8th Grade Accelerated/Integrated Science

Program Description

This class is a challenging compression of the 8th grade General Science course and the 9th Grade Integrated Science course. It is designed to provide foundational concepts and skill common to all the sciences, focusing on those which deal with matter and energy. The primary emphasis of the class is twofold. First, students will develop their ability to think scientifically through the application of scientific methods and procedures, laboratory techniques, data collection and analysis, and analytical techniques. Second, they will further their knowledge in the areas of matter and atomic theory, chemistry, heat, light, electricity, basic physics, astronomy and genetics.

Program Rationale Statement

This course offers the challenge and motivation of a faster pace in science. Students who are developmentally ready to tackle two years of science content and processes in one school year enjoy the rigorous challenge of the pace and learning experiences Accelerated 8th grade science offers.

Identification Criteria

Student placement is determined by a number of criteria. Teacher recommendation, achievement test scores, attendance, ability to manage time responsibly, classroom scores in 7th grade and an Arlin score (abstract reasoning) are all used. Since this class covers two years of science in one year there is an emphasis on self-motivation, responsibility and follow through, as well as abstract thinking skills.

Selection Process

The selection process is made by a team of teachers, counselors, and administrators if needed.

Appeals Process

Students who don’t meet the criteria for placement in Accelerated Science will be challenged by the diverse opportunities presented in General Science. If a student does not feel that General Science is meeting their needs, they are encouraged to meet with their teacher to discuss opportunities for extensions within the General Science class. We provide a fairly rigorous selection process and find that students who fall short of the criteria generally are not successful if placed in 8th grade Accelerated Science, so they can not be recommended to take Biology as a 9th grade student. As a result, they repeat the same content of Accelerated Science in 9th Grade Integrated Science. That is why we are so thorough in assessing a student prior to placement, we don’t want to see a student have to take the same class twice.