Over the past two months I have had several conversations with students who want to advance their study of mathematics faster than our academic year schedule allows. First, let me say “Kudos!” to those students – we applaud your interest and determination in mathematics. Secondly, I am happy to say that we offer an independent summer study (ISS) option, which is designed to allow students who are passionate about math advance their studies in math.

When a student comes to me to talk about the possibility of ISS for one of our math courses, I always begin by asking why they are considering such action. This is in no way a leading question – I really want to understand the motivation of each student. I also want to know that each student understands their own motivations. Expressing motivations out loud and with a witness present can be an enlightening experience. I then talk about the advantages and disadvantages of ISS. I encourage students to talk with their current math teacher, who should have some insights to offer after working with them for the past year. I encourage students to talk with their parents about their decision – it’s a big one, and parents will most definitely have some insights and wisdom to offer their aspiring mathematicians. Finally, I like to make sure that students are aware and taking full advantage of the different opportunities to engage with mathematics at SBHS. Those opportunities include Math League, the American Mathematics Competitions, the UVM Prize Exam in Mathematics and the Vermont State Mathematics Coalition Talent Search Competition.

Undertaking an ISS of one of our courses is a major decision, and will take quite a bit of determination and initiative. We do have a website built to support students in their study, but the effort is truly the responsibility of each student. The Math 3 page for the summer study website is currently under construction.

Any student who wishes to complete an ISS in mathematics should indicate their intent by completing this short form.

Please review the SBHS Mathematics Placement Practices document pasted below for more information.

South Burlington High School Mathematics Placement Practices

The goal of the South Burlington High School mathematics placement process is to provide the best opportunity for success for each student by identifying the correct placement for each student into our mathematics curriculum. Placement at SBHS places students in (not out) of our courses.

Transition to High School

The South Burlington High School Math Department works with all sending schools to provide for the most appropriate placement for individual students transitioning to high school.  Students entering South Burlington High School from middle school interested in being placed in a math course beyond Math 1 will need to demonstrate proficiency in the standards affiliated with Math 1 via their performance on one or more of our approved assessment instruments.

All current FHTMS students enrolled in Math 8 Plus who have at least a B+ average for each of the three trimesters (current grade for 3rd trimester) are eligible to take the assessment. Students from sending schools outside the South Burlington School District will be considered based on evidence of beyond grade level study in mathematics that aligns with Math 1 and teacher recommendation.

Current South Burlington High School Students

Similarly, current South Burlington High School students may request placement in a course based on their showing proficiency for standards offered in a pre-requisite math offering. Interested students may be placed based on (1) independent study of learning standards in the pre-requisite course and (2) demonstrated proficiency via successful performance on locally developed assessments.


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