On June 12, the District 65 School Board decided to eliminate tracking of students in Algebra classes at Chute, Haven, and Nichols middle schools by consolidating Algebra 8 into Algebra 1. Algebra 1 will be a mixed-level class. This is a change of practice from the past when the District offered both an Algebra 1 class and an Algebra 8 class. The past practice was to separate students into these two classes based on placement scores.
As part of its decision, the Board approved a framework to measure whether a school is ready to implement the change in 2017-18. If not, they would be required to do so in 2018-19.
On July 17, District 65 administrators announced that tracking of students in Algebra will be eliminated in all three middle schools starting in the 2017-18 school year. In a letter to parents, Stacy Beardsley, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, said, “We are excited to make this change for our students. “Students previously placed in Algebra 1 will continue to receive the same degree of rigor that they have received in the past. Additionally, any student originally placed into Algebra 8 will now be scheduled into Algebra 1.
Superintendent Paul Goren told the RoundTable the goal is to keep the class sizes for Algebra 1 at 28 students or fewer.
“As part of the support of Algebra 1’s success, students who have demonstrated lower levels of prior math achievement will be eligible for an additional math course, Algebra Excite, said Ms. Beardsely. “This course is being offered as a complement to the Algebra 1 class. It is designed to strengthen students’ mathematical mindset, persistence, and foundational skills to support success in Algebra 1. Students who are scheduled for Algebra Excite will have this course in place of a World Language offering.”
Dr. Goren told the RoundTable the goal is to keep the Algebra Excite classes at 20 students or fewer.