Sequence of Mathematics Courses at Bishop Kenny
A strong start in mathematics in the 9th grade is critical for future success in later courses. Therefore, proper placement is essential. As with other disciplines, a student's placement in mathematics is based on student achievement on standardized assessment and the information gathered from the student's previous school. Students must complete four credits in math to earn a Bishop Kenny diploma. For admission to a state university in Florida, coursework must include Algebra 1 and beyond.
Importance of Algebra
Students need a solid foundation in Algebra in order to be successful in higher mathematics courses, as well as to succeed on college entrance exams (SAT and ACT). Therefore, Algebra 1 serves as the foundation for a college-preparatory study of mathematics. Students in Bishop Kenny's Algebra 1 program explore deeper into algebraic concepts than the traditional algebra course. As a result, students will gain the problem solving skills and content mastery necessary for success in Algebra 2 and beyond. Given the rigor of Algebra 2 and the year in between the two algebra courses, confidence in and mastery of algebra is essential.
Placement in Algebra 1 or Geometry
Only those students who demonstrate a strong mastery of algebra on past standardized assessments and the High School Placement Test (typically 85th percentile and higher) will be considered for placement in Geometry in the ninth grade. Students considered for Geometry must also have completed Algebra in the eighth grade, maintained strong academic performance and meet or exceed expectations for pre-requisite skills. The rationale for this high standard is to ensure that these students have a strong foundation in algebra in order to be successful in Algebra 2 as a sophomore, as well as the two (2) additional math courses required in the junior and senior year. Furthermore, a student who begins with Geometry may aspire to take an AP-level mathematics course as a senior. In order for that student to be successful, especially those who aspire to finish in AP Calculus, a strong start in math is essential.
The majority of freshman students are placed in Algebra 1 or Algebra 1 Honors. While many of our incoming 9th grade students may already have exposure to algebra in grade school, student performance at Bishop Kenny has proven that a full year of college-preparatory Algebra 1 serves to build a strong foundation for later success in mathematics. High performing students in Algebra 1 may request to take two mathematics courses in the sophomore or junior year in order advance further in math. In that case, the student would meet with an academic administrator to review current progress and the four year educational plan before a modified course of study is approved.