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Menlo Park City School District

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History of Acceleration in MPCSD K-5

  • Young Scholars  Mathematics instruction grouping in MPCSD shifted in 2009 from ability grouping to heterogeneous grouping in all grades K-4, with an accelerated option for 5th grade advanced students.
    In the pre-2009 model, acceleration options included skipping courses. With the Common Core State Standards however, the 
    MPCSD Leadership team worked together to develop a new model for "compaction" of courses maintaining our past practice of single and double acceleration.  "Compaction" is a term we use to explain that students in accelerated classes must address more standards in a shorter time than was intended by Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

MPCSD 5th Grade Common Core Math

  • Multiple pieces of student assessment data are considered with respect to 5th grade math course placement. All 4th grade students are given an end of year assessment to measure mastery of fourth grade standards in mathematics.  

    During the first two weeks of school every fall, all 5th grade students complete an additional math screening assessment.  By pre-assessing student knowledge, teachers gather important information about each child’s strengths and areas for growth which will help them plan for differentiation and overall course placement.  All of these assessments, along with teacher observations, are used to determine course placement.

    Our goal is to provide every child with an engaging, supportive and challenging environment for learning mathematics.  There are two possible course options for 5th grade students:  5th Grade Common Core Math AND 5/6A Compacted Common Core Math.  Both courses fully cover the depth and rigor of the 5th grade Common Core Standards and demand a disciplined approach to learning both at home and at school.  The compacted course includes all of 5th grade standards and an additional one third of 6th Grade Common Core State Standards.  Students in the 5/6A Compacted Common Core course will be learning and mastering content at an accelerated pace.  The pacing and demands of this course will necessitate a heavier homework load.

    Both our 5th grade Common Core and our Compacted Common Core 5/6A course provide students with the opportunity to be on track for graduating high school prepared for college readiness.  Regardless of math placement in 5th grade, MPCSD has designed multiple entry points for students at Hillview to either accelerate their learning or continue with the Common Core Mathematics pathway throughout their tenure in middle school.

Hillview Math Pathways

  • Hillview Path Ways

     CLICK HERE for access to Hillview Middle School Math Pathways and Placement information.

     

     

     

Where to Accelerate?

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    • Decisions about acceleration and ability grouping are still the decision of local districts
    • —As we implement the Common Core we will maintain our past practice of single and double acceleration

Compacted Students Must Demonstrate Solid Evidence of:

    • Conceptual understanding
    • Procedural skills
    • Fluency
    • Ability to apply mathematics 

Compacted Courses

    • Compacted courses include the same CCSS standards as non-compacted courses

    • —Compacted courses do not sacrifice focus on mathematical practice

    • Compacted courses require —students to spend enough time to learn concepts thoroughly

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