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    Advanced Learning at Madison

    - Overview of Advanced Learning at Madison

    - 6th Grade Honors Language Arts Application

    The application is ONLY for students who have NOT been identified as Spectrum or HCC through district testing. Please note that qualified applicants are admitted on a space-available basis. The deadline is May 15, and the application includes a brief statement from the candidate,a written essay, and a teacher recommendation.

    - Information about advanced learning in math and humanities at Madison.


    Mathematics

    Madison Middle School currently offers five math course titles: Math 6, Math 7, Math 8, and Algebra 1. These course titles correspond to grade levels 6 through 9. (Geometry will be added in the 2017-2018 school year.) In each grade level, students may take one of three course titles according to their eligibility. This allows students to be at their optimal level of challenge. Even in a skill-based system such as ours, we acknowledge that students come with a range of skills and strengths. All math classes are taught through the lens of differentiation and rigor. We use the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to drive instruction, lesson planning, and assessment. Our resources include Discovery Algebra, Discovery Geometry, EngageNY, CMPII, and a variety of online CCSS aligned resources.

    To the extent possible, barring schedule and class size issues, we place students in the appropriate course title with same-grade-level peers. We work to ensure that students are in classes with peers at most one grade level above or below their own.

    Placement in these courses is determined by triangulating data from standardized tests, classroom grades, teacher recommendation and a Madison-created, grade-level, standards-based assessment when needed. A student identified as highly capable (HCC, formerly APP) or an advanced learner (Spectrum) is also expected to meet these criteria to be placed in an advanced math class. HCC students at Madison who have come from an HCC math program in elementary school will take the following math courses: 6th grade: Math 8; 7th grade: Algebra I; 8th Grade: Geometry. If an entering HCC 6th grader has not taken Math 6 or Math 7 in elementary school or has not met the standards for those courses, Madison will follow district policy, as explained below, in placing that student in the most appropriate math class. From the Advanced Learning website:

    “Due to some changes in testing, the current middle school Math placement plan has been reconsidered. All SPS students will be recommended to take the next Math course in sequence in grade 6. That is, if a student was taught grade 6 standards in grade 5, the student will be recommended for grade 7 as a sixth-grader. The Math program manager will work with the elementary schools to identify the current standards being taught to grade 5 students so the middle schools know what Math course is next for students. Algebra I taken in middle school may entitle a student to complete the state high school requirements for high school math credits. Students progressing through high school level courses need to be aware of the impact that achievement and learning in these courses can have on high school coursework and grade point average. In an effort to reduce barriers to advanced courses, the option for students to ‘opt up’ one course beyond the next in sequence will remain. Families will be guided to make this decision based on the standards mastered and the student’s willingness to be challenged and perhaps even frustrated in a course that is well beyond the next in sequence. Ultimate placement decisions remain the right and responsibility of the middle school and may be made based on a variety of factors at that school.”

    Madison Middle School offers a wide range of support for students. Students not progressing in their math class will be offered support as appropriate. Students who do not progress in spite of support may be expected to repeat the coursework in the next school year or during the current school year when appropriate.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The information in this packet reflects our current practices at Madison Middle School. As the Seattle School District adopts the Common Core State Standards and develops new scope-and-sequence documents, there could be changes in the classes offered at each grade level.


    Honors Language Arts (“Spectrum”)

    Honors Language Arts serves students who have been identified as advanced learners through the school district’s testing process. This class is part of the district’s Spectrum program, which provides a rigorous curriculum that challenges students to apply complex thinking skills when working with core skills and concepts. The Language Arts curriculum is presented at an accelerated learning pace, focusing on grade level expectations that are one year above students' assigned grade level in reading and at or above students’ assigned grade level in writing and communication. On a space-available basis, Honors Language Arts also includes advanced readers and writers who been identified through evaluation of a student application, writing sample, teacher recommendation, and standardized test scores.

    Profile of Advanced Learners in Language Arts:

    • Enthusiastic attitude about reading and writing, and a strong desire to improve skills.
    • Ability to read and analyze challenging texts.
    • Persistence and curiosity when tackling new skills or concepts.
    • Independence and internal motivation.
    • Active involvement in small- and large-group activities.
    • Outstanding effort on all assignments.

    Eligibility and Placement

    1. Students receive priority placement in Honors Language Arts if they have been designated advanced learners (Spectrum) through the district’s advanced learning testing. Students currently enrolled in a 5th grade Spectrum class at one of Madison’s feeder schools will automatically be assigned to the Spectrum class at Madison. Please note that 5th grade Spectrum students currently enrolled in an Advanced Learning Opportunity school rather than a Spectrum classroom must submit a school choice form during the Open Enrollment period (February 17-March 1, 2016) to request a 6th grade Spectrum assignment at Madison. If eligible students do not request a Spectrum assignment and choose to come to Madison, they will be placed in Honors Language Arts on a space-available basis.

    2. Students who have not qualified for advanced learning through the district’s testing process may be placed in Honors Language Arts on a space-available basis. (Interested families are strongly encouraged to follow the district’s process for advanced learning testing.) Placements will be based on an essay students write in response to a prompt provided by Madison Middle School, a brief application, teacher recommendations, and test scores. Interested fifth graders and their parents should ask their teacher to submit a teacher recommendation by Fri., May 20. Teacher recommendation forms and student application forms (also due Fri., May 20) will be available from the office at your elementary school, Madison’s school office, or the Madison website by March 1. Applicants will be notified the week prior to school starting, and a waiting list will be maintained, if necessary.


    Differentiated Instruction in Language Arts

    With a long history as an Advanced Learning Opportunity school, Madison is committed to differentiating instruction so that students in all classes receive an enriching education. Students seeking additional challenge and greater depth in Language Arts and Social Studies are encouraged to take advantage of Challenge offerings provided by their classroom teacher. Challenge assignments require the application of complex thinking skills to core skills and concepts, often pushing students to work beyond grade level expectations. For some assignments or units of study, the Challenge component involves a modification of or an addition to the “regular” assignment. Separate assignments, such as an advanced reading selection or a special presentation, are another type of Challenge work. Everybody is welcome to complete Challenge assignments as long as regular classroom work meets standards and all other work has been turned in. Challenge work is not just “extra credit.” Rather, it is intended to provide increased academic rigor for advanced learner.


    Highly Capable Cohort (HCC, formerly “APP”)

    The HCC program offers significantly accelerated curriculum in reading, math, science, and social studies. Students are district-identified as highly capable and are eligible to be served in self-contained programs at the elementary and middle school levels. The following HCC courses will be available in the 2016-2017 school year at Madison: 6th Grade: Language Arts; Social Studies (Geography & Ancient Civilizations, 8,000 BCE-600 CE); Earth Science (Catastrophic Events and Earth in Space); Math 8 7th Grade: Language Arts, Social Studies (World History 600 CE-1450- CE, 1 semester, Washington State History,1 semester); Physical Science (Physics, 1 semester, Chemistry, 1 semester);. Algebra 1. In the 2017-2018 school year. Madison will add HCC courses for 8th grade as well: Language Arts; Social Studies (U.S. History); Biology; Geometry. Because Madison will initially be an “option” school, we expect the numbers of HCC students to increase every year, just as we saw with our Spectrum program. However, if the initial cohorts are below 30 students, a blended model with Spectrum students will be implemented, similar to the program at Jane Addams Middle School. Spectrum students would be selected based on teacher recommendations and test scores.

    The staff at Madison Middle School knows that many HC students thrive in music groups and foreign language courses. Currently, Madison’s award-winning music program offers an audition-based jazz band, 6th Grade Band, Junior Band, Senior Band, Junior Orchestra, and Senior Orchestra. Students may take two years of French or Spanish, potentially earning one year of high school credit. Our ability to expand these programs will follow a robust commitment from West Seattle families to send their HC students to our school.

    Enrollment HCC-identified students must choose Madison during the Open Enrollment period (February 17-March 1, 2016). From the Advanced Learning website: “Newly eligible Highly Capable students who enroll by May 31 are guaranteed an assignment in the self-contained Highly Capable Cohort (formerly APP). We strongly encourage parents to enroll by the Open Enrollment deadline, of March 1, however, to help the district with planning. Highly Capable students may request available seats at any Highly Capable Cohort site during the Open Enrollment period. This is not a guaranteed assignment upon request, and will be subject to standard tiebreaker priorities and Open Enrollment timelines.” Please consult the district website for more information: Highly Capable Cohort Info

    Advanced Learning Application for Language Arts