A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Middle School Curriculum Guide


The Middle School mathematics program serves as a bridge between the heterogeneous groupings of the Lower School and the multiple levels of subject instruction of the Upper School. In each class, teachers provide students with opportunities to communicate mathematically through participation in discussions and problem solving sessions, and work progresses at a pace designed so that all students can learn at a comfortable rate and find success. Technology enhances every class, with SMARTBoards, iPads, Desmos software for graphing, and laptops providing students with various methods of acquiring mathematical knowledge and discovering its applications. The Middle School program strives to develop a solid foundation in mathematics and a lifelong love for learning. As a result, students develop a curiosity about the mathematical world around them. Teachers evaluate student progress and adjust the program as necessary. In addition to traditional forms of assessment, teachers evaluate involvement, creativity, and eagerness for mental challenge.


Mathematics skills build sequentially upon each other, and the mathematics courses offered at RCDS are designed to span an academic year so that students can fully develop those skills alongside their peers. The Mathematics Department does not consider it necessary for students to bypass any course in order to excel in math.

There are rare times, however, when a student is prepared and chooses to focus intensively on a course and is able to develop the skills covered in a math course over a condensed period of time in order to bypass a year-long mathematics course in RCDS’s sequence. Bypassing a course in RCDS’s mathematics sequence can only be done with the approval of the Department, and courses can only be bypassed at the Honors level. Students may not bypass a course before sixth grade or beyond Algebra 2/Trigonometry.

Students wishing to be considered for a possible move ahead must complete the Bypass Form before the end of the current school year. The form (available from the Mathematics Department) must include the proposed summer course work/tutoring plans. The form will be reviewed by the Department, and a decision to approve or not will be shared by the end of the school year. 

If the student’s request is approved, the student is responsible for completing the summer work by mid-August. The student will then be required to take a placement test at RCDS on a mutually agreed upon date in mid to late August. The student must pass the appropriate placement test with a grade of 90% or better in order to bypass the course and demonstrate preparedness to enter the successive honors level math course. Placement tests will not be given prior to the mid-August date, and students may only take the placement test once. 

If the student does not pass the placement test at the Honors level, then the student will continue to be enrolled in the course that the student was assigned during course selection.