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    Middle and High School Math Enrollment FAQ

    How is my child's next math course determined?

    In nearly all cases1, students are enrolled in the next math course in sequence based on the student's current year math course. Refer to the sequence of math courses below.

    5th Grade Math Math 6 Math 7 Math 8 Algebra 1 Geometry Algebra 22 Precalculus2

    For students entering the 6th grade, their math course enrollment will be determined by the math course they were enrolled in 5th grade (according to the Source).  For example, a 5th grade student enrolled in Math 6 will be enrolled in Math 7 as a 6th grader.

    Examples of math progressions, which include opportunities for one year of acceleration, can be found here.

    Additional information about middle school course alignment can be found here

    Students entering 9th grade will self-enroll for their high school courses online through the Source.  The registration process occurs in the spring of 8th grade. Students will enroll in their next course in sequence.  Students who transfer from another school district should be enrolled in the appropriate next course in sequence based on their educational records and current SPS course progressions.  For clarification or consultation, please check with a School Counseling Specialist in the College and Career Readiness department.

    1Students who are newly identified as Highly Capable (HC) and join the Highly Capable Cohort may be enrolled up to two years accelerated in math.  For more clarification on HC services, visit Advanced Learning.

    2Courses after Geometry will vary according to a  student's high school and beyond plan. 

    Are teacher recommendations considered in the the enrollment process?

    No. Seattle Public Schools enrolls students in their next math course in sequence.  Teachers do NOT make recommendations for math course enrollment.

    Is there a District placement test my students can take to enroll in a math course beyond next course in sequence?

    No. Seattle Public Schools does not have normed and vetted standards-based assessments for students to take to be placed into a math class.

    Can my student study at home independently (or with tutoring or family support) in order to enroll in a math course beyond next course in sequence?

    No, unless your student is officially enrolled in home-based instruction.  Families who provide home-based instruction must meet the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) guidelines.  Families would notify SPS Enrollment Services of their intention and provide official home-based instruction records for home school courses using the Declaration of Intent form.  Schools may reject home school records which are not in order and/or do not meet state requirements.  For additional questions about home-based instruction requirements, families should contact OSPI and/or SPS Enrollment Services

    Can my student take a course online in order to enroll in a math course beyond next course in sequence?

    If a student is in middle school - No.  Online coursework and independent study are not considered equivalent to completing a school-based course.  The exception would be students who are officially enrolled in home-based instruction.  Families who provide home-based instruction must meet OSPI guidelines.

    If a student is in high school - School Board Policy 2024 and Superintendent Procedure 2024SP outlines a process for students interested in taking online courses for credit.  Any online courses must be pre-approved by the principal of the school you are enrolled in.  In general, approval is reserved for coursework that is not offered at the school building.  Eligibility to enroll into a math course is determined by the prerequisites that have been met and are documented on the student's transcript.

    Students are enrolled in their next math course in sequence rather than being placed into courses based on individual requests.

    What additional supports are available for students in middle and high school?

    In addition to after school help and/or volunteer tutor support, many schools offer a second period of math. 

    At middle school, all students will be enrolled in a core math class and some students may also be enrolled in a second period of math which could be "Math Empowerment."  The course will provide supplemental instruction in math content to support student success in the core math class.

    At high school, all students will be enrolled in a core math class and some students may also choose to enroll in a second period of math.  This support course is aligned to the core math content and corresponds in name.  For example, students could be enrolled in Algebra 1 and Algebra 1 Lab.  Math-lab courses are considered elective courses and count towards elective credit.  Not all high schools offer Math-lab courses.

    How will my child's middle school or high school know if they need support?  How are students identified?

    Schools will review student data to identify potential candidates for extra support.  The data could include Smarter Balanced Math scores, course grades, and information provided by your student's current school. 

    Rising 7th and 8th graders may also be identified by their current year math teacher for support.

    Rising 9th graders will enroll for their high school courses online through the Source in the spring of their 8th grade year.  Eighth grade math teachers will inform students to enroll in the next course in sequence.  For rising 9th graders enrolling in Algebra 1, a student could be advised to also register for Algebra 1 Lab in addition to an Algebra 1 course.  Teachers may provide this advice based on a student's Smarter Balanced Math score and/or course performance.  Students and families can decide if registering for a Math-lab course will align to their high school and beyond plan. 

    High School Math Course Progressions FAQ

    How does my high school student choose their math course progression?

    Students must take Algebra 1 and Geometry before personalizing their math course progression.  Students are required to have at least 3 high school math credits to graduate.  The third credit should align to your student's high school and beyond plan.  Families and students can use the following documents as reference while making course decisions:

    All of the math course progression documents start with Algebra 1.  What if my student already took Algebra 1 in middle school?

    High school students enter the pathway at the next course in sequence.  For example, a student who has been accelerated one year and has completed Algebra 1 as an 8th grader, can enroll in Geometry as a 9th grader.  Students can then choose subsequent math courses based on their high school and beyond plan. 

    My student wants to take an Advanced Placement (AP) math course their senior year.  What would they need to do to be eligible for AP math courses?

    After completing Algebra 2, students are eligible to take AP Statistics.  Students do NOT need to be accelerated or skip math courses to reach this class by their senior year.  Students can take this sequence of high school math courses:

    9th Grade  10th Grade  11th Grade  12th Grade
     Algebra 1  Geometry Algebra 2 AP Statistics

    Students who want to enroll in either AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC will need one year of acceleration in math.  This acceleration can occur at any point in a student's SPS learning career including during high school.  Here is one example of a student's math course progression who starts high school in Algebra 1:

    Can my student earn math credits through Running Start?

    Students can take mathematics courses through Running Start in 11th or 12th grade.  Eligibility to enroll in math courses will follow each college's criteria and may include a placement test, review of SAT, ACT, or Smarter Balanced scores, or review of Seattle Public Schools transcript.  Students should contact their school counselor in order to officially enroll in the Running Start program.