Curriculum & Instruction

Junior High and High School Math Pathways for Grades 6 – 12

The Orcutt Union School District has developed mathematics pathways for students in grades 6-12 using an extensive stakeholder input process across the public school districts in the Santa Maria Valley. These meetings began in 2014 with the adoption of new mathematics standards by the State of California which included an entire new year of math for eighth grade students. Members of the Santa Maria Valley Mathematics Task Force have met over the years and have collaborated around the creation of these pathways with a focus on instructional coherence and multiple opportunities for students to access higher level mathematics instruction.

Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, all students in grades K-8 will receive their grade level instruction; however, there are opportunities for advancement for students who demonstrate high levels of achievement and mastery of the content standards. Beginning in junior high, eligible students can participate in an additional section of mathematics instruction in their eighth grade year through enrollment in additional coursework. This opportunity exists throughout the entirety  of their high school career. This flexibility enables students and their families to determine the best time to accelerate their mathematics learning. 

Please refer to the Mathematics Pathways Flowchart for course sequencing information. 

Click the button below to watch the “Junior High School Math Acceleration Update” Zoom meeting of June 21, 2021. The passcode is: e#8Lvpy$

Click the button below to watch the “Junior High School Math Acceleration Update” Zoom meeting of August 4, 2021. The passcode is: zfck^9YA

FAQs: OUSD Math Pathways for 2020 – 2021

According to the State of California Board of Education when should Algebra 1 be taken?

The State Board of Education positioned Algebra 1 as a 9th grade course when the California State Standards were adopted.

Is it possible to reach Calculus or Statistics by taking Algebra 1 as an 8th or 9th grader?

Yes. Generally students will need to double up on a math course before they enter 12th grade. There are multiple pathways or onramps to achieve the highest level math course, and students can do this at any time during their high school years with the approval of their counselor after having met any prerequisite requirements. Eligible students can also double up in their 8th grade year with the approval of their school principal. 

Why were the math pathways changed and the compaction course is no longer offered?

It is essential our students have a full understanding of the standards at each grade level to succeed in higher level mathematics courses at the high school level. By compacting or accelerating students, there were some areas that were not covered because of the lack of time for instruction. By offering multiple opportunities to access higher level math, all students have the opportunity to do so at multiple levels and can choose the time when they are ready to do so. 

How many years of mathematics instruction is recommended and/or required for acceptance into UC/CSU colleges?

The UC/CSU colleges (as well as most private colleges) recommend and/or require four years of high school math, regardless of the math taken. They do look at the highest level of math completed at some schools along with the highest level of math offered at the school. 

What is CPM?

College Preparatory Math (CPM) is our district adopted mathematics program for grades 6-8 and higher level math courses in the Orcutt Union School District. CPM is problem based instruction and the program encourages problem solving structured around a core idea. Students learn mathematical concepts through application of the concept as part of a larger problem solving exercise, not skills in isolation. Students apply skills they are learning, as they are learning it, in a problem based environment, in strategically created groups. In addition to learning mathematical skills, students are also learning collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking skills – all skills employers and colleges are looking for. 

Our Vision

  • As the heart of the communities we serve, the Orcutt Union School District will foster high levels of student success through multiple pathways of learning. Our highly trained, dedicated staff will offer all students a world-class education, that leads the way in innovation and creativity, and will be known for its caring, collaborative and inclusive culture.​

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