Math Letter to 8th Grade Families

Math Letter to 8th Grade Families
Posted on 03/15/2021
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Dear 8th Grade Families/Caretakers,

We hope that you and your family have managed to stay safe during these unprecedented times. As we all know, this school year has posed unforeseen challenges which require adjustments in policies, procedure, and communication to address these changes across many platforms.

Our goal is to mitigate the impact of these horrific times on our students while preserving the districts’ commitment to equitable practices and access.

As you and your child(ren) approach the end of 8th grade and anticipate the beginning of their high school journey, we would like to take this moment to introduce you to the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) math department and provide information regarding the math program here.

The mathematics department strives to uphold the school’s mission as well as the math department’s vision and use it to inform our decisions around courses, curriculum, and pedagogy.

Mathematics Department Vision:
Create equitable mathematics communities that engage all students in making sense of challenging mathematics, provide all students with access to challenging curriculum and empower students to participate meaningfully in mathematics discourse. (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

At CRLS, Algebra I is traditionally offered as the first math class for our 9th graders. Algebra I is the foundation for all of our high school math classes and hence it is extremely important that all students have a comprehensive understanding of Algebra I concepts and standards. Historically, the majority of incoming 9th graders take Algebra I at CRLS. Algebra I is offered at the full-year College Preparatory and semester-long Honors levels.

Students will be recommended for a high school math course (primarily Albebra 1) by their 8th grade math teacher based on a holistic approach to each student's mastery of learning expectations.

In order for students to place out of Algebra I, we have established a process that provides students with opportunities to access high school Algebra 1 standard coursework. This process includes learning modules that will be offered starting this spring/summer informed by the results of an eighth grade pre-assessment. More information will be provided in the next few weeks.

Students taking Algebra I at CRLS will be offered a full year Algebra I A/B class or Honors Algebra I depending on the level of mastery of important Algebraic concepts that students demonstrated in grade 8. Students that have mastered Algebra I standards and concepts will be recommended for enrollment into Honors Geometry.

Should you have any questions regarding the math placement process, please speak with your child’s current 8th grade math teacher or guidance counselor. Also, please feel free to contact us directly.

Thank you and we look forward to your child having a successful math career during their time at CRLS.


Julie Ward
K-12 Mathematics Coordinator
Cambridge Public Schools

Siobahn Mulligan
Dean of Curriculum & Program – Mathematics
Cambridge Rindge & Latin School
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