Sylvester Middle School
16222 Sylvester Road SW Burien, WA 98166


New Math Pathways in Middle & High School

New Math Pathways in Middle & High School

Starting in fall 2019, we are taking a new approach to middle school math to ensure students have the foundational skills necessary to be successful in algebra and beyond. We are introducing a new math curriculum, and the course sequence will be different than before.

Some learning standards that were once taught in Algebra 1 will be introduced in 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade math courses. Algebra 1 will be offered in grade 9. 

Our experience and data show that students who take algebra and geometry in middle school are not as successful as we would expect on the SAT and other measures of college-ready math skills. Skipping 7th-and 8th-grade math courses has left students with gaps in knowledge that show up in high school.

We believe more students will be successful in high-level math courses if they have stronger foundational math instruction in middle school. Students who have had the foundational instruction and show mastery of 7th- and 8th-grade math standards will be able to take algebra and geometry in middle school. 

To support students and families, we have mapped out a math pathway that takes students up through high school calculus and statistics coursework. This pathway is not dependent on any particular curriculum. 

Students who take Algebra 1 in 9th grade will have the option to schedule math courses so they reach AP/IB Calculus and/or AP/IB Statistics senior year. The trimester schedule, scheduled to launch in fall 2021, supports this pathway.