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Math Pathways & Placement


Questions about math pathways and placement are often foremost among parents' minds as students transition to Hillview. This page and the resources linked to it will help orient newcomers to Hillview to the math courses available and how we place students in a class best suited to their math ability. Hillview does provide different levels of math based on student math ability; although not commonly done under Common Core State Standards, we recognize that our community values opportunities to advance in mathematical learning, and we have developed a system that offers choices and flexibility.

Hillview offers four levels of mathematics, which are sometimes described as “acceleration,” "grade level," "single advanced," and "double advanced." What's important to state is that each of these levels is a fantastic level to be at. Math placement is all about being appropriately placed with the right amount of challenge to promote growth and confidence. There is plenty of time to advance down the road, and doing so prematurely will come at a cost for some. In this document you will also see reference to the term, "compaction." Compaction is a term we use to describe course content that represents more than what a student would learn in a typical year.  Because in Common Core one cannot skip material, as was the custom under the former California State Standards, when content was spiraled back in grade after grade, the only way to move ahead is by addressing more content standards in a shorter time period. Math 6B/7A Compacted and Math 7B/8 Compacted are two such courses.

Next, you may be interested to know about Hillview's Summer Bridge Math Program. MPCSD has created onramps for either advancement or reinforcement through "flipped learning" offerings. To see all of the math courses described in the FAQ's document linked above in a visual form, with additional Summer Bridge Math options added in, review this math pathways chart. Students are recommended to attend the Summer Math Bridge Program by their current math instructor; for incoming 6th graders, this is their 5th grade teacher.

Finally, your student's Hillview math experience should be informed by the existing math pathways at Menlo-Atherton High School. Please refer to this chart so that you can see what path your student is likely to follow based on his or her 8th grade math placement. If your student is planning on attending Menlo-Atherton High School you can view MA’s math course offerings as well as course descriptions.