Placement Decisions for Science

It is the goal of the Hillsborough Township Public Schools to provide learning activities in science that optimize student learning while creating critical thinkers and problem solvers. We strive to focus on student-centered learning which engages students in scientific investigations and discourse that promote thinking and conceptual understanding. Students are encouraged and expected to embrace productive struggle as they engage in the science and engineering practices, focus their learning through the lenses of the crosscutting concepts, in order to use the disciplinary core ideas to explain phenomena. Through working in groups to help one another to construct knowledge, students learn how to collaborate with and respect the thoughts and ideas of their peers.

Our expectation is that students will do their very best work every day and as we focus on student learning in science, student achievement will continue to improve. Our focus is on learning rather than grades. This process will be different for every student and it is imperative that students have these learning experiences at the optimal time for lifelong use. Learning science requires students to apply their literacy skills when developing questions, constructing explanations, engaging in argument from evidence, as well as obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

Moving from grade 8 to grade 9, placement determinations are made using a science placement matrix of compiled science grades for marking periods one and two (97+ expected), 8th grade science common assessments, 7th grade science common assessments, and 8th grade math level. For a student to be considered for Honors Science, he or she must be placed into at least Geometry CP for grade 9.

Learning science requires students to apply their mathematical thinking and computational skills when developing and using models, analyzing and interpreting data, and using mathematical and computational thinking to solve problems. Students use mathematical thinking and computational skills to gather information about science, to reason with science ideas, as well as to communicate their understanding of phenomena and to support explanations and arguments. As such, performance and placement in mathematics is directly correlated to placement in science.

Students in Algebra 1 CP are placed into Environmental Science CP. Students in Geometry CP are placed into Biology CP or Environmental Science H based on their science placement matrix performance. Students in Geometry H are placed into Biology H, Environmental Science H, or Biology CP based on their science placement matrix performance. Students in Algebra 2 H are placed into Chemistry H, Biology H, Environmental Science H, or Biology CP based on their science placement matrix performance (see graphic below).

Science placement.jpg

Once students enter Hillsborough High School, placements are subject to the information in the Program of Studies which can be found on the High School webpage under School Counseling. In addition, the Program of Studies is given to students in grade 8 as they begin the scheduling process for grade 9.

Disclaimer:  It is possible that the data available to use for placement purposes will change based on requirements received from the state or other seen or unforeseen circumstances. Further, the district reserves the right to adjust placement criteria as necessary at any time.