Frequently Asked Questions
How will an honors class differ from a general class?
Honors and general classes will both use the same district curriculum and will both follow AZ Career and College Readiness Standards (Common Core). However, honors classes will provide learning experiences which are accelerated and go into deeper and more complex levels. Honors courses will include more choice (actively engaging students in collaborative decisions about what they will study, the pace and methods of study, and how they will share what they’ve learned), and challenge (acceleration, depth, and complexity). While the goal of honors classes is not to require more homework, honors homework assignments will likely be more complex and require deeper thought than homework for general classes. Class sizes will be similar between general and honors classes.
How will students be placed in an honors class?
Placement in honors classes will be based on several factors.
- All identified gifted students will automatically be placed in honors courses.
- Students with a high probability of success in honors classes will be identified using a Language Arts matrix. The matrix will take into account last year’s AIMS scores in reading and writing, benchmark scores, and teachers’ assessments of student’s work habits. Students who meet the pre-determined cut score will be automatically placed in honors courses.
- There will be an “Opt In” option. Students who do not qualify for honors classes based on the Language Arts matrix or who are not identified gifted MAY choose to opt into an honors course in a content area of interest. A student may opt to take up to 3 honors courses. It is recommended that incoming 7th and 8th grade students have at least a B in the specific subject(s) and a recommendation from the current year’s teacher in the subject(s) of interest. This “Opt-In” provision is incumbent upon staffing and space available.
- Lastly, there is an “Opt Out” option. Students qualifying for honors classes may choose to opt out of any or all honors courses.
How will I know if my child should take an honors class? How many honors classes should my child take?
The answer to this will vary from child to child. The Cocopah honors program has been designed to allow maximal flexibility and opportunity. Thus, each student can tailor the program to suit his/her individual goals. To be most successful in an honors class, a student should be a strong communicator, should be curious and want to ask questions, should be organized and have good time management skills, should be ready to move at a fast pace, and should have exemplary classroom behavior.
Who can opt-in to honors classes?
Students who do not qualify for honors classes in English Language Arts based on the criteria established by SUSD MAY choose to opt into an honors course in a content area(s) of interest. A student may opt to take up to 3 honors courses, however, it is recommended that a student opt in for no more than 1-2 of these courses. It is further recommended that incoming 7th and 8th grade students have at least a B in the specific subject(s) and a recommendation from the current year’s teacher in the subject(s) of interest. This “Opt-In” provision is incumbent upon staffing and space available.