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Capistrano Unified School District
CUSD Mathematics Program
Math Course Placement Criteria for Current Students
If you have questions about your student’s math placement, please click on the link to see CUSD’s Math Placement Criteria.


Do my child and I need to create separate Student and Parent Portal Accounts?
Yes! Every student MUST have his/her own Student Portal Account in order to choose his/her courses for high school. Here is the link to set this up: Student Portal Account Setup. It is important to have this completed during the fall of your student’s 8th grade year, so they are able to select their 9th grade classes in the spring of 8th grade. Parents must also have their own Parent Portal Account in order to complete the registration process and receive the data confirmation for Walk-Through Registration.
For rising 9th graders, what does it mean to have an 'impacted schedule'?
An impacted schedule is one with more than 6 classes. All freshmen must take 6 classes in high school. They are pre-enrolled in English, Math, Science, PE, and Health.  Their 6th class is their elective choice, which can be their foreign language or they may wish to take another elective, such as music, drama or ASB instead. If the student qualifies for Honors English, they may take Honors World History. Therefore, they might wish to take two electives, such as a foreign language and Honors World History, which constitutes 7 classes. There are only a few classes available for zero period for freshmen, which may limit their ability to take two electives and complete Health.  This is considered an 'impacted schedule' and the student may wish to sign up for summer school to take Health over the summer.  
How does my child sign up for summer school?
Registration for summer school usually begins around March of your student’s 8th grade year. Typically, your student will have some program options for summer school, such as CUSD, Pacific Coast High School and ACCESS. These will be approved by the district before they are offered. Generally, these are online courses, however, the CUSD program requires students to take exams in person. Most students with impacted schedules take Health over the summer. Information about summer school will be on the CUSD district website and the Shorecliffs Middle School website once it becomes available each spring.
My child is a GATE student but did not get placed in any honors courses in 9th grade. Why?
Gate does not apply to high school.  Criteria for honors placement is based on performance in middle school.  Please see the course placement criteria located on the Guidance section of this page. If you would like more information about high school course placement, please click on the following CUSD link: Highschool Course Placement (PDF)


Can I select the teacher of my choice for my student?
No. We do not take teacher requests as it can adversely affect the Master Schedule. If there are extenuating circumstances, please contact your Academic Advisor to address them.
Who can take zero period?
First priority will be provided to students requiring additional academic support, such as an Intervention course, English acquisition course, and/or a program to support academic success. Students in 8th grade will be provided access to zero period after all students with academic needs are placed first. Students requesting access to a second elective, such as student leadership will be the next priority. All other remaining open spaces will be filled through a lottery process until the section is full.  
May 7th graders take two electives if they apply and are accepted to ASB, Yearbook or PAL?
Yes. If a 7th grade student is accepted into ASB, Yearbook or PAL, they may also apply for a second elective. Acceptance into zero period will be determined by the zero period placement criteria stated above.
May my 8th grader take a zero period and get out after 5th period?
No, CUSD no longer allows middle school students to leave early with the exception of students who are qualified for Independent PE.  Only students who wish to take two electives will be eligible for zero period.
What does it mean when an elective is chosen by lottery?
Depending on the elective your student is choosing, there are times when more students request a class than we have seats available in it. When this happens, we allow the computer system to select students at random to be in that class. This is called a “lottery.” The lottery method is the most fair and unbiased way to select students, all of who meet the requirements for a class.
Does Spanish 1A/1B or Spanish 1 count toward high school?  How is it shown on the student's transcript?
Spanish 1A/1B and Spanish 1 are high school level courses.  The student's high school transcript will show this course (as well as any high school level math course taken in middle school, such as Algebra or Geometry) on the student's transcript and will also show 'Shorecliffs Middle School' and the school year it was taken.  The course will meet one year of the college A-G requirement for college admissions, but it will not count toward the student's 220 high school credits needed to graduate. The high school Spanish department will assess your child’s Spanish level and will determine whether he/she should be in Spanish 1 or Spanish 2 as a freshman.


My child applied for School of Choice.  I'm afraid the courses will be full before we find out if we are approved.  How do I enroll them in an elective?
You may obtain the appropriate grade election form from the Shorecliffs Middle School Guidance Office and return it to your Academic Advisor. Student course selections are not finalized until shortly before the summer registration date. Current course requests are used to assist us in building the Master Schedule, so we may hopefully be able to provide enough space in classes desired by our students if staffing is available.  Current offerings are subject to change based on our staffing availability and the demand for courses by students.
My child is currently in an advanced math course.  How do I assure they are placed into the appropriate math course at Shorecliffs Middle School?
If you are coming from outside CUSD, you must contact the CUSD Math department to arrange to take a math placement test at the district office. Shorecliffs Middle School will provide you with all the information necessary to do that. The dates for math placement testing are located on the CUSD Website
If you are transferring from another CUSD middle school, your academic advisor will coordinate with your prior school to determine if you have met the CUSD criteria for placement into the accelerated course. The CUSD math district placement criteria is the same at all CUSD schools. Placement Critera
All incoming 6th graders will be given a math placement test at all CUSD elementary schools during May.  Test results and placement will be shared with parents in late June.
All students are given one opportunity to retake a placement test within specific guidelines given by the district. Please refer to the district website Math Department Page
My child is GATE identified at their current school.  How do I assure they are placed into accelerated classes at Shorecliffs Middle School?
Please click here for steps to identify your GATE student
Please contact your Academic Advisor if you need more information:
Andrea Avila (Last Names: A-K)
Johnny Hernandez (Last Names: L-Z)