SBHS Mathematics Placement Exam

The annual South Burlington High School mathematics placement assessment is scheduled for 8:40 on Tuesday, May 16 at FHT Middle School. We will also be hosting the assessment for students in Georgia on Thursday, May 18 at noon.

The SBHS mathematics placement assessment is meant to determine readiness for Math 1 vs. Math 2. Students who are considering the assessment should talk with their current math teachers and with their parents to help them decide whether or not they should take the assessment. Students who wish to place into Math 2 as a first-year student at South Burlington High school must take the assessment and demonstrate proficiency in all Math 1 focus standards by way of their performance on the assessment.

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Independent Summer Study in Math

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.

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Course Selection for 2017-2018

Hard to believe that we are already planning for the next academic year, but here we are. This year, SBHS math teachers will be posting course recommendations for your student via a comment on their forthcoming semester grade reports. Stay tuned.

It is important to understand that the annual course schedule is based on teacher recommendations and student requests. What that means is that the number of sections of a particular course offered in any given year is based upon the number of students recommended for and/or requesting that class. When it comes to math course recommendations, our goal as a math department is to place your student in the course that provides the appropriate level of challenge.

I would like to point out that our recommendations are just that – recommendations. Students and parents have the right to disagree with the recommendation and to request alternative placement via a formal process. Please understand, however, that we consider our course recommendations carefully before coming to a final decision. It is here that I offer a word of caution, and I will do so by way of example. Continue reading “Course Selection for 2017-2018”