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Math Placement and Algebra 1 Completion Policy

CWCS Board Approved: June 15, 2021

Connecting Waters Math Placement Policy & Algebra 1 Completion Guidelines for Middle School and High School

Overview

This policy outlines the use of local and state data to ensure that all 9th - 12th grade students who are not performing at grade level in math have Effective Educator (EE) oversight and support to prepare for and demonstrate proficiency in Algebra 1.

 

Students who have not demonstrated proficiency in math 8 standards will be required to have EE oversight for Pre-Algebra or Algebra 1 coursework.  There are a variety of ways they can accomplish this:

  • a-g Algebra 1 (CMS or approved a-g vendor (Apex)),
  • Intensive CMS or PLS course with a qualified math (EE) instructor using approved high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum that has been scaffolded to provide additional support.

 

Each of the above options can offer a varied level of instructional support and pacing, as outlined below.  ESs should work closely with their students and families to determine the best option for the individual student. 

 

Additionally, students working above grade level (in the middle grades 6-8) to complete Algebra 1 are also required to have EE Oversight, as outlined below. 

 

Grade 9 students who have shown proficiency in Grade 8 Standards (evidenced through CAASPP and/or iReady) can complete Algebra 1 under the supervision of their assigned ES using an approved curriculum that meets or exceeds the state standards, as outlined below. 

Rationale and Education Code Requirements

  1. SB359: (Mathematics Placement Act of 2015): “Pupil achievement in mathematics is important to prepare pupils for college and their future careers, especially those careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Placement in appropriate mathematics courses is critically important for a pupil during his or her middle and high school years. A pupil’s 9th grade math course placement is a crucial crossroads for his or her future educational success. Misplacement in the sequence of mathematics courses creates a number of barriers and results in pupils being less competitive for college admissions, including admissions at the California State University and University of California.”
    1. The California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015 requires the governing boards or bodies of local educational agencies (LEAs) that serve pupils entering grade nine and that have not already done so to adopt a “fair, objective, and transparent mathematics placement policy” before the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. The mathematics placement policy for pupils entering grade nine must meet the following requirements:
      1. Systematically takes multiple objective measures of pupil performance into consideration;
      2. Includes at least one checkpoint within the first month of the school year to ensure accurate placement and to permit reevaluation of individual student progress;
      3. Requires an annual examination of pupil placement data to ensure that students are not held back in a disproportionate manner on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic background;
      4. Requires a report on the results of the annual examination by the local educational agency to its governing board or body
      5. Offers clear and timely recourse for each pupil and his or her parent or legal guardian who questions the student’s placement.
  2. AB220: Furthermore, Assembly Bill 220 states “... before a pupil receives a diploma of graduation from high school, that a pupil complete at least one course, or a combination of the 2 courses required for graduation, that meets or exceeds the rigor of Algebra I or Mathematics I, that is aligned to the content standards adopted by the state board. The bill would provide that a pupil who completes coursework that meets or exceeds the content standards for Algebra I adopted by the state board shall be deemed to have satisfied the graduation requirement. The bill would also exempt from the Algebra I or Mathematics I graduation requirement those pupils who, before enrollment in grade 9, completed a course in Algebra I or Mathematics I, or mathematics courses of equal rigor, that are aligned to the content standards adopted by the state board.”
    1. Algebra skills are not only a high school graduation requirement, but also are key to the higher math courses.  Therefore, it is important for students to demonstrate proficiency in Algebra if the course is taken early (before high school). Also, students earning graduation credit for the course must meet or exceed the standards as indicated above.
    2. The California Department of Education reminds us that:
      1. Algebra I standards can and should be taught to all students, including students with disabilities. These students must be given access to the general education curriculum in order to equip them with the practical life skills they will need to be successful in the 21st century. They may not be able to complete the course in the standard length of time and may require more than one class to complete the course of study. In addition, they may need practical ways of demonstrating skills and competencies, such as through the use of manipulatives and with the assistance of calculators. They may also require supplemental instructional materials that address their learning needs. Nonetheless, it is important to ensure that All students be given an opportunity to access standards in the general education curriculum.
      2. In the past many students were assigned to a basic general or remedial-level mathematics class, thereby limiting their opportunity to complete Algebra I, a critical gateway course. To ensure that at-risk learners move ahead to complete an essential course such as Algebra I, ESs may need assistance in designing curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of their students.
  3. AB705: Additionally, Assembly Bill 705 is a bill signed by the Governor on October 13, 2017 that took effect on January 1, 2018. The bill requires that a community college district or college maximize the probability that a student will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and math within a one year timeframe and use, in the placement of students into English and math courses, one or more of the following: high school coursework, high school grades, and high school grade point average.  Since fewer remedial courses are being offered at the college level, it is even more important that students graduate with proficiency in these courses.

Middle School Math Placement

Beginning in middle school, students will tend to follow different pathways in their math education, where advanced students may still complete Algebra 1 in middle school, setting them on a path to complete Calculus in high school.  The following are just a few of the acceptable course sequence scenarios for middle school and high school math.

  • Please be aware that students under the typical high school age will only be awarded high school credit if they have met the criteria as stated in these policies: School Age Policy and Algebra Graduation Requirement listed below.
  • For students completing Algebra 1 or higher level math courses in middle school ESs will complete the "Courses taken by Students Under Typical HS Age Survey" Underage students who are misplaced will be reassigned in the appropriate course.

 

Potential Math Sequences

7th

8th

Advanced Coursework:

This option is recommended for Tier 1 students scoring Level 4 Exceeds Standards on CAASPP testing and/or above grade level on I-Ready diagnostic.

 

  • Students need to demonstrate readiness before embarking on, or continuing on, an advanced pathway in grades 7 and 8.
  • Math Readiness tests are available, but optional, for Math 7 and Math 8, for students who wish to advance early to these courses.
  • Students who begin Algebra 1 before 9th grade must earn a minimum score 80% on the Algebra 1 (High School) Readiness Test, and earn a minimum score of 80% on the Geometry Readiness test (or other CWCS-approved Algebra proficiency exam) upon completion of Algebra 1.

 

 

Math 8

 

a-g Algebra 1*

*see Algebra Graduation Requirement below

 

a-g Algebra 1*

*see Algebra Graduation Requirement below

 

 

a-g Geometry

Grade-Level Coursework:

This option is recommended for Tier 1 or 2 students scoring Level 2 Standards Nearly Met or Level 3 Standards Met on CAASPP testing and/or at grade level on I-Ready diagnostic.

 

  • No specific requirements need to be met for students to take grade-level courses in grades 7 or 8.
  • 7th grade students take Math 7.
  • 8th grade students take Math 8.
  • Math Readiness tests are available, but optional, to help determine if students are ready for these courses.

 

 

 

 

 

Math 7

 

 

 

 

 

Math 8

Below Grade-Level Coursework:

This option is recommended for Tier 2 or 3 students scoring Level 1 Standards Not Met or Level 2 Standards Nearly Met on CAASPP testing and/or below grade level on I-Ready diagnostic.

  • Students taking courses below grade level should work with the RTI program to find a suitable Tier 3 intensive program (this applies to all grades 2-8) and work toward achieving grade-level standards.
  • Intensive intervention is key to ensuring that students will be prepared for high school mathematics.
  • See Response to Instruction Policy for intervention options.

 

 

 

Math 6 + one of the Tier 3 intervention options

 

 

 

Math 7 + one of the Tier 3 intervention options

*Algebra Graduation Requirement for Algebra 1 Completed in Middle School:

The Algebra Graduation Requirement will be met by students in middle school ONLY if they:

  • Complete and pass with a C- or better a-g Algebra 1 with an approved Math EE and the Geometry Readiness test.
    • AWRs should reflect the coursework the student is completing.  If the student is completing Algebra, the master agreement course title should be a-g Algebra and the AWRs must be completed. No high school credit will be issued.
  • Complete Algebra 1 through an accredited CA middle school.
  • Validate through a-g Algebra 2.

Note: Students completing general Algebra 1 in Middle School will not have met the graduation requirements unless they validate Algebra 1 with a-g Algebra 2.

High School Math Placement

Multiple Measures

  • Students entering grade 9 will be recommended a course by their ES and/or grade 8 math instructor after review of multiple data measures based on some or all of the following measures:
  • Grade 8 course and student achievement in that course
  • 8th grade CAASPP math score
  • I-Ready diagnostic results
  • ESs may also consult with their advisor, the Math Specialist and/or the Curriculum & Assessment Director if needed.

Beginning of the School Year Checkpoint/Parent Notification and Opportunity for Recourse

  • The iReady Diagnostic Assessment #1 will be completed within the first 2 weeks of school for all 9th grade students. The iReady Diagnostic #3 can be used if returning 8th Graders completed the assessment in the prior spring term. 
  • For advanced 9th grade students taking a course higher than Algebra 1, a records-check will be done to ensure proper placement in advanced coursework; students who have not taken the appropriate readiness tests will take one within the first month of school.
  • ESs of 9th grade students will determine placement recommendation based on the aforementioned criteria, and the ESs will review the placement recommendation with parents during the first learning record meeting.
  • Parents may challenge the school’s recommendation by requesting their ES to adjust the course placement as desired.

Reporting of Data

  • CWCS Data Team will annually disaggregate the data regarding 9th grade students’ math placement and share results with the Administration.
  • Data will be disaggregated according to race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic background.
  • An annual report will be presented to the CWCS Board.

 

 

Potential Math Sequences

9th

10th

11th

12th

Advanced Coursework:

This option is recommended for Tier 1 students scoring Level 4 Exceeds Standards on CAASPP testing and/or above grade level on I-Ready diagnostic.

 

Student should achieve one or more of the following:

1. Completion of an Algebra 1 course that meets or exceeds the standards.

**See Algebra 1 Curriculum Choices below.

 

2. MDTP: Students completing Algebra 1 in middle school should score a minimum of 80% on the Geometry Readiness test. 

See Middle School Math Placement Policy above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-g Geometry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-g

Algebra 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-g Trig/

Pre-Calculus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-g Calculus

Grade-Level Coursework:

This option is recommended for Tier 1 or 2 students scoring Level 2 Standards Nearly Met or Level 3 Standards Met on CAASPP testing and/or at grade level on I-Ready diagnostic.

 

Student should achieve one or more of the following:

1. Completion of a standards-aligned 8th grade course: Students should earn a grade of C or better on 8th grade report card. Grade 8 coursework must be one of the following:

  • State-adopted curriculum or
  • Non-state adopted curriculum, supplemented with* 8th grade I CANS or
  • Non-state adopted curriculum, supplemented with* Concepts and Skills 8th grade standards review (Common Core Coach or On Core)

*Students using non-state adopted textbooks must complete instruction in all Grade 8 standards.  ESs should use a published scope and sequence to assist with alignment to California Common Core Standards to help determine which “I CAN” or Concepts and Skills review lessons must be completed.  Otherwise, ESs must align the textbook to all Grade 8 Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.


2. 8th Grade CAASPP score: Score of 3 Standards Met or 4 Standards Exceeded

 

3. I-Ready Diagnostic score: Tier 1 On Level

 

Other measures may be taken into consideration (used by Administration and ES for borderline situations).

 

 

 

 

a-g Algebra 1 (CMS course, PLS with EE, or APEX CTV)

 

 

 

 

Higher-

Level Math (a-g Geometry)

 

 

 

 

Higher-Level Math

(a-g

Algebra 2)

 

 

 

 

Higher-Level Math (a-g Trig/

Pre-Calculus)

 

 

 

 

General Algebra 1**

 

**see Algebra 1 Curriculum Choices below

 

 

 

 

Higher-

Level Math (General Geometry)

 

 

Grade-Level Coursework with Additional Support:

Students not meeting the requirements for Advanced or Grade-Level Coursework above may still choose to take Algebra 1 in 9th grade; however, they must utilize one of the Additional Support options listed here.

 

  • Tier 2 and 3 Students who do not score at least a 3 Standards Met or 4 Standards Exceeded on their 8th Grade CAASPP or at grade level on I-Ready Diagnostic may NOT take General Algebra 1.
  • Additional Support Options:
    • a-g CMS or PLS Algebra 1 with EE
    • Intensive CMS or PLS Algebra 1 with EE
    • Apex CTV Algebra 1 with EE
  • Intensive Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 CMS and PLS courses utilize state-adopted curriculum, but are differentiated to provide significant scaffolding to meet the needs of students who need additional support.

CMS Intensive Algebra 1A

 

APEX CTV Algebra 1A with EE

CMS Intensive Algebra 1B

 

APEX CTV Algebra 1B with EE

 

 

 

Consumer Math

 

PLS Intensive Algebra 1 with EE

Consumer Math

 

 

a-g Algebra 1 (CMS course, PLS with EE, or APEX CTV)

Higher-

Level Math (a-g Geometry)

Higher-Level Math

(a-g

Algebra 2)

Higher-Level Math (a-g Trig/

Pre-Calculus)

Below Grade-Level Coursework:

This option is recommended for Tier 2 or 3 students scoring Level 1 Standards Not Met or Level 2 Standards Nearly Met on CAASPP testing and/or below grade level on I-Ready diagnostic.

 

  • Students taking courses below grade level should work with the RTI program to find a suitable Tier 3 intensive program (this applies to all grades 2-8) and work toward achieving grade-level standards.
  • Intensive intervention is key to ensuring that students will be prepared for high school mathematics.
  • See Response to Instruction Policy for intervention options.
  • Students who take below-level coursework may move to a-g coursework at any time.
  • Pre-Algebra with ES Oversight is not an option.
    • High school students who are not yet ready for Algebra 1 must either take the Intensive Pre-Algebra CMS class or work with an EE for PLS Intensive Pre-Algebra or APEX CTV Pre-Algebra/Math Foundations.

Intensive Pre-Algebra (CMS or PLS with EE)

 

APEX CTV Pre-Algebra with EE

CMS Intensive Algebra 1A

CMS Intensive Algebra 1B

 

PLS Intensive Algebra 1 with EE

 

 

APEX CTV General Math Foundations with EE (Math Elective credit - please consult with Math Specialist before placing)  

APEX CTV Math Foundations II with EE (Pre- Algebra credit - please consult with Math Specialist before placing)

CMS Intensive Algebra 1A

CMS Intensive Algebra 1B

PLS Intensive Algebra 1 with EE

 

 

 

PLS Intensive Pre-AlgebraA with EE

 

 

PLS Intensive Pre-Algebra B with EE

CMS Intensive Algebra 1A

CMS Intensive Algebra 1B

PLS Intensive Algebra 1 with EE

 

Algebra Graduation Requirement for Algebra 1 Completed in High School:

The Algebra Graduation Requirement will be met by students in high school ONLY if they:

  • Complete a-g Algebra 1, General Algebra 1 (Tier 2 and 3 Students who do not score at least a 3 Standards Met or 4 Standards Exceeded on their 8th Grade CAASPP or at grade level on I-Ready Diagnostic may NOT take General Algebra 1), or Intensive Algebra 1 with CWCS using an appropriate curriculum as listed below.
  • Complete Algebra 1 with an accredited high school
  • Complete Algebra 1 with a Community College or approved a-g online provider
  • Complete and pass a-g Algebra 2 (CWCS or other accredited high school)
  • Note: any courses not addressed by the above policy must be cleared by the Guidance Department (i.e.: credit from non-US Schools)

Algebra 1 Curriculum Choices

Focus on Standards Aligned Core

According to the school charter, CWCS students must use a curriculum that will enable students to meet the requirements of the Common Core State Standards.  The standards must all be covered by the chosen curriculum. All students are part of the first tier in the RtI pyramid model.  Tier 1 provides research-based instructional strategies and must include a strong core curriculum.  If students are not using a standards aligned curriculum, they are at risk of having “gaps” in their instruction, putting them at risk of falling further behind their peers. All students earning credit for Algebra 1 must use one of the following choices below to ensure compliance to AB220 requirements.

a-g Algebra 1 Options (available for all students):

Students earning a-g Algebra 1 or a-g Math 1 credit must use the approved textbook in the CWCS Course Outline.

General Algebra 1 Options (available for on- or above-level 9th grade students only):

  • State adopted Algebra 1 or Math 1 textbook program or
  • Standards aligned Algebra 1 or Math 1 textbook program with a published scope and sequence alignment to California Common Core Standards; or
  • Algebra 1 or Math 1 curriculum with one of the following corresponding completed concepts and skills review supplemental workbooks. The ES will be required to verify completion of the below workbook choice:
  • On Core Algebra 1 by Houghton Mifflin
  • Common Core Coach, Algebra I by Triumph Learning
  • Algebra 1 Common Core Practice and Problem Solving by Prentice Hall

Note: Concepts and Skills supplemental workbook must be completed in its entirety unless approval with alignment has been received by the Math Specialist.  ESs should collect at least 1 sample each learning period from the above standards-based supplement upon completion for documentation and keep in student file. 

  • Other curriculum choices may be submitted to Math Specialist for review and possible approval. Submissions must include complete Table of Contents, Scope and Sequence, and a minimum of 3 sample lessons from the textbook. It is important to remember that many popular curriculum choices for struggling students do NOT meet or exceed the content standards if used as a stand-alone core curriculum. This includes curriculum such as AcellusAGS AlgebraTeaching Textbooks Algebra, and Math-U-See Algebra, which are not aligned to current CA Algebra 1 content standards.

 

Intensive Algebra 1 Options (available for below-level students who need additional support):

  • CMS Intensive Algebra 1: This is a 2-year class meeting three days per week. Extensive support and scaffolding will be provided, along with differentiated assignments and assessments for students.
  • PLS Intensive Algebra 1: Students must work with an EE. The EE will provide differentiated assignments and assessments.
  • APEX CTV: Students can complete the one-year or two-year Apex Algebra 1 course.
  • HSI Canvas Modules: The current modules will be available and supported through the 2021-2022 school year for students who wish to complete their course there.

 

Additional Guidance

For additional guidance in providing universal access to mathematics instruction, refer to the Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve.