COTTONWOOD – Thanks to Intergovernmental Agreements with Mingus Union High School, eighth grade students at Clarkdale-Jerome and Cottonwood-Oak Creek school districts are able to take Algebra I and earn high school credits, while attending class at the high school.
On July 25, Mingus Union High School District’s governing board voted 3-to-0 to continue the IGA with Clarkdale-Jerome. Says Clarkdale-Jerome Superintendent Danny Brown, the agreement “allows some of our brightest math students to reach their potential and also earn high school credit in the process.”
A similar agreement is in place between Mingus Union and Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District until May 2019, according to Tricia Winters, executive assistant to Superintendent Steve King at Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.
Each day, eligible students are bussed to and from their schools to Mingus Union to take the math class, which is offered at the beginning of the school day.
Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Clarkdale-Jerome schools have plans in place to make sure their students do not miss valuable class time while going to and from the high school.
At Cottonwood Middle School, Principal Matt Schumacher has scheduled intervention and extension classes “first thing in the morning, so Algebra students do not miss core classes, with the exception of a little time on Wednesday due to a modified schedule to accommodate early release.”
At Clarkdale-Jerome, students miss “just a few minutes of their second period class,” Brown says. “And we are diligent to ensure students do not miss any important information.”
Clarkdale-Jerome uses an eligibility rubric that includes assessment scores, teacher recommendation and grades to determine which eighth grade students can take Algebra I.
At Mountain View Preparatory, Principal Stephanie Jones says that when the agreement with COCSD began, qualifying students were required to exceed on AIMS/AZMerit testing, have a qualifying score on Galileo, as well as a teacher recommendation.
“Since Galileo has been dropped, that component went away,” Jones said. “They still need to qualify on AZMerit and have a teacher recommendation.”
Schools participating in the agreements with Mingus Union include Mountain View Preparatory, Cottonwood Middle School, Oak Creek School and Clarkdale-Jerome School.
A year ago, 29 eighth graders across the two districts took advantage of the IGA. This year, the estimates are close to 50.
Cottonwood Middle School’s eighth grade Algebra I enrollment more than doubled this year, Schumacher says.
“We had 10 students participate last year, but spread our net quite a bit wider this year to 24 students due to MUHS’s request to bolster enrollment and a particularly strong incoming eighth grade class,” Schumacher says.