Plano ISD is dedicated to providing all students with access to a culture of high expectations coupled with an engaging, innovative, personalized and supportive learning environment.
- Most PISD elementary students with a high aptitude for mathematics are well-served through enrichment provided by their classroom teacher that is designed to support and extend classroom instruction.
- Enrichment and extension opportunities for these students continue in middle school with an honors math pathway that accelerates students one year by the time they reach 8th grade.
- Some students may require enrichment and acceleration beyond these pathways.
Plano ISD works to identify these students through multiple measures and provides them an opportunity to be a part of Plano ISD’s Math Rocks program.
Math Rocks Program Goal
The Math Rocks program aims to identify students with high achievement and high aptitude in mathematics, and serve those students through a rich curriculum unique to Plano ISD.
The Program Components
The Math Rocks program serves students in grades 4 through 8. The Math Rocks class replaces the students’ regular mathematics class and includes work on grade-level TEKS as well as additional rich, in-depth mathematical experiences specific to Math Rocks. The enrichment curriculum is written in collaboration with mathematics educators from The University of Texas at Dallas. The course sequence is:
- 4th and 5th Grade Math Rocks – Math Rocks Enrichment and 4th – 6th grade TEKS
- Math Rocks 6 (6th Grade) – Math Rocks Enrichment and 7th – 8th grade TEKS
- Math Rocks 7 (7th Grade) – Math Rocks Enrichment and Algebra I Honors
- Math Rocks 8 (8th Grade) – Math Rocks Enrichment and Geometry Honors
Each year, the Academic Services department looks at the assessment history for all students in grades 3, 4, and 5 to identify those with extreme high achievement as well as aptitude potential in mathematics, as indicated by MAP and CogAT scores. Students who are identified are invited to participate in the Math Rocks program, beginning the following year. There is no application to participate in Math Rocks.
In 2019-2020, Plano ISD did an extensive study on enrichment programs for students, which included a review of the Math Rocks identification process. Previously, students were identified for the program based on two MAP math administrations. Beginning in the spring of 2020, students will be identified for the program based on multiple measures, specifically:
- MAP math test (Measure of Academic Progress) - comparison to district and national percentiles
- CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) - using the student’s most recent Quantitative score, as well as Non-Verbal score
Identification for the Math Rocks program begins in mid-spring, once the spring MAP testing window closes. In late April or early May, students who qualify for the program receive invitation letters to participate in Math Rocks. These letters are typically delivered to the student’s elementary campus. In the spring of 2020, parents of qualifying students will receive this invitation via email in early May.
Location of the Math Rocks Program
Math Rocks is located at specific cluster campuses, in order to establish a large enough group of students to form a class. Students identified for the program who do not attend a Math Rocks campus are given the opportunity to transfer to the cluster school (based on the student’s home address) so that they can take advantage of this program. Invitation to participate letters will include information regarding cluster campuses and transfers.