Orchard House School is committed to maximizing girls’ access to math. The program is designed to help students think in different ways, solve problems creatively and strategically, see interdisciplinary and real world connections, and master the skills necessary for success at the next level. With skill development and competency comes confidence. In addition, the curriculum provides targeted experiences in key areas where there has been a disparity between girls and boys. Looking beyond high school and college, research demonstrates a correlation between math access, math achievement, and career options. Ultimately Orchard House School is committed to maximizing future opportunities for girls; this is accomplished through class offerings, careful placements, ongoing assessments, complementary curricula, and teaching methodologies that are developmentally appropriate and research based.
To ensure that new students are placed in the math class that best matches their current levels of achievement, learning styles, and long-term academic goals, students complete a mathematics placement test designed by Saxon Publishers. Based on the placement test results, past report cards, teacher comments, standardized test scores, individual education plans, testing, and learning styles, students are placed in the class that best meets their current needs. The suitability of the placement is closely monitored for the short and long term, and if necessary the placement is adjusted.
Two classes are offered at fifth and sixth grade, and three classes are offered at seventh and eighth grade. Class size ranges from three to twelve maximizing individual attention. Girls begin with a general math class in fifth grade; by eighth grade girls take Algebra 1 or Geometry.
For more in-depth information regarding the school’s commitment to girls and math, please go two accompanying articles: Math at Orchard House and Fifth Grade Math.