Advanced Coursework & Acceleration

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IGH Middle School Advanced Coursework & Subject Acceleration

At Inver Grove Heights Middle School, we emphasize academics as well as social emotional development, core life skills, and career and college readiness so students are prepared for whatever lies ahead. While we support a sense of belonging and confidence in every student, our school and district missions also aim to provide rigor for all students, offering them pathways to push themselves academically.

The middle school’s efforts over the last three years have been focused on providing personalized instruction and expanding rigorous coursework opportunities to every student beyond what was provided in the previous two-tier honors/regular track system.

The Previous Two-Track System
The previous two-track system (honors and regular) provided all students with the exact same grade level standards and content. The only difference between regular and honors classes was that delivery was at a slightly different pace and it was taught within a different classroom. This model did not provide the challenge and early high school credit that academically advanced students needed, and it limited students in the regular classes from challenging themselves in courses of interest in middle school while also making them believe that they were not capable enough or allowed to take honors or other challenging classes once in high school.

The former tracking practice permanently assigned students to a particular level of instruction, with very little differentiation, beginning at age 11. That practice negatively affected student engagement, relationships, achievement, and efficacy. It did not challenge, empower, and support every student, which contradicts the IGHMS and ISD 199 missions.

Increased Rigor for All Students
IGHMS provides opportunities for all students to be challenged through differentiated learning and advanced coursework in core classes. Academically gifted students have expanded opportunities including gifted and enrichment services with a dedicated Gifted and Talented Specialist, cluster grouping in classes with other identified gifted and advanced students, and subject acceleration with opportunities to earn early high school credit.