The BCS Math Placement Process
At BCS, we strive to provide a variety of learning opportunities to meet students’ individual strengths and needs. We incorporate a wide range of teaching strategies to engage students and challenge them at a level that is appropriate for them. BCS’s individualized grade pacing allows students to access math classes that match their abilities. BCS offers twelve different math courses with multiple paths of course sequencing. Students are vertically advanced (at any grade level) if they meet specific criteria and prerequisites. This innovative approach allows us to strive for our overall goal of supporting the individual mathematical needs of each one our students. For more information regarding course descriptions click on “Math Overview" to the left. Multiple math paths are available to students, and student placement is based upon their performance. Criteria for advanced placement include teacher recommendation, evaluation (grades, work habits and assessments), 88% grade maintained in the accelerated class and parent approval. Following is a detailed outline of the mathematical profile we build on each student, each year, to determine appropriate math placement.
(Because of the multiple math paths available, new students to BCS who enter in grades 4-8 and come from an "advanced" math course at their previous school will be placed in the math course that most closely matches their previous school’s course and he/she will be given a math placement test to find any gaps, reteach some of the content or place in a more appropriate course as necessary.)
The Rubric We Use
Below is a detailed outline of the elements of how to read our math rubrics followed by links to the grade level rubrics.
- Assessments: Unit Tests Average (Grades 4-7)
- Work Habits: See page two of the rubric for detailed description
- Problem Solving: See page two of the rubric for detailed description
- TerraNova (4th to 5th only): This nationally-normed, standardized achievement test used in the U.S. is published by CTB/McGraw-Hill. At BCS, we give an above level (6th grade) math portion to 4th grade students to assess their mathematical thinking as another data point we use for the students' math profile determining 5th grade placement. This data provide an indication of student readiness for accelerated math.
- Orleans Hanna (6th to 7th only): This is an Integrated Math placement test that provides objective results to support decisions about students’ readiness for the Integrated Math 1 course placement.
- Currently Enrolled in...*
- 5th to 6th Grade rubric: If the student is currently enrolled in 5/6 Math they receive 2 points on the rubric.
- 6th to 7th Grade rubric: If the student is currently enrolled in 6+ Math they receive 1 point on the rubric. If the student is currently enrolled in Math 7/8 they receive 2 points on the rubric.
- 7th to 8th Grade rubric: If the student is currently enrolled in Math 7/8 or Integrated Math 1 they receive 1 point on the rubric. If the student is currently enrolled in Honors Integrated Math 2, they receive 2 points on the rubric.
* Once a student is accelerated they will receive their math placement from their current math teacher based on that grade level’s math rubric.
While no “points” are tied to the following two sections of the rubric (Mid-Year and NWEA), the data are used as further consideration towards students' math placements.
- Mid-Year Assessment
- NWEA: These computerized tests are adaptive and all students at BCS are given the Reading and Mathematics portions. When taking the NWEA MAP® test, the difficulty of each question is based on how well a student answers all the previous questions. Thus, the test is adaptive to the student’s responses.
To view the different rubrics, click the appropriate link below:
Incoming Accelerated/Plus Math students
- All students will take an assessment at the beginning of the year with their grade level peers to gather baseline data to check for curriculum gaps in their learning.
- During the second or third week of school, accelerated/plus math students will be given an assessment by the instructional specialist and the counseling staff to determine their readiness for acceleration at BCS at the appropriate level. All student performance data to-date will be reviewed by a math team to determine placement. Examples include: NWEA, classroom and homework assignments and assessments, reading comprehension, district scores.
- Students who demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding will be accelerated. Students who need more time will remain in the current placement for review at a later date. An assessment summary of the students’ individual strengths and weaknesses will be shared with each parent/guardian.
- Based upon all of the student assessment data, students just falling short of accelerating will be offered an enrichment opportunity and will be re-assessed.
- Students who are not accelerated will be given the opportunity to take another assessment at the end of the first quarter.
Student A: Takes the assessment after the third week of school and scores 92% and after thorough review, they are accelerated.
Student B: Takes the assessment after the third week of school and they score 82%. The assessment is thoroughly reviewed and the student demonstrated no understanding of fractions at that grade level. The student was not moved up due to the lack of understanding of all the fraction standards and would benefit from classroom instruction at that grade level. This student will be given alternate materials throughout the year and additional support from the instructional specialist.
Student C: Takes the assessment after the third week of school and scores 82%. The assessment is thoroughly reviewed and the student demonstrated no understanding of a subset of fraction standards and a subset of geometry standards. The student received a short term intervention, was re-assessed at the end of quarter 1, scored 90% and was moved up after review.
These are just a few scenarios, but there are a multitude of ways and reasons we use to determine placement. The math team carefully reviews each student individually and will share a summary of their results with parents during the process.
Please know: We teach both Integrated Math 1 and Integrated Math 2 (high school level courses) at BCS. We have an acute understanding of students who will be successful in those classes and we are careful to ensure that students have a deep understanding of grade level content in order to be successful in these courses.