Beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, sixth and seventh grade maths were combined into one class. The class options for the rising sixth graders changed from Math 6, Math 7, and Pre-Algebra, to only Pre-Algebra and Math 6. The thought behind the class switch, is to push every single student to be taking Algebra 1 by eighth grade.
The main question raised from both students and teachers alike is what will happen to those students who aren’t strong math students. With the class switch, students from Math 6 would be in the same class with students who would have been taking Math 7.
“It’s a catch twenty-two situation. On one hand, we want to have everyone taking Algebra 1 by the eighth grade. But if in order to get to that point, we push kids so fast that they don’t fully understand the material. How can we say that that’s any better than how things were before?” said Kelly Gresh, the mathematics department chair.
A down side to the new class arrangement is that you could potentially have different ranges of math students in the same class moving at the same pace. This would either cause the more accelerated students to slow their pace, or the students who pick up math less quickly to have to speed up their pace in order to keep up with the rest of the class.
“The switch has it’s up and down sides, but if we didn’t think that it was the best thing for the students we wouldn’t have made it happen,” said Gresh.
When asked how this class switch would have affected them if the option had been given, many students agreed on a common answer.
“I would have taken a harder math in the sixth grade,” said freshman Kelsey Carter and sophomores Hunter Marshall and Chase Smith.