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Math Acceleration

Approach to Mathematics Acceleration – K-5

The Westport Public Schools offer a rich and rigorous study of mathematics.  Our curriculum emphasises conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application and problem solving. Students build depth of understanding by learning to access concepts from multiple perspectives.  They develop speed and accuracy in calculation so they can access more complex concepts and procedures. Students use math flexibly for applications in problem-solving contexts.

Individual student needs are met in the classroom through curricular differentiation. Classroom teachers collaborate with math specialists and teachers of the gifted to address the needs of students at all levels.  Accelerated Mathematics is considered for students who consistently demonstrate exemplary understanding of grade level standards, concepts and procedures, problem solving skills, and for whom regular differentiation is not adequate.  

Accelerated Mathematics is an extensive, deeper study of mathematics at the next grade level.  The process of consideration for Accelerated Mathematics (as follows) may be initiated by the classroom teacher or parent.  The purpose of this consideration process is to determine whether the student’s needs can be met in the regular classroom through differentiation or if the student should be assessed as a candidate for Accelerated Mathematics.

Procedures for Accelerated Mathematics – K-5

  1. Teacher or parent initiates the request for Accelerated Mathematics.
  2. The Accelerated Mathematics Team convenes to review the student’s current mathematical functioning. The Accelerated Mathematics Team includes the school administrator, workshop teacher, classroom teacher, math specialist, PreK-5 Mathematics Coordinator, and school psychologist.

    The PreK-5 Mathematics Coordinator reviews the Criteria for Accelerated Mathematics with the Team, who collectively determine whether to continue to differentiate in the classroom or to initiate the assessment process for Accelerated Mathematics.

    The gifted administrator notifies parents of the outcome of the meeting via letter.  
  3. Assessments are administered by the PreK-5 Mathematics Coordinator, as defined by the Criteria for Accelerated Mathematics below.  
  4. After the assessments are complete, the Accelerated Mathematics Team reconvenes to review the data and determines whether the child is to: 
     

    a.  be accelerated in mathematics or 

    b.  continue to receive differentiation in the regular classroom.
     

    The school administrator or the PK-5 Math Coordinator contacts parents to share a summary of assessment results and the Accelerated Mathematics Team’s determination.  The school administrator sends a letter to parents stating the team’s determination.

Criteria for Accelerated Mathematics

Grades K - 4

Accelerated Mathematics will be recommended by the team if at least 4 out of 5 criteria are met by the student.

  1. The student is identified as gifted through the formal identification process.
  2. The student has a score of  >99th percentile on the Test of Mathematical Abilities for Gifted Students (TOMAGS).
  3. The student has a score at or above the 99th percentile for their age on the non-verbal section of the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (or its equivalent standardized individual/group intelligence/reasoning test).
  4. The student demonstrates exceptional problem solving skills across a variety of contexts.
  5. Student demonstrates mastery (90%) on an assessment of content that will be missed due to acceleration.  This is to ensure no gaps will exist as a result of accelerating content.

Fall and Winter of Grade 5

Accelerated Mathematics will be recommended by the team if at least 2 out of 3 criteria are met by the student.

  1. The student has a score at or above the 99th percentile for their age on the non-verbal section of the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (or its equivalent standardized individual/group intelligence/reasoning test).
  2. The student demonstrates exceptional problem solving skills across a variety of contexts.
  3. Student demonstrates mastery (90%) on an assessment of content that will be missed due to acceleration.  This is to ensure no gaps will exist as a result of accelerating content.

Additional Criteria for Accelerated Mathematics

Spring of Grade 5

Consideration for Accelerated Mathematics in the spring (third trimester) of fifth grade must also account for middle school course placement.  

Students considered for Accelerated Mathematics in the spring of fifth grade must be assessed for algebra readiness. Algebra readiness is assessed with the Algebra Readiness Exam administered by the 6-12 Mathematics Coordinator.

Students who meet two of the three criteria defined above and demonstrate mastery on the Algebra Readiness Exam will be placed in Algebra 1+ in Grade 6. Students who meet two of the three criteria defined above, but do not demonstrate mastery on the Algebra Readiness Exam will be accelerated into Math 7+ in Grade 6.

 

Updated September, 2020

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Staples High School, 70 North Ave, Westport, CT 06880, USA