intend to take Algebra 1 as a 7th grader should complete the 7th grade course in ALEKS, LWSD’s online math learning environment, prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year.  It is highly recommended that students also complete the 8th grade course in ALEKS, as that contains pre-algebra concepts. 

Note: Current test scores are available to all families under the Test Scores tab in Skyward. 

  1. Acceleration and Impact on Access to Learning Math Standards:   When students take Algebra 1 as 7th graders, they are skipping two years of math instruction that are foundational to success in future courses. Students taking Algebra 1 in 7th grade will have to learn missed concepts and fill skill gaps with less time and support. These concepts are used extensively throughout the Algebra course and beyond. These key concepts include but are not limited to the 7th Grade Math topics described above, and topics from 8th Grade Math: 

  • Formulate and reason about expressions and equations. 

  • Understand and use functions to describe quantitative relationships. 

  • Analyze two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. 

 

  1. Planning with your student:  When considering math placement, discuss the following questions with your student: 

 

  • What are my student’s math goals? What is my student’s anticipated course sequence through middle and high school to reach those math goals? 

  • Has my student demonstrated both procedural fluency and deep understanding of 6th grade math topics?  

  • Will my student be able to meet the challenge of learning, at minimum, the 7th Grade Math content and skills on an abbreviated timeline using the ALEKS online program?  

  • Is my student able to ask for help when they do not understand? 

 

  1. Additional Information:  Algebra 1 is a high school course.  Per Policy 2410P, high school courses taken and passed in middle school are automatically given high school credit and recorded on the high school transcript, unless requested otherwise.  See the LWSD High School Guide (https://tinyurl.com/ybtwzacg) for more information.   

All students will be enrolled in the grade-level appropriate course, 7th Grade Math.  If your student’s skills, data, and goals clearly indicate that Algebra 1 is an appropriate placement, please click here to select that option for your student: https://forms.office.com/r/yZ3sDJsqSW. Please reply by March 31, 2022. Please carefully consider this choice.  It may not be possible to change your student’s placement mid-year.   

If you choose to enroll your student in Algebra, we will ask you and your student to sign a contract that contains additional information and expectations for the course.  

graphic for math placement