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VWSD to offer Algebra I to eighth-graders

Eighth grade students in the Vicksburg Warren School District will have a new option for math.

At last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, the board unanimously voted to add algebra I to the eighth grade curriculum next school year as an optional class after a three-year hiatus. As eighth grade math and Algebra I are both state tested subjects, the new eighth grade course will actually be a combined course called compacted math that is designed to prepare students to pass both state tests.

“It will prepare them to be successful because they still have to take the eighth grade math test as well as prepare them to take the algebra I test,” VWSD Director of Curriculum Kim Germany said. “We are putting more rigorous academic pieces in place for those students who may want to take more rigorous classes at the high school level.”

The new higher-level math class is designed to allow students to advance quicker in high school so they can take more rigorous courses later in their high school years. By taking algebra I in eighth grade, students will be able to take geometry in ninth instead of either algebra or fundamentals of algebra.

“I think it is a positive to be exposing these children to these concepts at this age,” Board of Trustees president Bryan Pratt said. “We changed it due to the requirements from the state. We had a lot of concerns from parents and some of us, and we are glad to see it back to give those children an opportunity at an earlier age to be able to excel and be challenged.”

To be eligible for the course, students must have a recommendation from their seventh grade math teacher, have parental permission, have scored a proficient or advanced on their last state issued MAAP math test and pass the Orleans-Hanna Algebra Prognosis Test that will be administered at the end of seventh grade. 

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