2023-24 Course Sequence Rising 8th Graders
This course sequence is for students who will be entering the 8th grade in the 2023-24 academic year and beyond.
The Jackson County School System conducts block scheduling at the high school level. A block schedule features students taking four courses in each semester, for a total of eight classes through an entire academic year. Students are required to take one course in each of the four subjects listed below, then select four elective courses to complete their schedules. The elective courses are available by viewing the Program of Study on the left side of the web page.
All Jackson County students will now take the high school physical science course for credit in 8th grade. This was previously an option for students, but we believe all of our students can be successful in earning high school credit, and doing so will allow students to move on to more rigorous science courses in their 11th and 12th-grade years. We will provide additional support for students with disabilities by providing special education co-teachers in our 8th-grade science courses.
A credit earned in this course will transfer to the high school level. However, the grade for this course will not reflect in the student’s high school grade point average (GPA). As you can see in our revised course sequence, this change will allow all students to enroll in chemistry and take additional science (or science-based career, technical, and agricultural education [CTAE]) courses that align to their college or career goals. We will maintain the expectation that students earn a minimum of four science credits during their high school years; these may include CTAE fourth science options in pathways, like healthcare or agriculture. The result will be students will be better prepared and more competitive as they apply for postsecondary programs or enter the workforce.
All Jackson County students will now take 8th-grade English Language Arts in 8th grade. Jackson County 8th-graders will no longer have the option to enroll in 9th-grade Literature and earn high school credit for that course. Unlike science courses that each address different content, the language arts curriculum builds knowledge and skills systematically across grades K-12. By removing the option to earn high school credit in 8th grade, we are ensuring our students enroll in an ELA course each year through 12th grade.
This maximizes the opportunity for students to build and refine the communication skills that will be critical for their success beyond high school graduation. This supports our expectation that students will earn credit in each of the core content areas (mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies) each year of high school, as reflected in the revised course sequence.
The Georgia Department of Education has announced changes to eighth-grade mathematical standards, which will be implemented starting Fall of 2023. The Georgia K-12 Mathematics Standards focus on strategic mathematical thinking and reasoning and align mathematics to industry and workforce needs and 21st century skills.
Rising sixth through eighth graders will be recommended for one of the following two courses based on data collection:
Grade 6-8 Mathematics: Students in this course will be exposed to standards that stress rigorous concept development and real-world applications while maintaining a strong emphasis on computational and procedural skills. The standards encourage students to reason mathematically, to evaluate mathematical arguments both formally and informally, to use the language of mathematics to communicate ideas and information precisely, and to make connections among mathematical topics and to other disciplines.
Enhanced 6-8 Algebra Concepts & Connections: Students in these courses will be taught what is equivalent to the Grade 6-8 Mathematics courses, along with the high school Algebra Concepts & Connections course, in a three-year period. These courses are designed to support Jackson County students who need to be challenged by not only rigorous content but also by accelerating through content. A credit earned for the Enhanced Algebra Concepts & Connections course will transfer to the high school level. However, the grade for this course will not reflect in the student’s high school grade point average (GPA).
After much collaboration and research, the Jackson County School System will be utilizing the most recent MAP data for initial recommendation but relying on multiple data points for final consideration. Recommendations are not fixed from year-to-year, but rather are responsive to the most appropriate placement for a student’s success.