Literacy Placement Process

It is the goal of the Hillsborough Township Public Schools to provide learning activities in literacy that develop all students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening, and critical thinking skills.  Placement decisions made by the district are undertaken with this in mind.

The expectation is that students will do their very best every day so the focus is on learning rather than grades.  Therefore, high grades on the report card does not necessarily mean students will qualify for advanced/honors classes. Placements for the next year are completed before all data in the current year is received.  However, the process for making literacy placement decisions, for both advanced/honors and for academic support,  is similar across grade levels and schools.  

Grades 2-5 ASI

Common assessment data is collected across the year for both reading and writing in grades K-5. This data includes both diagnostic and summative data.  For example, a reading level is found by administering  IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment).  Summative examples include the common assessments that match particular Units of Study.  

The most at-risk students across the district are identified for targeted and intensive instruction.  At the elementary schools, this instruction is fluid and occurs in the regular classroom and in small group settings. At Auten Road, this instruction occurs in the literacy classrooms.

Grades 6-8

Moving from grade 5 to 6,  placements include academic support and advanced levels as well as on-level literacy classes.  For placement in grade 6 the following information is collected: state assessment information, common assessments after each unit of study which typically include multiple choice and fill-in questions as well as short constructed response questions, On-Demand writing samples, Scholastic Inventory (SRI), Upper Elementary Spelling Inventory and a Teacher Recommendation score based on student ability as seen day-to-day.

For grades 7 and 8, all the same summative data is collected after each Unit of Study including state assessment information,  comprehension checks, short constructed response writing and On-Demand essay writing.  Reading levels and word study levels are not identified.

For those 8th graders interested in applying for English I Honors, an additional task, completed in school, is given.  This is a reflective writing task and is scored by the High School English I Honors teachers and the K-12 ELA Supervisor.

This information is inputted onto a matrix for placement.  Depending upon the level of achievement and and total points on the matrix, students will be placed in the appropriate literacy class: on-level, asi, or advanced.  Students who do not meet the criteria for a particular placement will not be placed in that course.

Once students enter Hillsborough High School, placements are subject to the information in the Program of Studies which can be found on the High School webpage under Guidance.  Grade 8 students will receive a copy of this as they begin scheduling classes for their freshman year.

While every effort is made to notify parents prior to the end of the school year, this does not always happen.  During the year, you can begin to get a sense of the possibility based upon your child’s scores.  Below are charts indicating reading and writing levels and the potential for placement in ASI.


IRLA

Grade IRLA Level at the end of the school year Potential for ASI/Intervention for the following year
K
1-2Y
3Y
1G 
Likely
Maybe
Not likely
1 2G or lower
1 B
2B
Likely
Maybe
Not likely
2B or 1 R
2R
Likely
Not likely
3 1R, 2R
White (3.49 or lower)
White (3.5 or higher) 
Likely
Maybe
Not likely
4 White (3.49 or lower)
White (3.5 or higher)
Black
Likely
Maybe
Not likely


Writing

We use Writing Pathways rubric for scoring writing in grades K-8.
For all grade levels the following holds true for levels where an academic support placement may be given.

Grades Points at the end of the year Potential for ASI or intervention
K-8 1-11
11.5 - 22
22.5 - 33 (or higher)
Likely
Maybe
Not likely

Disclaimer: It is possible that the data available for placement purposes will change based on requirements received from the state or other unforeseen circumstances.  Further, the district reserves the right to adjust placement criteria as necessary at any time.  This information will be updated on the website.
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