Acceleration in ScienceStudents who show particular promise, interest and achievement in science in middle school have the opportunity to start the sequence of Regents Science at the Commencement Level one year early, in eighth grade. White Plains Middle School offers Accelerated Regents Earth Science to qualified eighth-grade students. In order to enter this course, a student must have a minimum of a B+ average in seventh grade science, along with the recommendations of both the seventh grade science teacher and the guidance counselor. It is also strongly recommended that students also be in accelerated Algebra in eighth grade.
Placement in Accelerated Regents Earth Science in eighth grade carries with it a greater commitment. As of the 2006-2007 school year, the No Child Left Behind Act mandates the testing of every student on a standardized state exam at least once in grades 10-12. New York State requires students to earn three credits in science, at least two of which must end in a Regents Exam. All ninth grade students at White Plains High School take Living Environment (Biology). Therefore, students who take Regents Earth Science in eighth grade are making a commitment to take Regents or Honors Chemistry in tenth grade. They cannot select Chemistry in the Community for their third credit in science, because this course does not end in a Regents Exam.
Accelerated Regents Earth Science at the Middle School also carries with it the same laboratory requirements in terms of classroom time and filed reports that all other Regents courses carry. This means that students attend an extra class period every other day (or the equivalent) and must complete at least 1200 minutes of hands-on laboratory time, documented with satisfactory completed reports, before sitting for the Regents Examination.
In order to receive high school credit for Accelerated Regents Science, a student must pass both the course and the examination with a grade of 65 or better before the credit is transferred to the high school on September 1 of their ninth grade year. If a student has not passed both the course and the exam at this time, no credit is transferred and the student's record is changed to reflect credit for Intermediate Eighth Grade Science rather than Regents Earth Science. If the student wants to earn credit for Regents Earth Science or re-take the Exam, he or she must complete the entire course (including the laboratory requirement) at the High school before being allowed to sit for the Examination again.