8th/9th Grade Accelerated World History

Program Description

This ninth grade class is designed for students who have advanced verbal and social studies skills.  Accelerated World History is the second year of two years of accelerated history with the first year being American History taught at the eighth grade.  The Course fulfills two State Social Studies Standards and the primary focus is on the global struggle for self-determination by people and nations through time.  Students will be engaged in higher order thinking sills through interpretive discussions, simulations, essay writing, and current events problem-solving.

Program Rationale Statement

This course was created at the request of administration and parents who wanted to have a class at the eighth and ninth grade levels that was challenging due to the advanced content and fast pace that would prepare students for the greatest success in the AP level classes at the high school.

Identification Criteria

In the past, nationally-normed writing, reading, social studies, and nonverbal intelligence tests were used to create an initial screening list. From this list, grades in social studies, teacher checklists, and standard proficiency in social studies were compiled into a matrix and scored. Those 20-25 students (roughly ten percent) with the highest cumulative scores on the matrix, after being prioritized, were invited to participate in the class. This process was used to determine those students with the greatest need to be challenged as demonstrated by the above matrix items.

Currently, the district has no nationally-normed tests and only one standard assessment in grade seven, but we do have the PAWS. Those reading and writing scores, when obtained, will be built into the matrix, along with grades and teacher recommendations. The students will be prioritized as before.

Selection Process

The selection process is part of the identification process as described above. The current instructor at the eighth grade in collaboration with the eighth-grade counselor reviews the prioritization and selects students accordingly at that level for the two year accelerated social studies continuum. Students entering the District in the ninth grade, who desire to be in Accelerated World History, will be evaluated based on as much of the same criteria as is available: standardized reading, writing, and social studies scores as well as grades and teacher recommendation. These decisions will be made by the instructor with the collaboration of Sheridan High School counselors.

Appeals Process

Parents may appeal, but the determination is made based upon the rank on the prioritization matrix. A student ranked 35th certainly cannot supersede those who are at places 25 through 34 on the list.