Dear Incoming 8th Grade Students and Parents/Guardians
It’s hard to believe, but before you know it, your seventh grade year will come to an end, summer vacation will come and go, and you will be back to school as an eighth grader. An important first step in planning for next year is for students and parents to review this bulletin and to choose elective courses to complete a middle school schedule. Descriptions of the courses we offer to eighth grade students are found on the following pages.
As an eighth grader, you will have the opportunity to earn high school credits that will count towards graduation. Courses like Algebra I, Spanish I and Basic Design are the same courses as offered to students in high school. You are also eligible to earn one-half credit for Computer Applications. By successfully passing these courses while still in middle school, you will open up your high school schedule for even more electives. It is especially important that you strive to do your very best as the Kalamazoo Public Schools has implemented a retention procedure for eighth grade students.
Students who are not successfully passing their core academic courses (English, math, science, and social studies) will be evaluated and possibly recommended for retention in the eighth grade. So be sure to put your best foot forward, study hard, take advantage of the academic support courses available to you, and ask for help if you find yourself falling behind.
SAMPLE TRIMESTER SCHEDULE - GRADE 8
September - December
December - March
March - June
Full-Year (36 weeks)
- English Language Arts or Advanced English Language Arts 8
- Mathematics 8 or Algebra I
- Science 8
- Social Studies 8
One-Trimester (12 weeks)
- Computer Applications 8
- Physical Education 8
ELA or math extended learning courses (Strategic Reading or Strategic Math are required for students performing below grade level as indicated by the results on state and local tests. Opportunities for elective courses will be limited.
Students who are not required to take extended ELA or math courses will choose elective courses to complete their schedule.
REQUIRED ACADEMIC COURSES – THREE TRIMESTERS (FULL YEAR)
All eighth grade students are required to take the core academic courses below. Students are scheduled into the appropriate ELA and math courses as determined by test scores and teacher recommendation. Academic support courses (Strategic Reading or Strategic Math) are also required for students performing below grade level as indicated by state and local test results.
In addition to the above requirements, students performing below grade level in language arts or math, as indicated by the results on state and local assessments, will have an additional period (Strategic Reading or Strategic Math) to build core academic skills. Opportunities for elective courses such as art, music, physical education or Spanish, will be limited until grade-level expectations are met.
EARN HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT BEFORE YOU GO TO HIGH SCHOOL
Eighth grade students have several opportunities to earn high school credit which will count towards graduation, even before entering high school.
Students are eligible to receive high school credit by passing the following courses while still in middle school (8th grade):
- Algebra I - 1.0 credit
- Basic Design - 0.5 credit
- Chinese I - 1.0 credit
- Computer Applications - 0.5 credit
- Spanish I - 1.0 credit
TESTING FOR CREDIT
Testing out of a high school course can provide a student the opportunity to earn credit in required courses and move into more challenging advanced courses or electives of interest. Students considering testing out should be self-directed learners capable of demonstrating an understanding of the subject area content expectations in the course for which they wish to test out.
The student must score at least 70% or better on the district designated test in order to test out and receive credit. The testing out credit will appear on the transcript and will count towards the total number of credits needed for graduation. However, the score does not translate into a grade and is not part of the GPA calculation for any purpose. When considering the test out option, students need to consider the following:
- The effect on their GPA calculation (this many mean NOT including a potentially high grade in the GPA)
- NCAA requirements
- Other college admission requirements
The following test out exams are available to 8th grade students:
- Algebra I
- English 9
- Environmental Science
- World History