Student Identification and Projection Methodology

Beth Tsoumas

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction
(847) 998-5007

Kristine Patterson

Director of ELL & Bilingual Programs
(847) 657-2479

Tracy Tuchow

Administrative Assistant
(847) 998-5007
*How students are identified for Advanced and Accelerated Math is currently under review by the Superintendent's Math Task Force. This information will be updated once the task force has made its final recommendations. 

Student Identification

Students who are already on the Advanced or Accelerated Pathway will remain on that pathway unless it has been determined through ongoing communication between the teacher and the parent that advanced or accelerated math is no longer the most appropriate fit for the student.  

Our identification process primarily identifies outgoing 3rd grade students for the advanced class and identifies outgoing 5th grade students for the Double Accelerated.  Any students who profile for the advanced and accelerated math classes but had not qualified year before are identified as well.

Projection Methodology

A projection methodology is a more sophisticated measure taken to identify a student's fit for the advanced math courses. The process links incoming students' past achievement, rated work habits, and cognitive ability measures with known performance levels of students already in our advanced math courses.  In other words, this method quantifies the likelihood/probability of incoming students attaining achievement levels demonstrated by students sitting in those advanced math classes.

The projection methodology utilizes the same components that were previously in the D34 Math Identification Matrix. The projection process will utilize more historical data and more robust analyses to establish a probability score for identifying students who are on a trajectory to be successful in the advanced (or accelerated) placements.

Just as a pediatrician can project the height that a child should reach by adulthood, we can use a projection methodology to determine likelihood of student success in advanced math courses.*  With known heights (i.e., current achievement levels) and known rates of growth, a doctor can project a child's height in the future (ie., math performance in the future). 

Rather than looking for cut-off scores on a matrix, our projection method factors in all of the data we have on each student and relates it to the same data from students already in the advanced math courses.  A probability of success will be returned for each student.  We know a student who returns a 65% likelihood to succeed will be more academically ready for advanced math than a student who returns a 25% probability of success.  For placement in the advanced and accelerated courses, we will be looking for at least a 50% probability of success.

The reason there is a probability score rather than cut-off scores for identifying students is because there is an untold number of combinations of scores that could generate the probability of success.  The returned probability is dependent on how the factors relate to the targeted math performance in question.

There are many benefits to this method.  Omitting the use of cut-off scores allows for counterbalancing.  Strengths in one area can overcome limitations in another area. 

* For more details on the math behind this method, please email Jenny Bergeron (