Academic Affairs Curriculum & Programs » Course Placement

Course Placement

Academic Placement and Course Placement is determined by a variety of different factors. The information below is designed to give you some background understanding of what placement means. Please note that students can earn the ability to move up and down in levels after each academic year depending on their performance in their classes.
Academic Grouping is designed to meet the particular needs of the individual student and to place students in classes according to overall ability, interest, and achievement. It is possible for a student to be in classes at different levels for different subjects. Therefore,state-required subjects, except health and physical education, are offered at multiple levels of academic difficulty, ranging from advanced to college prep coursework. Electives are offered at honors and college levels, depending upon the intrinsic difficulty of the subject matter in relation to the other electives. The following can be used as a guide to understanding each group.
  • College Level: Advanced Placement classes - AP Exams required and Dual-Enrollment Courses
  • Honors: College prep courses for the exceptional student
  • College Preparation: College prep courses for students of above-average ability
  • Academic: College prep courses or general classes
    • Students of average ability (Math and Science Departments only)
  • Crusaders Program: College preparatory (with special help and supervision)\
Incoming students are grouped by their scores on TerraNova/Standardized Tests, 7th Grade Final Course Grades, 8th Grade First Trimester Grades, Cumulative Class Rank, and the High School Placement Test (Freshmen).
Teachers may recommend changing a student’s academic level in a given content area from one year to the next. These recommendations are based on standardized test scores and academic performance. Recommendations are made based on first-semester scores for the following school year. 
Incoming freshmen are placed in classes according to the following data:
  • Average of 7th grade marks.
  • Average of 8th grade, first trimester grades.
  • Composite score of Terra Nova/PSSA/ scores from 7th grade.
  • Composite score from the High School Placement Test (HSPT).
All four averages are combined to get a composite score and freshmen are ranked in relation to all the other incoming freshmen.  The highest-ranked section of students is placed in the Honors Program (H).  The remaining students are placed in College Preparation courses. Students who need additional support in Math and Science may be placed in Academic courses for those two subjects.  This method has historically worked very well for the students at Father Judge.  It allows us to use a wide variety of grades given by a variety of elementary teachers over two academic years.  Therefore, changes cannot be made to freshman schedules.  AFTER Freshman year, a student may move in or out of Honors, College Prep, or Academic groupings based on their performance in a class. The teachers make this recommendation in consultation with the department chairs. For parents who are familiar with “tracking,” this system is no longer in place at any of the Archdiocesan High Schools.