2018-19 Process for Fifth-Grade Math Placement

  • March 2018

    The process for fifth-grade math placement for the 2018-19 school year has changed. Please read the following carefully. Contact Jamie Prescott, Director of Learning Services

    Fourth-grade math assessment impacts fifth-grade math placement. As in previous years, parents will receive scores from the fourth grade ITBS and SBA math assessments. Unlike in the past, these scores will not determine whether or not a student qualifies for fifth grade accelerated math (sixth-grade curriculum). Taking the scores into consideration, the district will simply suggest which math program, accelerated or traditional math, best fits your student's assessment profile. A parent may choose accelerated math (i.e., "opt-in") even if a student's scores do not meet the recommended profile of a successful candidate.

    Why the change? After many years of monitoring accelerated students, especially those who enter the program on appeal or "temporary" admission status (closely monitored during the first months of school), we believe that students who are close to admission standards can be successful in accelerated math.

    Process and Criteria (more information to follow):

    • All fourth-grade students will take the math ITBS and SBA
    • Fourth-grade parents will receive the test results in late spring
    • Fourth-grade parents will receive a suggested fifth-grade math program–traditional or accelerated
    • Parents will go online to register their child for traditional or accelerated fifth-grade math (registration process to follow)

    Before choosing accelerated math as your child's fifth-grade math program, please carefully consider the following—Successful accelerated math students typically:

    • Have an ITBS score around the 96th percentile
    • Are at a level 4 on the SBA (state math assessment)
    • Are consistent in achieving 3.5s or 4s on their report card for math
    • Have strong study habits
    • Do not require outside math tutoring or excessive teacher/para/parent help
    • View accelerated math as fun and challenging
    • Can handle a faster-paced learning environment
    • Welcome math homework and can complete it on time
    • Want to be in the class

    Other factors to take into consideration:

    Students who take traditional fifth-grade math can still apply for accelerated sixth-grade math during the spring of their
    fifth-grade year. This testing process is different. Please check this webpage for the current process. Note that the process can change from year to year.

    More information about the different math path options (Fifth-12th) and pathways can be found at www.mercerislandschools.org/mathpathways.