We know coming to high school can be a bit anxiety-provoking and you may have a number of questions. While course selection may seem like a complicated process with lots of choices, it is not. We will help you and your student build the 9th grade schedule in a step-by-step method during the 8th Grade Course Selection Night in February. In addition, we offer this list, though not exhaustive, of Frequently Asked Questions.
Course selection evenings occur in February. Meetings will provide a brief overview of our courses and a guidance session for the 9th grade school year. Please review courses available prior to the evening using the online course description guide. Bring a pencil and due to space limitations, please do not plan for siblings and other family members to attend. It is very important that both students and parents attend this mandatory meeting!
Our Special Education Lead Resource Teacher will be available at every presentation. Our English Language Development (ELD) Liaison will be available on Tuesday, February 11th.
- What Math Courses Does FUHSD offer?
- Which math courses do ninth graders take in FUHSD?
- How are expectations in high school courses different than in middle school?
- How will my 9th grade math course placement be determined?
- What if I change my mind after requesting a math class?
- What happens to students who “over-reach” by requesting a class and then find that it is more difficult than they expected?
- My middle school math courses have recently aligned to the Common Core Standards. Will my high school classes also be aligned to these standards?
- Can I take a high school math course in the summer so that I can take a higher-level class as a freshman?
- Can I "self-study" and skip a class in high school?
- If I take Algebra 1 in Ninth Grade, will I be able to take advanced math and science courses and get into college?
Algebra 1 (Common Core)
Required for high school graduation.
Support classes available for those who need them.
Geometry (Common Core)
Required for high school graduation.
Geometry Enriched offered for advanced students at some sites.
Algebra 2 (Common Core)
Required for 4-year college eligibility.
Algebra 2/Trig offered for advanced students.
Most freshmen take one of the following courses in 9th grade:
- Algebra 1 (with additional support if necessary)
- Geometry or Geometry Enriched
- Algebra 2 or Algebra 2/Trigonometry
Fremont Union High School District does not offer any pre-Algebra course options. However, we have a variety of interventions designed to support and accelerate learning for students who struggle with Algebra in 9th grade.
No matter what math class you take as a freshman, if you work hard and demonstrate that you understand course standards, you will have opportunities to accelerate your learning and reach our high level math courses before you graduate. Your 9th grade math teacher and your guidance counselor will be able to help you develop a plan for acceleration if you demonstrate the interest and capacity to do so.
In high school, your grades have consequences. In middle school, if you did not do well in math in 7th grade, you still moved on to 8th grade math. In high school, if you do not pass a class that you need for graduation, you will have to repeat it and pass it in order to earn credit. You need to earn credit for at least Algebra I and Geometry in order to graduate. If you want to be eligible for a four-year college, you will need to have passed at least Algebra II; and you probably will want to consider taking higher level courses, too.
The University of California and the California State University System (as well as most private colleges and universities) require that you pass a class with a “C” or better in order to have that class count in your application for admission.
Sometime between February and April of your 8th grade year, you and your parents will be invited to a meeting to learn about the course selection process for your high school. At that time, you will be advised to consider a number of factors in making a request for your ninth grade math class.
Generally, 8th graders who successfully complete:
Should take this course in 9th grade:
Algebra Readiness OR Algebra Fundamentals OR
Introduction to Algebra OR Common Core Math 8
However, if you are doing very well in your 8th grade course (getting an A or B), you may want to consider taking a more challenging course:
If you are doing very well in…
You might want to try….
No matter which class you take in ninth grade, as long as you make sufficient progress in high school, you will meet requirements for graduation and college admissions.
When making your math course request for 9th grade you should consider the following:
- What is the next course in this sequence?
- How are you doing in your current math class? (Check your latest progress report.)
- What is the work load in the other high school classes and activities you want to take in 9th grade? (This will be described to you in high school orientation meetings.)
- What are your outside extracurricular time commitments? (For example: club sports; Scouts; music lessons, church or community activities)
- If you choose to take a higher level class (i.e. Geometry Enriched instead of Geometry; or Algebra II/Trig instead of Algebra II), are you willing to put in the extra time and work that will be involved in being successful in this class?
Once your high school has all course requests from both incoming ninth graders and current students, the information will be used to determine the number of class sections needed and staffing needs for the next school year. It can be very difficult to change courses once you complete the selection process, so it is important that you choose wisely.
In the spring of 8th grade you will take a diagnostic test (the University of California’s Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project, or MDTP) that will give you information about your readiness for high school math courses. You will take this test in your 8th grade class. You should consider the results of this diagnostic test as one piece of information, along with your 8th grade math course performance, your interests, and your plans for future math courses, to help you make your math course selection. Your high school will provide additional information about course selection during guidance presentations for incoming students and parents.
Later in the spring, you will receive confirmation of the courses which you have requested for 9th grade. At this time, you will know more about how you are doing in your 8th grade class and you will also have your MDTP results. Using that information, you should consider once again whether you have selected the right course for you.
If you are confident of your choice, you can expect to be assigned to that math class. If for any reason, you wish to reconsider your original choice, you will have the opportunity to do so during the course verification process.
It is very important to make careful choices when requesting your ninth grade courses, because getting it wrong can make it difficult to find the classes you want after school starts.
If you do need to change your math class, there is a very real possibility that you will have to change your entire schedule and enter new classes with new teachers several weeks into the school year. You may also be required to drop an elective class that you originally chose.
Often when students request a transfer to another math class after the start of the year, all math classes at the school are already full. Should this happen to you, you should work with your Guidance Counselor or Assistant Principal to consider what options are available to you.
Remember, you can avoid this by making careful choices during the course selection process!
All California schools are revising curriculum in relation to the Common Core in kindergarten through high school. The new standards will be incorporated into FUHSD’s current courses. The Common Core State Standards are designed to focus math instruction and build skills and habits progressively over a student’s school career so that they understand mathematics deeply and can use it to solve authentic, real-world problems.
Fremont Union High School District recognizes that the promise of the Common Core may not be realized until all students have experienced this curriculum throughout their elementary and middle school years. Students who are currently in middle school may have had the benefit of a few years’ experience with the Common Core. FUHSD is transitioning to Common Core curriculum in deliberate, gradual ways so that all students can be successful.
Students who are thinking about taking a summer course in order to advance in the math sequence should research and consider their options very carefully. These courses are much shorter than the full year course and may not provide enough time and practice to prepare you for the next class in high school. Some summer programs do not cover all the content of a full-year course so you may miss key concepts or skills. This is especially important to consider now that students are assessed on new, more rigorous content under the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The demands of CCSS leave little time for review of concepts that were supposed to be learned in a previous course.
If you want to challenge yourself and accelerate within the FUHSD math course sequence, your guidance counselor or freshman year math teacher will work with you to explore various options after your freshman year.
If you do decide to take one of these courses during the summer, it is extremely important that you notify and administrator or guidance counselor at your high school in advance. The administrators or guidance counselor will explain your options and will ask you to document your plans as part of your course selection request.
If you take a summer course without notifying your high school in advance, it is likely that there will not be a space in the class you want in the Fall.
You should think very carefully about this before you decide to make this course request because:
- Some colleges and universities require the completion of certain courses. The University of California, for example, requires that students take Geometry even if there is evidence that they could do the work without the course.
- Remember, if you request a higher-level course and decide after the start of the year that it is too hard, another math class may not be open or available, or may require a change to all your classes.
Yes. Colleges are looking for students who take rigorous coursework in high school, and are emphasizing the importance of four years of math so that students have a strong foundation for college-level mathematics. But it is important to know that many students do not take Advanced Placement math classes in high school and are accepted to four year colleges and universities. These students typically take a course sequence that looks like this:
- Ninth grade: Algebra 1
- Tenth grade: Geometry or Geometry Enriched
- Eleventh grade: Algebra 2 or Algebra 2/Trigonometry
- Twelfth grade: Math Analysis, Pre-Calculus Honors, or Applications of Advanced Mathematics
However, no matter what math class you take as a ninth grader in FUHSD’s schools, if you work hard and demonstrate that you understand course standards, you will be able to progress through FUHSD’s math and science course offerings and meet college eligibility requirements.
You will want to consult with your ninth grade Algebra teacher and your Guidance Counselor to determine how you should consider your math and science pathway progression in relation to your achievement level and goals, your interests, and other courses you are thinking about taking.
The California Mathematics Placement Act was passed in 2015 and is intended to ensure use of a fair, objective, and transparent mathematics placement protocol that limits the use of subjective criteria in placement decisions. The FUHSD Board of Trustees affirms that such a protocol will help students and families make informed decisions that will result in an appropriate 9th grade mathematics placement.
1. Placement in mathematics courses is determined by a student’s course request and verified by the parent/guardian through the course verification process. FUHSD staff provide guidance to students and parents about the District’s math course offerings during the course selection process, including course information sessions, online, and printed materials.
2. The following measures are used to guide placement in 9th grade math courses:
- District-approved diagnostic assessments;
- Standardized assessment scores from 7th and 8th grade, when available; and
- Course performance, including grades, from 8th grade.
3. For students receiving special education services, final course placement will be determined by the IEP team.
4. Within the first month of the school year, school staff will conduct a review of 9th grade math course enrollment based on 8th grade course enrollment and final grades, diagnostic assessment results, and standardized test results. If a student previously received passing scores in the course and earned proficient ratings on the related assessments, school staff will consult with the student, parent/guardian, and current math teacher to discuss advancing the student to the next course in the sequence.
Parent/Guardian and Pupil Recourse for Challenging Mathematics Placement
The District acknowledges the need to offer clear and timely recourse for each student and their parent/guardian who has questions about their student’s mathematics course placement. The District enumerates the following steps:
- A parent/guardian may request a meeting with school staff to review and discuss the measures used to inform their student’s mathematics course selection.
- A parent/guardian may request that the pupil be placed in a course against the professional recommendation of site staff. This request may occur as part of the course selection process, or may require additional documentation.
Public Reporting of Mathematics Placement Policy and Results
Pursuant to Section 51224.7 of the Education Code, district staff will report annually to the Board on the aggregate pupil placement data, demonstrating that all students are appropriately and fairly placed in mathematics courses as described above.
- What does it mean to establish residency?
- When do I register for classes at Lynbrook?
- I am coming from a private school and/or from out-of-the-state or country. What do I need to know and do?
- As an incoming 9th grader, can I take a summer class?
- As a current 9th, 10th or 11th grader, can I take a summer class?
- Can I take a high school level class in 7th or 8th grade and receive course credit at Lynbrook?
- How do I get placed into a World Language class at Lynbrook?
- What does a course of study look like for most students?
- As a 9th Grader, can participation on a LHS athletic team exempt me from PE or earn PE credit?
- Can I take two classes in the same subject in one year? For example: Can I choose two science classes or two world language classes?
- I want to play a musical instrument in high school. What do I need to know?
- I am an 8th grader, can I meet with an LHS Guidance Counselor?
- How do I select a math course?
In late January, a parent of every 8th & 10th grader within the Lynbrook attendance area must come to the Lynbrook High School Library with the original and copies of the required documents in order to establish that you do live within the Lynbrook attendance area. If you cannot attend Residency Day, you must register at the Fremont Union High School District office. You must establish residency by the second week of February in order to receive the “Welcome to Lynbrook” packet. For additional information is available on the please visit the Residency Verification page of Fremont Union School District website.
As an incoming ninth grader, when you establish residency within Lynbrook High School attendance area you will be given a “Welcome to Lynbrook” packet. This packet will include information and an invitation to attend one of our three Course Selection Nights. At the Course Selection Night, all course offerings will be explained and students (with their parents) will register for classes
The Course Selection Guide is updated in the first few weeks of February. You can check the LHS website at the end of February for the most up-to-date guide. Year to year, there are very few changes.
There are no entrance tests or tuition fees. Our school provides textbooks at no cost to students unless students lose or damage the books.
You cannot meet with our staff, Guidance Counselors, Assistant Principals and other staff until you have established residency and you are enrolled at Lynbrook.
If you are an incoming eighth grade student from our feeder middle schools, you enroll and establish residency at Lynbrook before February 1, you will receive a “Welcome to Lynbrook” packet. This packet will include an invitation to the 8th Grade Course Night.
For all other students, once you enroll at Lynbrook and establish residency, we will meet with you and your student to help your student choose classes and create a schedule.
We are not available in late June or July. We do not respond to e-mail or phone inquiries except to direct you to this list of Frequently Asked Questions.
You will find many answers to your questions here and even more information on our website, which we encourage you to explore thoroughly.
While we make every effort to keep space available in all classes for students who enroll in LHS during August, it is possible that if you enroll closer to the start of the school year, those spaces will not be available.
We do not have the personnel available to offer campus tours nor can we accommodate prospective students to spend a day on campus attending classes, etc. If you are a student who already lives in the LHS attendance area but attend a private school or you live locally and are moving into the LHS attendance area, we happily encourage you to attend an LHS performance or sporting event as a way of getting a 'feel' of the campus and our student body. Further, you are welcome to arrive on campus after 3 p.m. to walk around for a self-guided tour. If you are out of the country and planning a trip to the San Jose area, we encourage you to do the same. A calendar of events can also be found on the website.
In deciding grade placement for a student, the student’s age and previous course work will be considered. Every effort will be made to place a student in the class that is closely related to a student's chronological age based on their official verified birth records.
Beginning in August 2016, Lynbrook High School will no longer give course credit for any courses taken outside of an educational institution in the summer between the 8th and 9th grade year. However, to be eligible to apply to the UC school system, you must complete a Geometry course taken in either middle school, in an accredited summer program in a traditional school setting or online, or a Geometry course taken in high school. We highly recommend the course be taken in middle school or high school, not in the summer.
If you are going to take a Geometry or Algebra I class in the summer, you must complete and submit the Request for Credit from Outside Educational Institution by April 2019.
A summer Geometry or Algebra I course will not be recorded on your transcript for a grade or credit. Rather, the official transcript/report card you submit to the LHS Registrar upon completion of the course, will be kept as verification for the UCs.
Parents often ask if their student can take a class during the summer to count for high school credit. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- If you are seeking credit for a summer class, you must download and fill out the Request for Credit from an Outside Educational Institution. This form, along with all required documentation, must be submitted to the Lynbrook High School main office. We will notify you within one week from the day you submit the form, via e-mail, whether you are approved or not. Approval is not automatic. We strongly suggest that you do not pay summer school registration fees until you hear back from us.
- The outside educational institution must be accredited. It would also be wise to make sure the UC school system approve of the class which you can do this by going to UC Course List website.
- Since we do not recommend summer classes nor particular summer schools or online programs, you will have to do this research on your own.
- FUHSD allows students to earn a maximum of 70 credits per year. All classes at LHS are year-long and if successfully completed, have a value of 10 credits per class. If your student takes a summer class to earn FUHSD credit and have the class recorded onto their FUHSD transcript, the class will count in the upcoming school year to their total credits earned.
- If you received approval to take a class for credit, you must submit your student's official transcript before it will be recorded on their FUHSD transcript. Submit your transcript to the LHS Registrar as early in August as possible.
- Many students attend summer programs in math, science etc. These can be dynamic, enriching learning experiences. However, unless they are accredited high school academic programs, with pre-approval from us, via the Request for Credit from an Outside Educational Institution, they cannot be used in the place of required classes or to skip levels of classes.
Students cannot begin earning high school credit until they are in high school. To be clear: Any online course (Johns Hopkins CTY, EPGY, etc.) or class from an accredited summer high school program (Mitty, St. Francis, etc.) taken any time before you graduate from 8th grade, cannot be counted for high school credit. For courses taken between the summer of your 8th and 9th grade year, see above question “Can I take a summer class?”
Lynbrook is pleased to offer French, Japanese and Spanish Levels I-V. Level IV of all languages is considered Honors and Level V is Advanced Placement. AP Level credit is not offered to freshmen who place into AP Chinese based on their Chinese Placement Exam score.
One year of successful completion of a language in middle school has prepared a student for Level I in high school. Two years of successful completion of one of the above languages taken in middle school has prepared a student to take Level II of the language in high school.
We do not have challenge/placement tests for skipping or placing out of language levels.
While most colleges require at least two levels of the same world language, with some colleges preferring three, a world language is not a high school graduation requirement. Highly selective colleges prefer students advance to the highest levels possible in a world language.
Information regarding Chinese Placement Exam
ALL students, who have taken Chinese for two years in middle school and/or listen to or speak Chinese at home, must take the Chinese Placement Exam. It is simply a diagnostic exam in order to place students into the proper level of Chinese.
The information below represents what Lynbrook students typically take year to year. However, please read the Course Selection Guide carefully. Some subjects listed in the table below are required, some are not.
- World Language
- World Literature/Writing
- World Language
- World History
- World Language
- U.S. History
- World Language
- U.S. Government/Economics
As mentioned, FUHSD guarantees each student six classes if a student chooses six classes. Students are welcome to request a 7th class, but this class is not guaranteed. All classes required for graduation must be in a student's first six choices
PE for 9th grade is a state requirement and students cannot earn PE credit through athletics to satisfy this requirement. No 9th grade student can be exempt from PE. Students in 9th grade are strongly encouraged to go out for an LHS athletic team, and, depending on how many classes he/she is taking (six or less), a student could earn five elective credits for each successfully completed season of a LHS athletic team. However, in the 9th grade year no PE credit can be earned by being on a LHS athletic team.
Yes and no. The district policy is that you cannot 'double-up' in anyone subject area in your first six classes. In your first six choices, you cannot choose two Science classes or two World Language classes, etc. However, you can choose a second Science or World Language class as a 7th class choice, which, as stated above, is not guaranteed. Due to space limitation related to limited school funding, we rarely have space available for a student to take two of any subject area in any one year. You are more likely to get a 7th class if you are not choosing two classes in the same subject area. Again, a 7th class is not guaranteed.
Are you a beginner? In order to participate in instrumental music at LHS, you must have been playing the same instrument consistently for two years. We do not offer a beginning instrument program.
Are you interested in Marching Band & Concert Band? To be in Concert Band in 9th grade, you must also be in Marching Band. You cannot just be in Concert Band. Concert Band is taught during the school day and Marching Band practice is after school. A student can earn elective credit for participating in Marching Band.
Are you interested in Orchestra? You must have played the instrument for 3 years.
Are you new to LHS but not an incoming 9th grader? As above, you will need to have consistently played the same instrument for 2 and 3 years. If you are interested in one of the ensemble groups: Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble or Chamber Orchestra, you will need to audition.
If I still have questions and/or need to audition, who do I contact? Please contact Mike Pakaluk at email@example.com. He will not respond to e-mail during summer break.
The Guidance Counselors will be happy to meet with you or your student after he/she begins the first day of high school. All questions related to course planning for sophomore year, the college process and more. will happily be answered once your student has arrived at LHS. In the meantime, we are offering this list, though not exhaustive, of Frequently Asked Questions.
Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, Lynbrook eliminated offering a Math Challenge test for higher level math classes. If a student wants to skip Alg. II/Trig and/or Pre-Calculus Honors during course selection in February and March the student simply chooses the math course they want even if it is out of sequence. Algebra I and Geometry can never be skipped, they are required to graduate high school and to apply to college. These courses can be taken either in middle school, an approved* summer school program or high school.
* Neither the Math Department nor the Guidance Counseling Department recommends that any student skip any math class. All staff strongly encourage all students to follow the math sequence.
Consider the following:
- Listen to and take your math teacher’s recommendations seriously.
- While students can show strong performance in foundational courses such as Algebra I and Geometry earning an ‘A’, if they begin to skip levels of math, deficits and ‘holes’ in their math foundation often show in the higher level math classes. By then, it is too late.
- If a student chooses to skip a math level because he/she is planning to self-study or take a course during the summer and does not, or if the student struggles once the course begins, it is extremely unlikely that the student will be able to choose a different math course.
- If a student struggles, he/she can drop a math class. However, depending on what a student wants to study in college, many colleges require four years of math.
- Students in a deficit situation can often spend multiple hours doing homework just to keep up. They can feel discouraged and never fully recover from the holes in their mathematical foundation.
- Skipping levels of math, while also taking one or more honors or AP classes, puts undue pressure on students.
- A student who takes Geometry in 9th grade could take AP Calculus in the senior year without skipping a single course in the math sequence.