English 1 Placement
Students will complete four credits in English which includes a college-preparatory study of literature, English grammar, and vocabulary while developing critical reading and writing skills. English 1 serves as the foundation for this four year program of study. Advanced students who demonstrate an accelerated mastery of verbal, language and reading skills on the HSPT, past standardized assessments, and in their 8th grade coursework are placed in English 1 Honors.
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 will retain a strong foundation in algebra in order to be successful in Algebra 2 as a sophomore. 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, a strong start in math is essential.
The majority of students are placed in Algebra 1 or Algebra 1 Honors. High performing students 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.
The majority of students are placed in Biology or Biology Honors in the freshman year. This course is an introduction to biological science with an emphasis on themes that guide modern biological research. To be placed at the honors level, incoming students must demonstrate high performance on standardized assessments, including the HSPT (approx. 85th percentile), and eighth grade coursework. Although the content of Biology Honors is similar to standard Biology, the depth and accelerated pace of the course requires students to have higher level memorization and critical thinking skills.
Students who score below the 20th percentile on the science and/or reading comprehension section of the HSPT are considered for placement in Earth / Space Science based on an evaluation of the data and information received from the previous school. Reading comprehension skills are factored into the placement process due to the rigor of the Biology curriculum. Students selected for Earth / Space Science gain the opportunity of an introductory high school science course prior to taking Biology the following year.