Mathematics Sequence

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I am writing to clarify and explain some course sequence changes that we have made at Smith Academy for the 2015-16 school year. We utilized several resources to make informed decisions surrounding this matter and anticipate your support of these changes. These are not significant changes to what has been offered in the past or what other districts in the state are moving toward. We utilized recommendations made by both the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Math. The guidance provided by MDESE is taken from their MassCore recommended course requirement model and is based upon college and career readiness. The CCSS provides various recommendations and models on how Math sequencing may be implemented to ensure all standards are addressed. We will implement a similar version to CCSS's "Pathway 3" listed on page 3 of their recommended pathways (CCSS: Mathematics). 

The purpose of these changes is to:

  1. Make needed adjustments to support CCSS
  2. Ensure students are receiving College and Career Readiness course sequencing
  3. Provide greater access to higher level math content for ALL students
  4. Keep students in heterogeneous class groupings (until sophomore year, rather than splitting in 8th grade) 
  5. Create more flexibility for scheduling
  6. Provide more support for 10th grade MCAS year (competency determination)

Ninth grade students who are currently in Geometry but have already taken Algebra I will go on to Algebra II. If they did not take Algebra I in 8th grade, they will be administered a placement exam this week. A passing score and their final exam grade will be utilized to determine placement into Algebra II for their sophomore year. Students who are not placed in Algebra II will be offered Integrated Algebra (Variation of Alg. I). These students will still have the option of reaching higher level course work if they decide to pursue them. 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate in contacting me. 


Mr. Andrew Berrios