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Middle School Launches New Math Courses to Boost Learning

E.L. Haynes is a learning community where every student — of every race, socioeconomic status, home language, and ability — prepares to thrive in college, career, and life. As a school, we work to make our educational system more equitable by providing learning experiences that help every student access the highest levels of education whenever possible. For students to be able to take more rigorous math courses in high school, such as Calculus and Advanced Placement math courses, they need to complete a specific sequence of math classes by the time they enter 9th grade. To help more students meet this requirement and be better prepared for high school, we will offer two new learning opportunities for students in specific grades next school year:

  • 7th Grade students will be able to take a new math course called Math 7/8.
  • 8th Grade students will be able to take Algebra 1.

Increasing Access to More Advanced Math Classes in High School

Offering Math 7/8 and Algebra 1 in grades 7 and 8, respectively, will boost learning and make it easier for students to take more advanced math classes in high school and beyond. According to Chief Academic Officer Dr. Rikki Hunt Taylor, “Students who complete these new offerings will be in the strongest possible position when they enter high school, allowing them to take Advanced Placement classes and earn college credits before graduating from high school.”

The benefits of completing Math 7/8 (in 7th grade) and Algebra 1 (in 8th grade) include:

  • The opportunity to take on new learning challenges;
  • Eligibility for more advanced math courses in high school, including Advanced Placement (AP) classes; and
  • Eligibility to earn college credit during high school through AP classes.

Math 7/8: New Course for 7th Grade Students

Math 7/8 will be a fast-paced course that combines content from 7th and 8th grade into one school year. Because it combines two years of learning into one academic year, Math 7/8 is a more rigorous and challenging course that moves at a quicker pace than a traditional math course.

Algebra 1: Now Available for 8th Grade Students

Beginning in the 2023-2024 School Year, 8th graders will be able to take Algebra 1, instead of Math 8. (Algebra 1 is currently offered to students in grades 9 and above.) Students who choose to take Algebra 1 instead of Math 8 will receive additional support to make sure they receive all the critical content that would normally be taught in Math 8. Because students will be taking Algebra I instead of Math 8, this will be a rigorous, fast-paced experience. Families and students enrolling in Algebra I for 8th grade should know there may be additional effort and work required to succeed in this course.

Open Enrollment

Every student should have access to rigorous academic experiences that push and support them to reach higher levels of learning and success. If students and families want to take on more challenging learning opportunities, they should have the opportunity to do so. For that reason, Math 7/8 and Algebra 1 will be Open Enrollment courses, meaning that any family who wants to enroll their child in these courses can — regardless of learning disability, learning difference, or primary language. We will soon host virtual information sessions for families to learn more.

If you are interested in learning more, or are ready to enroll, complete the appropriate form below as soon as possible:

Student Support Plan

Because Math 7/8 is a rigorous and fast-paced course, and Algebra 1 requires students to bypass Math 8, we will provide additional support to students to promote their success. If a student experiences issues that will prevent them from completing the course, we will provide different layers of support:

  1. For students who need support maintaining a passing grade, the teacher will meet them and their family to review student work, talk through concerns, and develop a support plan;
  2. After developing and implementing the support plan, if the student continues to experience issues, the teacher, student, and family will meet to discuss what is in the best interest of the student and their learning trajectory, which may include the possibility of enrolling in a traditional Math 7 or Math 8 course.

Contact Information

If your student has a learning difference or disability and you have questions about what a more rigorous and fast-paced math course could look like for them, please reach out to

Brandan Persaud, Assistant Director of Student Support Services, at bpersaud@elhaynes.org or by phone at 202-667-4446.

For more general information about Math 7/8 or Algebra 1 please contact Rob Murphy, Senior Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment at rmurphy@elhaynes.org or by phone at 202-423-1099.

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