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Dixon Middle School Algebra I students to receive high school credit
DIXON, Mo. (March 24, 2009) — Students who take Algebra I at Dixon Middle School will now receive high school credit, school board members decided Monday night.

Dixon Middle School Principal Jim Brown told board members the idea of giving high school credit for the class came from one of his math teachers. A call to state officials with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education confirmed that the credit option is legitimate.

“Connie Cromwell asked me to check into this because she heard from a teacher in Waynesville that they were offering Algebra I credit to their students,” Brown said. “As our eighth-graders take Algebra I, they will be placed into what DESE calls ‘advanced standing.’ … DESE encourages schools to do this because what they hope will happen is that these kids — and they are upper level kids — they will take an upper level elective they might not be able to take if they didn’t have this credit.”

Superintendent Dawna Burrow said she liked the idea.

“I can’t think of any drawbacks to doing it, personally,” Burrow said.

Board member Craig Rivera agreed.

“It looks to me like this is an incentive,” Rivera said.

Some board members asked whether the district could require students who received advanced standing based on taking Algebra I in middle school to take an advanced math class.

“As a district you can do anything you want; you set your graduation requirements and you can set them above or beyond the state requirements,” Burrow said.

Board members decided not to make that a requirement, noting that some students might want to take an advanced class in a different subject. While board members said they hoped a student who receives advanced standing would take some sort of advanced class for credit, they acknowledged a student might choose to take that extra credit in physical education or another non-college-track field.

Board member Robert Hill, who before his retirement was the Dixon High School principal, said that probably won’t be a problem.

“Those kids who are taking Algebra I in the eighth grade are likely to be our math students and we hope they would take an upper level math class,” Hill said.

Brown agreed.

“I know we had a couple of eighth-graders who were really excited and hoping this passes,” Brown said.

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