Middle School Mathematics Information

In the Edmonds School District we are guided by the belief that students’ ability to apply math concepts and skills are fundamental to our students’ success in the future. Our goal is to have all students achieving high levels of math understanding. Students achieve when they have access to well-articulated, deliberately-aligned common standards that are taught with best instructional practices in classrooms that are both caring and rigorous.

Our middle school mathematics pathways ensure students gain a deep level of understanding of the foundational concepts they will need in high school courses as well as in life. 

Dear Incoming 7th Grade Families,

This information will support your understanding of the process of math placement for next school year. Building a superior math foundation at middle school allows students a lifetime of mathematics success. The content of the 7th and 8th grade courses is vital to students’ preparation for rigorous high school mathematics, so it is important that students have the opportunity to learn this information. All courses described below are academically rigorous and prepare students for success in later math courses.

Recommendation/Placement Process:

Math placement recommendations are based on information from multiple sources:

  • A math assessment given to all 6th graders at their school during late February or March
  • 5th Grade Smarter Balanced Assessment scores
These scores are used to make recommendations for student placement into courses in 7th grade and to recommend students for the Algebra Placement Assessment.

For students who are seeking an extraordinary placement of Algebra 1 in 7th grade, there will be an additional assessment students will need to take. This assessment will be given in late April or early May at each elementary school, during the school day, and will be based on the 7th and 8th grade math standards. In April students will receive recommendations to take the additional testing or parents and teachers can recommend and register them. All students in the Challenge Program will be given the Algebra 1 placement assessment. Registration information will be posted and sent home after spring break. Testing results will be sent home in mid May. All students are welcome to take the additional testing.

Students who meet the qualifications to take Algebra 1 as a 7th grader will be in a class with 8th grade students. If there are not enough students the following year to create a section of Geometry at your middle school, your student may need to take Geometry at one of the high schools.

After initial placement recommendations are made students and parents may work with their middle school to select alternative placement in Math 7, Math 7 Honors and Math 8 (6th Grade Highly Capable only) if needed. Students must meet the testing requirements to earn placement in Algebra 1. Algebra 1 placement decisions will be sent home in mid May.

Course Options for 7th grade Students:

(1) Math 7- has vital concepts that serve as a foundational base for all future math courses, and will cover the core content as outlined by these state standards for 7th grade: ratios and proportional relationships, rational number operations, algebraic expressions and equations, angle measure/surface area/volume, statistics and probability.

(2) Honors Math 7 (7th - 8th grade content compressed into 1 year) - is an accelerated course that combines the standards from 7th grade and most of 8th grade. The course pace is rigorous to accommodate all necessary concepts and students are expected to be self-motivated. In addition to the 7th grade concepts (above), students will also be taught linear equations; systems of equations and functions; properties and relationships in geometric figures; patterns of association in bivariate data.

Common characteristics of students who are successful in this course are:
  • Motivation to seek a deeper level of understanding and willingness to commit additional time to their classwork
  • A deep understanding of math concepts, confidence in their math skills and ability to progress at a faster pace

(3) 8th Grade Math (For Students in the 6th Grade Highly Capable Program Only) - this is the next course in the sequence for students covering the Math 7 curriculum in 6th grade. This option will allow students to take Algebra 1 as 8th graders. Math 8 covers vital concepts that serve as a foundational base for Algebra and Geometry. It will cover the core content as outlined by the state standards for 8th grade: rational number operations, algebraic expressions and equations, linear function relationships, congruence/similarity, Pythagorean Theorem, volume and statistics and probability. Students who take Math 8 as 7th graders will be in a class with 8th grade students.

(4) Algebra 1 (This is extraordinary placement. Students must qualify through additional testing.) - is a high school credit bearing course. Algebra 1 is the foundation for high school mathematics courses. It is the bridge from the concrete to the abstract study of mathematics. This course focuses on generalizing the algorithms of arithmetic to learn how to develop equations and mathematical formulas to simulate real-life problems and solve them through mathematical manipulation. Topics include simplifying expressions, evaluating and solving equations and inequalities, and working extensively with linear, quadratic, exponential and other functions. Students who take Algebra 1 as 7th graders will be in a class with 8th grade students. This course requires a separate placement assessment.

You might also want to consider this information when thinking about the best placement for your student.

Washington State Mathematics Graduation Requirements:

  • 3 credits of math (At least one course at the level of Algebra 2)
  • Passage of state assessment - for the class of 2019 and beyond this will be the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA).

Universities are interested in students who:
  • Are well-rounded with a solid understanding of math
  • Take math all 4 years of high school, through at least Pre-Calculus

For more information about middle school mathematics curriculum, please contact Teresa Lynd at or 425-431-6544.

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