Are Advanced Courses Right for Me? - Middle School
Lubbock Independent School District - Discussion Questions for Middle School Parents and Students
“Are Advanced Courses Right for Me?”
- Parents and Students: The information below is meant to assist you with course options for the upcoming school year.
- Students: The most important thing to consider is YOU WILL NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU TRY. Be open to new challenges.
- Parents: Please encourage your student to take on the challenge of an advanced course.
- Questions? Visit with your school counselor.
What are advanced courses?
Students learn thinking and studying skills needed to pass AP exams and succeed in other college-level opportunities once in high school. Students read higher-level texts and are asked higher-level questions while going deeper into the content than the on-grade level courses.
Advanced Math and Science courses: students learn at a faster pace in order to complete three years of content in two years enabling students to get a head start on high school learning while in 8th grade.
Advanced courses include many options: Advanced Placement (AP) courses, dual credit courses through Texas Tech University or South Plains College, or the OnRamps dual enrollment program. All of these courses are challenging and offer the opportunity for students to earn both high school and college credit at the same time. Course offerings also include further Pre-Advanced Placement (Pre-AP) opportunities and vary by school.
Are you up to the challenge of advanced courses?
Advanced courses add depth and complexity to an already rigorous, grade-level curriculum. These courses take commitment and strong effort to experience success.
At what pace do you learn new material?
Pacing in advanced courses is very fast. A student’s ability to quickly learn new concepts may vary depending on the content. Tutorials provided before or after school will enable students to stay on track.
Do you have time to commit to advanced courses?
Advanced courses demand extra homework and study time outside of the regular class period; however, students can balance advanced courses with extracurricular activities. Time management strategies will help greatly in maintaining balance.
What are your STAAR and MAP scores in the subjects for which you are considering advanced classes?
Lubbock ISD uses STAAR and MAP scores to place students in advanced courses. Refer to the chart on the back of this page to see how scores are applied. Students who do not meet one of these recommendations may still choose to opt-in to these courses. Consider the other questions provided here before making a decision.
What are your grades in the subjects for which you are considering advanced courses?
If grades in a subject are consistently good (85+), then you are thinking in the right direction. A lower grade average does not mean you cannot be successful in an advanced class, but you should consider why your grade was lower. Did you find the information difficult? Did you give your best effort?
Would your current teacher recommend you to take advanced courses?
Your current teachers know you and your learning style. You may want to have a conversation with your teacher(s) to discuss recommendations for your learning path. They can give you their honest perception of your current skills and level of effort in a subject.
What skills are important in an advanced course?
Skills for success vary depending on the subject. Students need to develop study strategies and note-taking strategies for every course. Students need strong reading comprehension skills in many courses. Teachers can help in developing these skills, but course pacing will determine how much class time can be devoted to skill development. Taking an advanced course in middle school will best prepare you with the skills necessary to be successful in an AP or dual credit class in high school.