Math Placement Information for Incoming 9th Graders
Welcome to Central High School! You have several options for your child’s math placement for next year.
- Algebra 1 (Note: This is the default placement for all incoming students.)
- Algebra 1 Honors
- Algebra 2
- Algebra 2 Honors
Please complete the following form by May 1st, 2022 indicating the desired math placement for your child.
About Math Honors Courses
How are math honors courses and standard courses different?
There are five main differences that make an honors course different from a standard course. They are:
- Topics treated in greater depth
- Types of questions are significantly more challenging
- Significantly increased pace of instruction
- Higher expectation of student independence
- Higher expectation for the amount of time devoted to the course outside class
We create these courses because we observe daily that all learners are different.
Some students manifest certain characteristics that show they are ready to tackle more challenging kinds of questions with greater independence. We create the courses to give these students the learning experience where they will best flourish. Not all students find these “honors” courses to be a good fit; in fact, in our experience, only a small percentage typically do. The great majority of our students do not flourish working independently on the kinds of questions we ask students to consider in “honors” courses.
What characteristics do we look for in a student to place in these courses? Here are a few:
- Enjoys spending a long period of time on a single challenging math problem.
- Can learn new math ideas independently without asking for extra help.
- Independently wonders about mathematical ideas and their application.
- Prefers when every problem is different rather than doing a larger number of similar kinds of problems.
- Can see patterns quickly and easily without help.
- Recalls previous math content and skills without refreshers or review.
The requirements for students interested in taking a higher level course vary.
Algebra 1 Advanced
This is our standard algebra 1 course. By default, all students are enrolled in Algebra 1.
Please note, even our standard math courses are called “advanced.” This is because all students at Central are prepared for an advanced level of courses. The Algebra 1 Advanced course offered at Central, while same in name as Algebra 1 MS (Middle School), emphasizes topics such as factoring, exponents, and rational expressions at a level usually treated less thoroughly in typical Algebra 1 MS courses.
Algebra 1 Honors
Students with some exposure to Algebra 1 MS (Middle School) and think an honors course (as described above) fits their child’s interest and ability may simply choose this course option for their child when completing the course placement request form. Please note, to be successful in the course students should be able to perform calculations with whole numbers, positive and negative numbers, and fractions without the use of a calculator. As with all honors courses, a high level of independence is required along with more time outside of class for homework.
A placement test is not offered or required.
Algebra 2 Advanced (9th grade)
This is our standard algebra 2 course, though designed for incoming 9th grade students. Students who already completed Algebra 1 MS with excellent marks may request placement in this course through the course placement request form.
A placement test is required for students seeking Algebra 2 Advanced. This test will be administered online at the end of May 2022. More information about the placement will be sent directly to families who request the course through the course placement request form.
Algebra 2 Honors
This is a very rigorous introduction to advanced algebra for students who have mastered Algebra 1 MS with excellent marks. As described above, this course requires independence and a much greater amount of time completing homework outside of class. Students may request placement in this course through the course placement request form. Please note, to be successful in the course students should be able to perform calculations with whole numbers, positive and negative numbers, and fractions without the use of a calculator. We expect students to have mastered simplifying expressions with exponents, factoring quadratic polynomials, solving one variable equations with fractional coefficients amongst other skills.
A placement test is required for students seeking Algebra 2 Honors. This test will be administered online at the end of May 2022. More information about the placement will be sent directly to families who request the course through the course placement request form.
Please follow the link below to find some core prealgebra and algebra problems we expect incoming students seeking honors or other higher level courses to master before arriving at Central.
School Based Teacher Leader for Mathematics