Grade Nine Mathematics Course Placement Policy
The policy of the Granada Hills Charter ("GHC" or the "Charter School") Board of Directors ("Board") is to place all incoming grade nine students into an appropriate mathematics course based on a fair, objective, and transparent protocol to ensure that all students have the opportunity to excel in mathematics and are properly prepared for college and their future careers. This policy also meets the Legislative intent of the Mathematics Placement Act of 2015.
Grade Nine (9) Mathematics Course Placement Process
In determining the mathematics course placement for entering grade nine students, the Charter School systematically takes multiple objective academic measures of student performance into consideration.
GHC counselors make an initial mathematics course placement during enrollment based on the following objective academic measures:
- Student transcripts;
- Current mathematics course;
- Eighth grade first semester grade; and
- Existing California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress ("CAASPP") test scores.
During the GHC Summer Transition Academy, all incoming students complete a series of placement exams that are aligned to state-adopted content standards in mathematics to ensure proper grade nine mathematics course placement. Results from placement exams are distributed to students, parents and/or guardians, GHC counselors, and the mathematics department.
The mathematics department reviews placement exam results to determine whether students meet the placement criteria (described below) for placement into particular courses and informs the counseling office of any recommended changes to the initial placement, if necessary.
GHC counselors make a final mathematics course placement based on placement exam results, mathematics department recommendations, and the objective academic measures listed above. If a student's placement test scores do not confirm the initial placement, the counselors will contact the parents and/or guardians to recommend the proper course placement.
Algebra I: All students not enrolled in Algebra I or higher in grade eight (8) are placed into Algebra I. The curriculum is based on the California Algebra 1 content standards, which include evaluating expressions, solving equations and inequalities, and applying algebraic techniques in problem solving situations. Due to the different naming conventions for grade eight (8) math courses, GHC collaborates with feeder schools and districts to review specific curriculum and standards addressed in each course.
Geometry: To be placed into Geometry in grade nine (9), students enrolled in Algebra I in grade eight (8) must earn a final grade of "B" or higher in Algebra I and meet one of the three following criteria:
- Score 60% or higher on UCLA MDTP Geometry readiness test
- Score 235 or higher on NWEA MAP adaptive mathematics test
- Meet or exceed standards on CAASPP grade eight mathematics test
Students not meeting these criteria will be placed in Algebra I and offered additional support as needed.
The Geometry curriculum is based on the California Common Core State Standards for Geometry, which include proving and applying basic theorems, computing perimeters, circumferences, areas and volumes of geometric shapes, performing basic constructions, and using trigonometric functions to solve problems.
Algebra II: To be placed into Algebra II in grade nine (9), students must have completed Algebra I, must have completed and earned a final grade of "C" or higher in Geometry, and meet one of the three following criteria:
- 60% or higher on UCLA MDTP Algebra II readiness test
- Score 245 or higher on NWEA MAP adaptive mathematics test
- Meet or exceed standards on CAASPP grade eight mathematics test
Students not meeting these criteria will be placed in Geometry and offered additional support as needed.
The Algebra II curriculum is based on the California Common Core State Standards for Algebra II, which includes Modeling, Functions, Number and Quantity, Algebra, and Statistics and Probability.
The Charter School will provide at least one (1) placement checkpoint within the first month of the school year to ensure accurate placement and permit reevaluation of individual student progress. All mathematics teachers responsible for teaching 9th grade students will assess the mathematics placements for each 9th grade student assigned to the teacher's mathematics class. The teacher's assessment will take into consideration factors which may include, but are not limited to, the student's classroom assignments, quizzes, tests, exams, and grades, classroom participation, and any comments provided by the student, the student's parent/legal guardian, and/or the student's other teachers regarding the student's mathematics placement. Based on the assessment, the teacher will then recommend that the student remain in the current mathematics placement or be transferred to another mathematics placement, in which case the teacher shall specify the mathematics course or level recommended for the student.
Annual Examination of Data
Each year, GHCHS will examine aggregate student placement data to ensure that students who are qualified to progress in mathematics courses based on their performance on objective academic measures included in this policy are not held back in a disproportionate manner on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic background. The results of this annual review will be reported to the governing board.
The Charter School offers clear and timely recourse for each student and his or her parent or legal guardian who questions the student's placement, as follows:
A parent/legal guardian of any ninth (9th) grade student may submit a written request to the Charter School Executive Director, or his or her designee, that:
- Requests information regarding how the student's mathematics placement was determined. Within five (5) days of receipt, the Charter School Director or designee shall respond in writing to the parent/legal guardian's request by providing the information, including the objective academic measures that the Charter School relied upon in determining the student's mathematics placement.
- Requests that the student retake the placement test, in which case the Executive Director or designee will attempt to facilitate the retest within two (2) weeks.
- Requests reconsideration of the student's mathematics placement based on objective academic measures. Within five (5) school days of receipt, the Charter School Executive Director or designee shall respond in writing to the parent/legal guardian's request.
The Executive Director or designee and the student's mathematics teacher must assess the objective academic measures provided by the parent in conjunction with the objective academic measures identified in this policy. Based on this assessment, the Executive Director or designee must determine whether the most appropriate mathematics placement for the student is the student's current placement or another placement, in which case the Executive Director shall specify the mathematics course or level recommended for the student.
The Executive Director's or designee's response must provide the determination as well as the objective academic measures that the Executive Director or designee relied upon in making that determination.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Executive Director or designee requires additional time to respond to a parent/legal guardian's request, the Executive Director or designee will provide a written response indicating that additional time is needed. In no event shall the Executive Director's or designee's response time exceed one (1) month.
If, after reconsideration of the student's mathematics placement by the Executive Director or designee, the parent/legal guardian is dissatisfied with the student's mathematics placement, the parent/legal guardian may choose to sign a voluntary waiver requesting that the student be placed in another mathematics course against the professional recommendation of the Executive Director or designee, acknowledging and accepting responsibility for this placement.
The Charter School shall ensure that this mathematics placement policy is posted on its website.
This policy is adopted pursuant to the Mathematics Placement Act of 2015, enacted as Education Code Section 51224.7.
This policy was approved by the GHCHS Governing Board on June 20, 2016.