Flexible Ability Grouping

Instruction methods at American Academy focus on the idea that not all students start at the same level, learn in the same way, or master skills at the same pace. Flexible ability grouping is used to address the needs of all students, and to challenge them to stretch their abilities and master new skills.

Every student at American Academy is assessed in several subjects throughout the school year including mathematics, reading, writing, and science. The students are divided into groups based on academic ability, learning style and other factors. Each group is challenged with concepts and skills appropriate to their readiness level. Each and every group raises the bar for kids, requiring them to stretch themselves to meet expectations. Continuing assessments throughout the year are used to validate or change placement.

 

Reading Group Placement

Reading group placement for grades K-4 is determined by a triangular evaluation that includes CSAP Reading and Writing (4th grade ), Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Reading assessments, the DRA2 and AimsWeb assessments, and prior year history (grades and teacher recommendations). In 5th grade and up, students attend English (Reading and Language Arts), History, and Science with their ability group, so placement is determined MAP Reading, Language Usage, and Science. Math MAP and CSAP scores are considered for 8th grade due to the math component in Physics. As the year goes on, we continue to evaluate placement and will make adjustments as needed.

 

Reading Group Definitions

  • Intervention: Small group instruction to students performing below grade level or to students who would benefit from increased direct instruction. Necessary interventions to achieve proficiency will be provided.
  • Supported: Specialized group instruction to students performing at grade level with increased direct instruction to ensure appropriate challenge and growth.
  • Standard: Conventional group instruction to solidly performing students (at or above grade-level) with appropriate challenge to ensure continued growth.
  • Advanced Standard: Advanced instruction to high performing students with increased rigor and depth of knowledge expectations.
  • Accelerated: Accelerated instruction to high performing students with appropriate challenge and rigor. Applies to 5th grade and higher.

Math Group Placement

Math group placement is primarly determined by the student's prior year math level and the student's success at that level. When a student completes math 8/7, CSAP Math and Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Math assessments are also taken into consideration when determining if a student is ready for Algebra I or pre-algebra. Math placement for new students are determined by AA's Math Placement Test as well as CSAP Math and Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Math assessments if applicable. As the year goes on, we continue to evaluate placement and will make adjustments as needed.

Under certain curcumstances students may be able to skip a math level. Students who strugle with a math level may have to repeat that level. Details and guidelines for both situations are in the K-8 Student Retention and Acceleration Policy.

 

Math Group Definitions

  • Intervention: Small group instruction to students performing below grade level or to students who would benefit from increased direct instruction. Necessary interventions to achieve proficiency will be provided.
  • Supported: Specialized group instruction to students performing at grade level with increased direct instruction to ensure appropriate challenge and growth.
  • Standard: Students performing at grade-level with appropriate challenge to ensure continued growth.
  • Accelerated: Above grade level curriculum to an entire class of students at the same grade level (e.g. a class of all 2nd graders in Math 3).