Olathe School District get Pre-Algebra/Algebra back to 6th grade!
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Olathe school district has removed Pre-Algebra and Algebra as an option for 6th and 7th graders. The only options available during Middle School are now Math 6, 6+,7, 7+ and 8, 8+ Though some exceptions are being allowed for Algebra in 8th grade. For students who are exceptional or otherwise accelerated in Math, this is a detriment to their education and is in effect denying them a rigorous educational experience in the area of Mathematics. It also removes the ability for them to develop a healthy study/work ethic as they are never really challenged to do their best. This removes a huge skill for their future success and takes away the joy learning can bring in what many will agree is an already difficult period of life. It also removes options currently available in the Distinguished Scholars-Math curriculum as they will have to use some of their time fulfilling Algebra 1 and Geometry which could have been taken care of in Middle School.
This change was made the last few years as a result of a number of students continuing to the high school level without a full grasp of the curriculum and not prepared for their higher level courses. However, removing the option for all was an over-reaction and failed to acknowledge those that have been quite successful and those younger accelerated students who are ready and capable to meet the challenge.
The school District has stated they will look at students on a case by case basis and come up with options to try to engage students. There are many students without the resources of an IEP and in situations where their parents or guardians are unaware that they could ask to have their child considered and even then, the teachers may not have enough resources to accommodate only a small number of students, without in effect, just giving them busy work in the back of a classroom that will not count toward their future curriculum requirements. Further showing them that their school day is not always worth their effort. By petition, we will be showing that there are a large number of students affected by this and a full classroom option would be the best for all involved. Our teachers are highly capable of addressing this need.
By petitioning at the District level, we are supporting all of our talented students and teachers so that they are given the tools they need to be their most successful. We are asking that the options for Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry be returned to Middle School with a clear guidelines for entry that allows those students who are ready for the rigors of the classes to be allowed to advance at a rate that the Supreme Court has called "appropriately ambitious in light of his circumstances".
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