What are the challenge class descriptions?
Challenge classes are distinguished from “regular” classes by an increase in pace, breadth, and depth of instruction.
Challenge Language Arts 7
This class involves more in-depth, advanced and challenging readings, projects, tests, language study, writings and discussions.
This course is faster in pace by accelerating through math 7, math 8 and algebra in two years. Please note this is a two-year program and upon successful completion, at the end of eighth grade, students will receive high school credit.
Challenge Science 7
This course includes more in-depth, self-directed research projects.
Challenge Social Studies 7
The curriculum is compacted in this course to provide time for a history project.
Do challenge class teachers coordinate tests and projects among other core teachers?
No. Consequently, your child may have projects and tests for various classes due on the same day. Please consider this when discussing challenge classes with your child.
What is the homework like in challenge classes?
Generally, homework from challenge classes is not the type that can be completed during the bus ride home. Students enrolled in challenge classes exhibit high levels of task commitment. Like all FHPS staff, challenge class teachers hold a high standard of excellence with the expectation of strong student responsibility. Mastery of higher level writing, reading and research skills are often necessary for successful completion of projects and assignments.
Do any of the challenge classes “skip” a year of content study?
No. The challenge math class will compact three years of math instruction over two years.
How do challenge classes affect high school courses?
Challenge classes are not a prerequisite for Honors classes or Advanced Placement classes at the high school level. Many students successfully complete Honors and Advanced Placement classes, at the high school level, who did not participate in challenge classes while in middle school.
Are X’s and M’s on my child’s Standards Based Report Card indicators he/she will qualify for challenge classes?
Our district uses assessments that provide the most standardized experiences common to all students. These assessments include NWEA MAP ® and abilities assessments. Data from the “Learning Behaviors” section on the report cards will be considered.
What is the typical pathway for a 9th grade student?
All students, regardless of challenge class placement, will have the opportunity to take
honors English and/or honors biology. Challenge math students will have completed
Algebra 1 by the end of 8th grade. Therefore, they will continue on an advanced math
path. That might include geometry as a ninth grader. It is important to note that
students completing challenge math 8 earn a high school credit and a letter grade,
which will be a part of their high school transcript.
Is there a practice test for my student?
No. There are no content specific tests.
What is ATYP?
ATYP is separate from challenge classes at FHPS. ATYP stands for Academically
Talented Youth Program. It is a joint program between Kent ISD and Grand Valley
Stand University providing well-advanced classes in math and language arts. To qualify
for this program, students must take the ACT or the SAT and earn specific minimum
scores. Please visit the Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) website for more information.
Are there eligibility requirements to stay in challenge classes?
Yes. A student must maintain a B average during the school year to remain in the class.
If my student qualifies and elects to take a challenge class, but later decides it is not a good fit, can he/she drop the class during the school year?
Yes, it is possible. However, with the complexity of the school schedule and class offerings, his/her classes may be disrupted. It is critical to have a discussion with your child during the challenge class screening process about how many challenge classes he/she can reasonably handle and which ones are the most desirable.
We are committed to creating experiences at the middle school that allow students the opportunity to grow and be successful.