Principal's Weekly

posted Feb 20, 2017, 8:49 PM by
For Feb. 20, 2017:   Dear Parents,  With the deadline for 2017-2018 course registration, many questions have risen about math placement. First and foremost, your child should not register for a math course. Secondly, if you have questions,
  1. Refer to the PAUSD Secondary Math Placement board policy. It is a lengthy document, and covers the guides teachers use to place students in math from 6th-12th grades.
  2. Contact your math teacher with any questions. Your math teachers are versed on placement and will be able to find answers to your questions if some still remain after reading the board policy.

8th to 9th Grade
If your child is in 8th grade, your child’s math teacher will give a preliminary math course recommendation to the high school by the end of February. The recommendations follow the board policy found at the Secondary Math Placement page found here. Final recommendations are made in May, so your child may have the opportunity to do well on their last few classroom tests which may positively impact their opportunities for placement in 9th grade.

Acceleration 9th-12th Grades
Many parents are asking questions about accelerating or taking math courses over the summer. Students cannot take PALY math courses over the summer for credit. There are multiple opportunities for students to accelerate during high school, however, between 8th and 9th grade is not one of those times.

7th to 8th Grade
For placement into 8th grade, students will be placed based on their classroom test scores as outlined in the PAUSD Secondary Math Placement document. For acceleration, students who are in Math 7 and are earning tests scores at the top of their class, may be invited by their math teacher to take the Bridge to Alg 8 class during the summer. This is a rigorous math class and students must maintain a strong grade in the course. If students perform well, based upon limits in the PAUSD Secondary Math Placement document, students will accelerate to Alg 8 as an 8th grader. If students do not do well, they will remain in Math 8 which is the most appropriate placement.

6th to 7th Grade
For placement into 7th grade, families will receive feedback of their student’s performance in mid-May. Parents may use this document to inform their decision for the most appropriate placement for their student. Students who earn 5 x’s or more in the Math 7A column are most likely a good fit for Math 7A. For students who earn 4 or fewer x’s, a most appropriate fit is Math 7. One of the factors in the feedback is from placement tests students will take in May. The multiple choice test covers all materials students learned in 6th grade. Teachers do not expect students to study for this test. Another big factor for placement are the classroom tests. Typically, students earning A or above on classroom unit tests find Math 7A a most appropriate course.

Skipping 7th Grade Math
For those students who are lovers of math and earn 9 X’s in the Math 7A column, they are invited to sit for the Math 7A Mastery test. If students pass this test, students will take Alg. 8 as a 7th grade. Each year between 40-60 students sit for the test. Each year only about 5-15 students earn a high enough score to show mastery of the Math 7A curriculum.  All questions regarding math placement need to start with your child’s math teacher.  The teacher can determine if the instructional supervisor, grade level counselor, grade level administrator, or myself need to get involved at some point.

For families wanting to enrich their students over the summer, we encourage enrollment in computer science camps. A growing list of courses is being created, so please continue to check in here for additional ideas. These programs are not endorsed by PAUSD, but is just a list we are generating to share with families. If you have items we should have, please reach out to your student’s math teacher with the information.  We look forward to continuing to partner with you in all areas of your child’s social, emotional and academic development - both here at Jordan, and beyond!  --  Katie Kinnaman, Principal

Elective Course Selection for 6th and 7th grade students - closes Wednesday, Feb 22
If your student has not registered for their Elective Choices for the 2017-18 school year, please have your student register through Infinite Campus.  For more information about Elective classes and how to register for your classes, please go to the Jordan webpage or click the following link Jordan Elective and Course Registration Information  to get more information on these topics:

  • Course Selection Video
  • Course Selection Directions (step by step color PDF)
  • Jordan Course Catalog 2016-17

In case you missed the Jordan Service Fair on Thursday, February 9th
Jordan and Youth Community Services (YCS) partnered for Jordan’s first Service Fair on February 9th in the MPR!  We have a list of organizations attended this event along with contact information, in case you or your student would like to follow up.  Each of these organizations has opportunities for middle school students specifically, but would also love to have your entire family participate!  If you would like more information about YCS, you can visit theor homepage here March 29, students will have a chance to participate in Jordan’s Day of Service. Students will be able to sign up for a variety of service projects both on-campus and off-campus.  There will be more information in upcoming weeks as we confirm with our community partners.

Renaming Schools Advisory Committee (RSAC) Upcoming Dates
The Renaming Schools Advisory Committee (RSAC) will be holding several Q & A Sessions at Jordan Middle School to provide an opportunity for questions and comments.  All members of the Palo Alto Unified School District and community members are welcome.

  • Wednesday, Feb 22 from 3:00-4:00pm - Room N-1
  • Thursday, Feb 23 from 8:00-9:00am - Room N-1

Jordan's Annual Ice Skating Party Is HERE! Feb 22 - 6th grade
Save the Date!   Loved by the school community, come join your friends at the Winter Lodge.  Your ticket includes skates, pizza and hot cocoa and cookies.  6th grade party will be held Feb 22 from 5:30 to 7:30pm.  Glide over to the following website and complete the waiver and buy your tickets.

Inspiration:    “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” - Barack Obama
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.”―Alice Walker