Math Placement Criteria

Criteria for Math 6 Advanced Placement in 6th Grade:

  • 90% + on 5th grade achievement scores on ITBS math subtests and total
  • Grade of 90% + in 3 of 4 quarters of 5th grade
  • Teacher recommendation

Criteria for Pre-Algebra in 7th Grade:

  • 90% + on 6th grade achievement scores on ITBS math subtests and total
  • Grade of 90% + 6th grade math
  • Teacher recommendation

Criteria for Honors Algebra in 7th Grade:

  • 95% + on 6th grade achievement scores on ITBS math subtests and total
  • 95% + on the algebra aptitude assessment given at the end of 6th grade
  • Grade of 93% + 6th grade math
  • Teacher recommendation

Criteria for Honors Algebra in 8th Grade:

  • 90% + on 7th grade achievement scores on ITBS math subtests and total
  • 90% + on the algebra aptitude assessment given at the end of 7th grade
  • Grade of 85% and above in 3 of 4 quarters of 7th grade pre-algebra
  • Teacher recommendation

Criteria for Honors Geometry in 8th Grade:

  • 95% + on 7th grade achievement scores on ITBS math subtests and total
  • Final course grade of 93% + in 7th grade algebra
  • Teacher recommendation

Determination of class placement will be made each year, following a review of assessment information and grades. Letters will be sent to parents in the summer if the school is recommending student placement in 6th grade advanced classes or if recommendation for placement in advanced classes changes at the end of a school year.

In the event that students do not meet the criteria at the end of an advanced course, repeating of the course may be required.

While most parents prefer for their students to be “challenged,” there are sometimes unintended consequences to those decisions. For this reason, we believe there are several things for parents to consider before allowing their students to be placed in an advanced math class, including the following:

  • Honors Algebra and Honors Geometry are high school courses, with a expansive amount of content to cover and a high degree of mastery to be achieved. Often considered key foundation courses, their full mastery is essential to future courses such as Algebra II and beyond.
  • Course grades often include grades that might result in an impression of greater mastery than actually exists, such as homework where assistance is available or the opportunity given to redo assignments. For that reason, the information gathered on independent assessments and teacher recommendations can be more helpful in making decisions.

Important Additional Information

High schools vary widely on how they will view the successful completion of Algebra in the 8th grade. At this time, public high schools accept Catholic middle school Algebra courses once we verify that the course follows the state TEKS (objectives). They are implementing End of Course exams for their own students, but it is our understanding that our students would not be required to take the exam for 8th Algebra.

Catholic high schools vary in how they assess students and what their suggested placement is for their high school math program. Summer school is sometimes required the summer before the freshman year to verify skills. In some cases, it will be required to retake Algebra as a freshman if math placement scores do not meet their criteria.

Receiving high school credit for Algebra in the 8th grade may result in the student taking considerably harder classes to complete their four years of required math credit in high school. Many high school teachers will say, “Be sure that this is a Calculus student.” While the high schools vary in the number and type of math courses available, it should be a consideration. At this time, most high schools appear to accept 8th grade Algebra as one of the four years of required high school math. However, also at this time, St. Dominic Savio states that they will be accepting Algebra as a math credit, but students will still need to obtain an additional four credits of math. St. Michael’s currently has a limitation on the number of credits that may be applied from the middle school to the high school transcript (i.e. Algebra, Geometry, and Speech).