South Pasadena Middle School

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Math & ELA Placement for 6th Graders


ELA & Math Placement Protocols

Incoming 6th Grade Students


ELA Placement Protocols for 6th grade

The following is the process for placing incoming 6th grade students in Honors English at South Pasadena Middle School.  Using multiple measures, student achievement will be considered for placement in honors and in standard classes. Students will be given a composite score using the following multiple measures of achievement:  

(1)  5th Grade ELA CAASPP Scores

(2)  End of the Year Reading and Writing Report Card Grades

(3)  Teacher Evaluation


The cut score for English at each grade level will change yearly. Similar to college entrance practices, year-to-year the score needed for placement into SPMS honors and standard classes will change and the following weighting system will be used:


CAASPP score will be weighted as 45%

End of the Year Report Grades

     Reading: Literature will be weighted as 10%

     Reading: Informational Text will be weighted as 10%

     Writing will be weighted as 10%

Teacher Evaluation will be weighted as 25%


Math Placement Protocols for 6th grade


Students must meet 3 of the 4 below criteria for acceptance into 6th grade Accelerated Math or 6th Grade Honors Math:

6th Grade



Math Placement Exam: 90% or higher

5th Grade CAASPP Mathematics Scale Score between 2640-2700

Teacher Recommendation of at least 13 (out of 15)

End of the Year Math Benchmark: 90% or higher

6th Grade



Math Placement Exam Placement: 80% or higher.

5th Grade CAASPP Mathematics Achievement Level of 4

Teacher Recommendation of at least 11 (out of 15)

End of the Year Math Benchmark: 80% or higher

All 6th grade math classes are aligned to the California Standards for Mathematics.  The accelerated math courses are courses in which students study compacted curriculum.  In other words, students learn 1.5 years’ worth of math curriculum and standards in one school year.  In the 6th grade and 7th grade accelerated courses, students learn 6th, 7th, and 8th grade standards in order to be enrolled in accelerated Math I, usually a freshman level high school course, as an 8th grade student.   Students in the honors 6th grade math course learn grade level appropriate mathematics standards in greater depth.