Wednesday June 14 2:26 pm Hi Griffin---- We’d like to get the results of Christopher’s assessments in the fall and again this spring---thanks! Also, we’d like to know what Christopher needs to do to qualify to be placed in Honors Science in 8th grade. Could you let us know? Thanks very much. Catherine Johnson
(Chris Berenson’s mom)
Thursday June 15 1:26 pm Mrs. Johnson,
I asked Mr. Fried about the assessments and he says the results will be mailed home.
In regards to accelerated (it is not honors) science, there are a number of areas that the committee looks at when selecting students for the class. Students are evaluated by:
1)ELA and Math state tests
2)CTBS (California test of basic skills) test that will be administered in Science classes next year
3)His 7th grade science teacher will rate him in the areas of tests and labs
4)7th grade science grades
5)7th grade teachers will rate him in the areas of notebook, hmk and other (this includes- participation in class, maturity, proactive with seeking extra help)
[ed.: the character "piece"]
We enter all the information onto a chart and the committee then selects the students who have the highest scores/rankings.
I hope this answers your questions, if you need anything else please let me know.
Thursday June 15 2:33 pm That’s very helpful. Three more questions: Is this an IEF-funded class? (For some reason, I have the perception that it is....) How selective is the class---how many kids are invited to take part, and how many are turned away? Finally, what is the appeals process if a child isn’t invited? Thanks! Catherine J.
Thursday June 15 2:34 pm Another question: I’d like to get the results of these assessments and the assessments that were administered last fall in some (or all) of the classes. In other words, I’d like to know what he learned this year as opposed to other years. Thanks! Catherine J.
Thursday June 15 3:00 pm To answer your questions:
1) No, it is not an IEF funded class.
2) We have two sections of the Earth Science classes. Students are not "turned away" because nobody applies to be in the class. All 7th graders are considered and based on the data we have we select the two sections of students.
3) The appeals process would consist of contacting myself or an administrator and requesting that the committee review your sons data again.
Thursday June 15 7:31 pm One more quick question-- What is the difference between “honors” and “accelerated”?
Thursday June 15 3:00 pm When you say last fall are you referring to assessments he had in 5th grade?
Thursday June 15 9:34 The kids all said they had pre-tests of some kind in their classes at the beginning of the school year. Ralph had mentioned to me that he wanted to start doing exit outcomes (great idea); I assumed that he was perhaps going to do value-added assessment as well. What were the pre-tests they took at the beginning of the year?
Thursday June 15 9:35 pm But actually, yes, I’d like to know how he did on the 5th grade assessment, what items were on the assessment, and where his ranking was amongst his peers. Thanks! C.
Friday June 15 9:30 pm
On 6/15/06 3:00 PM, "Griffin Murray"
wrote: > 2) We have two sections of the Earth Science classes. Students are not
> "turned away" because nobody applies to be in the class. All 7th graders are
> considered and based on the data we have we select the two sections of
Students may not “be” turned away. Nevertheless, they “feel” turned away. The same principle is at work in Student of the Month. Students don’t “apply” to be Student of the Month. However, each and every month one student is “selected” to be Student of the Month, while the other students are “not selected.” Students who are “not selected” feel “rejected.” That’s why the school has a Student of the Month, presumably. Because students care. Back to accelerated science. Let me re-phrase. How many students are in the two sections? And how many students are in the grade altogether? How many students are “selected” and how many students are “not selected”? Another issue. I believe I also asked what appeals process exists for students who are “not selected.” What is the next step for students you deem “not selectable”? What recourse do they have? One last question. What is the ratio of girls to boys in the two sections? I ask because criteria number 5, “7th grade teachers will rate him in the areas of notebook, hmk and other (this includes- participation in class, maturity, proactive with seeking extra help)” skews towards girls, whose frontal lobe development is one to two years further advanced at this age. At our team meeting, Scott Fried told us that “Everyone knows boys do worse than girls in middle school.” That is a direct quote. We feel quite strongly that the school should be doing everything in its power to eradicate achievement gaps. Thanks, Griffin. Catherine
Friday June 16 2:32 pm I believe what you are referring to are baseline assessments that
several teachers administered to students at the beginning of the year.
You can contact teachers indivually to get those results. I do not have
copies of them.
Friday June 16 2:41 pm We do not have any honors classes in the middle school. The difference between the two is accelerated classes indicate that students are covering material that is usually a year advanced. For example, earth science for most students is a HS level course. However, we have two sections of students that take it in 8 th grade. Honors indicates classes (Ex. 9th grade English/Social Studies) that cover topics in greater depth/detail and expect a higher level of writing/reading skills. However, they are not covering material that is a year advanced. Hope this bring some clarity.
Friday June 16 6:13 pm On 6/16/06 2:41 PM, "Griffin Murray"
wrote: > Honors indicates classes (Ex. 9th grade English/Social Studies) that cover
> topics in greater depth/detail and expect a higher level of writing/reading
> skills. However, they are not covering material that is a year advanced.
> Hope this bring some clarity.
Thanks very much; that is very helpful. We would like Christopher placed in the accelerated science class in 8th grade. A couple of weeks ago we had an extended conversation with Deb Hardy, who indicated to us that the TONYSS are the best predictor of success in high school. Christopher received scores of 4 on both math and ELA on his 5th grade TONYSS; he was one of a very small group in his class to do so. There should be no reason for suspense concerning his capabilities. He’s a bright, hard-working boy, and we should be able to assume that Irvington intends to provide him with a first-class education. It goes without saying we’ll give Christopher whatever support he may need in the form of help with homework, extra time on task, or tutoring. Christopher is willing to work hard, and we are willing to work hard. Effort and commitment should be rewarded. I have a few remaining questions:
- How many children altogether were enrolled in the two sections of accelerated science this school year?
- How many children are in the 8th grade class in total?
- How many children appealed the school’s decision not to offer them seats in the class?
- How many of these children were subsequently invited to join the class?
All of this leads me to a question concerning high school curriculum:
- And: what was the gender ratio in this year’s two accelerated science classes? How many boys, how many girls? (Again, I ask this because of Scott’s statement that “Everyone knows boys do worse than girls in middle school.”)
- In what course will an 8th grade student enrolled in accelerated science be placed come 9th grade?
Finally, has IMS contemplated establishing a formal policy of providing extra help to students who could succeed in an accelerated class with support? Tarrytown has such a policy in place for accelerated math in 7th grade; I believe Dobbs Ferry has such a policy for its middle school International Baccalaureate program. These are important questions for our community. As you are probably aware, the “accelerated” track for math and science in the U.S. is merely average in the rest of the industrial world. Ed and I have raised this issue on more than one occasion with Scott and Raina. Their response has been that American schools cannot be expected to provide as serious an education as European schools, because American schools and European schools are “apples and oranges.” We disagree. Our district has higher per-pupil spending than virtually any school in Europe or Asia, and our student population skews extremely high in terms of SES and, almost certainly, IQ. We see no reason why Irvington schools must be inferior to European schools. We feel strongly that Christopher—that all Irvington children—should be on par with their peers in the industrialized world. We live in a global economy now; Christopher and his peers will compete in that world when they grow up. Thanks very much. Catherine J.
- In what course will an 8th grade student not enrolled in accelerated science be placed?