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Honors Classes -- Please Explain

What do Evanston parents need to know about District 65's honors/accelerated classes?

Oh wise and vocal Evanstonians, please advise:

The question of the hour is: do kids who don't get onto the advanced math track by middle school then "suffer" in high school?  I've heard many times that kids who perform at grade level simply "slip through the cracks" at ETHS.  I'd love to hear what current and former ETHS students and parents think of this opinion.

This week, parents of incoming 6th & 8th graders received a letter informing them of their students' math placement for the 2011-12 school year.  What's the best attitude for students and parents to take when reading the results?

According to the letters from District 65, the incoming 6th graders' math placement is based on a curriculum-based assessment of Grade 5 content in May; incoming 8th graders' math placement is based on The Orleans Hanna Algebra Prognosis Test (OH), Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). 

I hear buzz all the time in Evanston about honors math, and I regret to say I don't quite know the real story yet.  If a child doesn't score high enough to get into honors math, what can he or she (as well as his/her parents) expect?  Conversely, if a child's been placed in honors math, what's the drill? 

For those of you who can shed light, I'm guessing I'm not the only one looking for some guidance.   

victoria smith July 26, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Christine, not to worry about the Math placements if your child is going to be a Frosh this Fall. First, all of the regular Math classes at ETHS are excellent. If they excell in a regular class he or she will be recommended for a honors class. My personal view on this is that many of the students that have gone into honor or AP classes have wished that they have stayed in regular classes because of the work load they are given. Unless by some chance your son or daughter are totally bored with regular math and are pulling high A's I would say nay to it. It's not all it is cracked up to be. If the tests show that they belong in a "normal" math class so what. They have to complete the steps for Algebra 1 or 2 classes anyway. As we all know, a good portion of kids do terrible on tests for placement of classes, they can be moved during the school year if the teacher finds out that the class is to easy for them. Talk to your kids advisor/councelor.

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