CRLS Math Placement for Rising 9th Graders

CRLS Math Placement for Rising 9th Graders
Posted on 03/18/2022

Translated Versions: Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Haitian-Creole | Spanish

Dear 8th Grade Families/Caretakers,

We hope that this communication finds you and your family doing well physically and emotionally.

As you and your child(ren) approach the end of 8th grade and anticipate the beginning of their high school journey, we would like to take this moment to introduce you to the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) math department and provide information regarding the math program here. The mathematics department strives to uphold the school’s mission as well as the math department’s vision and use it to inform our decisions around courses, curriculum, and pedagogy.

Mathematics Department Vision:
Create equitable mathematics communities that engage all students in making sense of challenging mathematics, provide all students with access to challenging curriculum and empower students to participate meaningfully in mathematics discourse. (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

There are many pathways that a CRLS math student can decide to explore, all with a common start. Algebra 1 is the foundation for all of your child's high school math classes. For this reason, it is extremely important that students have very strong Algebra 1 skills. It is also the reason that historically 70% of all incoming 9th graders take Algebra 1 at CRLS. Algebra 1 is offered at the full year College Preparatory and semester-long Honors levels.

As we all know, the past couple of years have posed unforeseen challenges which required adjustments in policies, procedures, and communication, forcing us to reimagine and redesign what schools look like, while preserving the districts’ commitment to equitable practices and access. Prior to these years, students could place out of Algebra 1 by taking an Algebra 1 Skills Assessment exam. In support of CPS’ collective goal of being an antiracist district, with a deliberate focus on the social emotional well-being of each student, this year the CRLS math department is asking for one of the following to evaluate your student's readiness to place out of the Algebra 1 course at CRLS:

A. Successful completion of the necessary modules in the 8th Grade → Algebra CAMBridge (Comprehensive Algebra Modules) Program offered this summer through CPS. (Recommended)
*Students can also utilize this program to move into the Honors level of Algebra 1 if desired.


B. Proof of successful completion of an Algebra 1 summer program covering the required content.


C. Recommendation (with supporting evidence - see below)

  • Recommendation - A recommendation from the student's 8th grade guidance counselor
  • Summer Program Recommendation - A recommendation from the instructor of a summer program, covering the Algebra 1 course content, taken by the student.
  • Family Recommendation - A recommendation from the student's family requesting that student place out of the Algebra 1 course, attesting to the student's preparation and readiness for the next level in the standard CRLS math course sequence.
  • Self Recommendation - A written request from a student, asking that they be considered for placement out of the CRLS Algebra 1 course, attesting to self preparation and readiness for the next level in the standard CRLS math course sequence.


  1. Supporting Document(s)/Evidence (1 of the following to support option “C”)
  • Final grade or progress report received from CPS’ CAMBridge Program or another summer program
  • Progress/growth report from online course comparing "pre" and "post" assessment

For SY22-23, students deemed ready to place out of Algebra I will be enrolled in Honors Algebra 2 followed by Honors Geometry. Students needing to take Algebra I will have a choice between the College Preparatory Algebra I and Honors Algebra I classes.

To initiate this request, please

  • Email all referrals and supporting documents to your student’s 8th grade guidance counselor.
  • AFTER the school year ends, please fill out this form. You must log on to your CPS account first.
  • Non-CPS students should email the CRLS Coordinator of Guidance, Lynn Williams with a referral from their current school’s department chair.

After reviewing the request and supporting documents, the dean, guidance counselor or a math teacher may contact the student and or family for more information. Students deemed ready to place out will be notified either via email, phone, or a direct schedule change.

Please note that all students placed will be in a “probationary” period, allowing teachers to assess if this is the right placement for them to be successful.

Thank you and we look forward to your child having a successful math career during their time at CRLS.


Siobahn Mulligan

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