Regular program core curriculum/promotion/retention/acceleration middle school



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Policy 5410.02 Page of

5410.02 - REGULAR PROGRAM CORE CURRICULUM/PROMOTION/RETENTION/ACCELERATION - MIDDLE SCHOOL

Regular Program Requirements


Each middle school student will be registered in a minimum of seven (7) courses per year while in a Pinellas County middle school.
Basic Course Requirements
The basic course requirements are listed below for middle school student progression.  Students must pass all twelve (12) of these courses or higher level courses:
A. Language Arts: Grades 6, 7, 8

Three middle grade or higher courses in language arts.


B. Mathematics: Grades 6, 7, 8

Three middle grades or higher courses in mathematics. Each school that includes middle grades must offer at least one high school level mathematics course for which students may earn high school credit. Successful completion of a high school level Algebra 1 or Geometry course is not contingent upon the student’s performance on the statewide, standardized end-of-course (EOC) assessment.

To earn high school credit for Algebra 1, a middle grades student must take the statewide, standardized Algebra 1 EOC assessment and pass the course, and in addition, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year and thereafter, a student’s performance on the Algebra 1 EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade.

To earn high school credit for a Geometry course, a middle grades student must take the statewide standardized Geometry EOC assessement, which constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade, and earn passing grade in the course.


C. Science: Grades 6, 7, 8

Three middle grade or higher courses in science.


D. Social Studies: Grades 6, 7, 8

Three middle grade or higher courses in social studies. Beginning with students entering grade 6 in the 2012-2013 school year, one of these courses must be at least a one semester civics education. Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, each student’s performance on the statewide, standardized middle grades Civics EOC assessment constitutes 30 percent of the student’s final course grade in civics education.

Additional Requirements
A. Reading is required for the following students:
1. Middle school students who score at Level 1 or Level 2 on the statewide, standardized Reading assessment or the English Language Arts (ELA) assessment the following year the student must enroll in and complete a remedial course or a content area course in which remediation strategies are incorportated into course content delivery. Those students in grades 6-8 who score at Level 1 or Level 2 on the statewide, standardized Reading assessment or the English Language Arts (ELA) assessment and do not need instruction in decoding or text reading efficiency may receive reading remediation through a content area course with a Reading Certified/Endorsed, Content Area Reading Professional Development (CAR-PD), or Next Generation/Common Core Content Area Reading Professional Development (NGCAR-PD) Qualified teacher in which remediation strategies are incorporated into course content delivery. Those students who qualify for content reading remediation must also have an approved Secondary Individual Literacy Improvement Plan in place, and data must be available to show that Level 1 or Level 2 students do not have decoding or text reading efficiency issues based on district placement criteria. The opportunity for students who scored at Level 1 or Level 2, but in three years prior scored at Level 3 or above, to receive a one-year exemption from reading intervention is no longer available due to the requirements of Senate Bill 1076.

2. Sixth grade students who scored Level 3 or higher must take a semester or year long reading course, as determined by the school unless this requirement was completed at the elementary level. Sixth grade students enrolled in the gifted elective, Advanced Academics, or the approved magnet world languages programs at John Hopkins, Bay Point, and Sanderlin may exempt this requirement if they scored at Level 3 or above on the fifth grade statewide, standardized Reading Assessment.

B. If a middle grades student scores Level 1 or Level 2 on the statewide, standardized Mathematics assessment the following year the student must receive remediation, which may be integrated into the student’s required mathematics courses. In Pinellas County all students score a Level 1 on the statewide, standardized Mathematics assessment must be received direct daily instruction in an intensive math class. Students scoring a level 2 can receive remediation which must be integrated into the grade level required math course, however, schools must closely monitor the progress of these students to ensure student success.

C. Career Education and Planning

Students entering sixth grade in the 2006-2007 school year and beyond must complete a course containing the standards of Career Education and Planning before finishing eighth grade.  Each student must generate a personalized academic and career plan.

SB 1076 adds requirements that the middle grades career and education planning course:



  • Be Internet-based, easy to use and customizable to each student

  • Include research-based assessments to assist students in determining educational and career options and goals

  • Emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship skills

  • Inform students about diploma designation options

D. Physical education is required in grades 6, 7, and 8 for a minimum of one (1) semester. Any student having written parental consent (see PCS Form 2-3097) or who is enrolled in a remedial class may be exempt from the physical education requirement.




Physical education teachers should be certified in physical education.
E. Health is required in grades 6 and 8 for a minimum of twelve (12) weeks.
1. M/J Health 6 (08000500) or Personal Development (85002300) will meet the requirement for Comprehensive Health Education/Family Life Education.
2. Sixth grade students enrolled in a yearlong program (i.e., band, strings, chorus, world languages, etc.) may opt out of the sixth grade health requirement. Written parental consent is required. (see PCS Form 2-3180)
3. Only eighth grade gifted students enrolled in the gifted program as an elective may opt out of the eighth grade health requirement. Written parental consent is required. (see PCS Form 2-2648)
F. School-Based Requirements

Reading, physical education, and health may be scheduled beyond the minimum requirements shown above.


G. Elective Program Grades 6, 7, and 8

Elective courses are part of the core curriculum and are described in the Middle School Course Code Directory with recommendations regarding course length and grade level.  Middle schools should attempt to schedule a variety of elective offerings, but no attempt should be made to establish classes that are not feasible or practical for a particular school as it strives to meet the needs of its students.


(H) CAPE Industry Certification

All middle school students will have the opportunity to earn at least one industry certification validating proficiency of certain technical skills. Technical skills validated at the middle school level are generally computer based skills related to digital technology literacy.

F.S. 1003.4203
(I) Return on Investment for Industry Certification

Students who earn an industry certification that articulates for postsecondary credit will realize a cost savings in tuition and fees related to the postsecondary program. The scope of industry certifications earning articulated credit changes annually as additional articulation agreements are established. The most current list of articulated postsecondary credit can be found at the Florida Department of Education web page http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/dwdframe/artic_indcert2aas.asp

F.S. 1003.02 (1)(j)

Exceptional Student Requirements


The IEPs for each student with disabilities must specify the student's instructional levels and level of participation in the general education curriculum. Course selections (general or exceptional education), progress reporting, participation in assessment, and implication for diploma options must be clearly communicated to parents. Annual parental consent must be obtained in order to administer the alternate assessment in accordance with s.1008.22, FS and for the provision of instruction in state standards access points’ curriculum. This decision is reviewed annually by the IEP team. The decision may be changed, understanding that it may increase the amount of time required to graduate.

Students with disabilities are enrolled in coursework in one (1) or more of the following options:


A. General education classes with no accommodations required (Speech only);
B. General education classes with accommodations required;

Accommodations cannot change course performance standards. They specify changes in instructional strategies that are required as a result of a student's disability and may address methods and materials for instruction, assignments and classroom assessments, learning environment, time demands and scheduling, or special communication systems.  Courses may be taught by ESE teachers, but students must be graded based on the grade level performance standards.

Students in "A" and "B" above are pursuing standard high school diplomas and participate in all State and District assessments.

Student Promotion, Retention and Acceleration


A. Promotion from Elementary School to Middle School

Students entering middle school must have successfully completed the requirements and standards of the elementary school program and demonstrated adequate reading ability as specified in the elementary promotional guidelines in Board policy or shall have been administratively promoted by the elementary school.


B. Promotion and Retention
1. Promotion of middle school students shall be based upon their achieving minimum standards as identified in program objectives and meeting the required number of courses. Each middle school student who performs below the minimum performance expectation level on the statewide standardized Reading, Mathematics, English Language Arts and FCAT Science assessments will receive remediation. For promotion to high school, an eighth grade student must successfully complete three (3) courses in Language Arts, three (3) courses in Science, three (3) courses in Social Studies, and three (3) distinct courses in Math. All courses must be at the middle school level or higher. To be considered for promotion, an eighth grade student must also successfully complete a career planning course (currently embedded in US History and Adv. US History) or career themed course and a personalized academic and career plan. The promotion of a student from a regular middle school to high school is also based upon successful completion of the Florida Standards. The standards are embedded in the middle school curriculum. A decision will be made by the middle school staff in consultation with the receiving high school principal for any student meeting State mandated requirements for promotion, but not completing District promotion requirements for eighth to ninth grade promotion. No students may be assigned to a grade level based solely on age or other factors that constitute social promotion.
2. Basic Course Requirements for Promotion/Retention
a. Promotion to grades 7 or 8: To be promoted from grade to grade within the middle school program, a student may fail only one (1) basic course. The student will be required, however, to pass the course either during the following year or in the extended learning/course recovery program or its equivalent.
1) If a sixth or seventh grade student fails two (2) basic courses, the student may be promoted upon passing one (1) course in the extended learning/course recovery program and taking one (1) course during the following school year.
2) Recommendation to reflect that the student be retained – if he/she has not taken advantage of either the extended learning/course recovery program or its equivalent.
If a sixth or seventh grade student fails three (3) basic courses in an academic year, the student will be retained at the same grade level or will be promoted upon passing two (2) courses in the extended learning/course recovery program and taking one (1) course during the following school year.

3) If a sixth or seventh grade student fails more than three (3) basic courses within an academic year, the student will be retained.


b. Promotion to High School: If an eighth grade student fails one (1) or more basic courses, the student will be retained or will be administratively promoted upon passing the course(s) in the extended learning/course recovery program. Promotion from a middle school to a high school is contingent upon the student's passing not fewer than twelve (12) basic courses and five (5) of the additional requirements as stated in Board policy and related arts courses, for a total of seventeen (17) courses. Students who pass the required courses will be considered to have demonstrated adequate progress for promotion to ninth grade.
c. Other Requirement: If a student fails a related arts, vocational, or elective course, including physical education/health, the student will be promoted but will be required to pass five (5) such courses before promotion to a high school.
d. In all instances the parents’ input shall be solicited and considered for purposes of promotion, retention, and challenged promotion; however, the decision to retain, accelerate, promote, or place a student in an alternative program shall be based upon the professional judgment of the principal and staff, with the principal having final jurisdiction.
C. Acceleration Options (Whole Grade, Midyear, Subject Matter and Virtual Instruction)
1. Core Requirements

a. For a student to be eligible for whole grade or midyear promotion, they must have completed all basic course requirements for their current grade level prior to promotion.


2. Acceleration Process

a. Each school principal will establish an ACCEL team to review requests for whole grade and midyear promotion. The team will include but not be limited to: principal, guidance counselor, gifted teacher, psychologist, student’s current teacher, a teacher from the receiving grade level and the parent.

b. A teacher, administrator, or parent may request that a student be considered for ACCEL options of whole grade or midyear promotion by completing the appropriate form provided by the school principal.

c. A conference will be held with the parent and ACCEL team to review the ACCEL evaluation process and obtain consent for evaluation using the Iowa Acceleration Scale (which may include an intellectual evaluation).

d. Following the collection of all required data by the principal or principal designee, the ACCEL team will meet to review the data and determine student eligibility for whole grade or midyear acceleration.

e. Student eligibility for whole grade or midyear promotion shall be based on obtaining an Iowa Acceleration Scale composite score of at least sixty (60) points.

f. A performance contract including progress monitoring will be established and signed by the parent and student, if the student is eligible.

g. If the ACCEL team determines that whole grade or midyear promotion is not appropriate for the student, the team will consider subject-matter acceleration as an option.

h. For planning purposes, students who qualify for a whole grade or midyear promotion shall remain in their current grade level until the end of that semester.

i. If a parent disagrees with the recommendation of the ACCEL team he/she has the right to seek an appeal through policy 5500.13.

Progress Monitoring Plan
Each student must participate in the Statewide assessment tests. Each student who does not meet specific levels of performance for each grade level, or who does not meet specific levels of performance on Statewide assessments, must be provided with additional diagnostic assessments to determine the nature of the student’s difficulty, the areas of academic need, and strategies for appropriate intervention and instruction. A student who is not meeting the School District or State requirements for proficiency in reading and math shall be covered by a school wide system of progress monitoring for all students.  The plan must assist the student or the school in meeting State and District expectations for proficiency.  If the student has been identified as having a deficiency in reading, the K-12 comprehensive reading plan shall include instructional and support services to be provided to meet the desired levels of performance.  Students may be required to attend remediation programs held before or after regular school hours or during the summer if transportation is provided. Upon subsequent evaluation, if the deficiency has not been remediated the student may be retained. Each student who does not meet the minimum performance expectations for the Statewide assessment testing program must continue to be provided with remedial or supplemental instruction until the expectations are met or the student is promoted from middle school. 
Middle grades students enrolled in Algebra 1, Geometry or Biology 1 must take the statewide, standardized EOC assessment for those courses and are not required to take the corresponding subject and grade-level statewide, standardized assessment.

Enrollment in Pinellas Virtual School or Florida Virtual School


With the approval of the principal (or designee) and the student’s parent, a middle school student may enroll in a Pinellas Virtual School or Florida Virtual School course or courses during or beyond the regular school day/year.
A. The course must fulfill an educationally valid purpose and be an appropriate course placement based on the student's academic history, grade level, and age.  The assistant principal will collaborate with the certified school counselor and teacher(s) to decide if placement in a virtual course is appropriate.  A parent may appeal the staff decision to the principal who will make the final decision on placement.
B. Certain District required middle school courses or course sequences may not be substituted by taking a Pinellas Virtual School or Florida Virtual School course.
C. The student must meet the recommended prerequisites.
D. Students enrolled in a magnet program may not take their specific magnet courses through Pinellas Virtual School or Florida Virtual School.
E. A student may not be enrolled simultaneously in the same course at both their school and the Pinellas Virtual School or the Florida Virtual School. Students should enroll in Pinellas Virtual or Florida Virtual courses at the beginning of a semester.  While students await acceptance in a Florida Virtual School course, they must be enrolled full time in a District school.

F. Although Florida Virtual School may have institutional drop/add procedures and timelines, students must be enrolled in a full schedule in the District and may not drop a Pinellas Virtual School or Florida Virtual School course that results in less than a full course load. Pinellas Virtual School or Florida Virtual School “W/F” grades will be treated as a grade of “F” on a student’s transcript.


G. During a grading period, a student must be enrolled in and attending at least four (4) courses in middle school or be a full time student of the Pinellas Virtual School Program in order to be a District student.
H. Middle schools may build Pinellas Virtual School or Florida Virtual School courses into their master schedules during the school day.

Middle School Course Offerings – Advanced and/or High School Credit


A. Placement in advanced and/or high school credit courses will be based on the consideration of a variety of indicators such as grades, classroom performance, assessment data, student motivation/interest, and by the student making a plan with the school counselor and parent for a sequence of courses that would allow the student to earn college credit while in high school through advanced placement course(s) or dual credit course(s). If a student is not recommended for placement, placement may be requested by signing a Request for Placement form (PCS Form 2-3059). The classroom teacher and other school personnel will work with the student to help them be successful and the parent is expected to provide additional support that the student may need to succeed in the class. Students experiencing difficulty (i.e. a grade of “D” or “F”) in the placement may be removed from the advanced or high school credit course and placed in the appropriate course for the remainder of the school year. All end of the grading period grades will be included in the final grade average for the course.

B. Credit for high school courses can only be awarded upon successful completion of all course requirements.

1. For courses with a required End of Course Assessment, students must obtain a passing score in order to earn high school credit.

2. For courses with a required End of Course Assessment, students who receive a passing grade in the course, but fail the End of Course Assessment, do not receive high school credit.

3. For courses with a required End of Course Assessment, students who receive a failing grade in the course, but pass the End of Course Assessment receive high school credit.
C. Grades for courses that offer high school credit in middle school will be used to calculate high school class rank and grade point average.  A middle school student enrolled in a course awarding high school credit and earning a grade of "C", "D", or "F" may repeat the course for forgiveness as defined in Board policy.

F.S. 1001.32(2), 1001.41, 1001.42, 1001.43, 1003.415, 1008.25


Adopted 12/9/09; Revised 12/6/11, 01/15/13, 2/25/14, __/__/__
Approved as to form and legality:

_________________________________



School Board Attorney


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