Exam for Acceleration

According to Texas State Board of Education rules, school districts must offer Examinations for Acceleration (EA) at every grade level and for every subject area offered in grades K-12. To help schools serve this mandate, the University of Texas and Texas Tech University Distance Education Centers offer a wide array of exams for grades K-12. Leander ISD uses these resources to ensure standardization and objectivity of the exams. Exam for Acceleration allows Leander ISD students who have mastered the content and skills of a particular grade level or course without direct instruction to advance to the next level so they will be more appropriately challenged. When given at designated times in the district, these exams are available at no cost to eligible students. For more information, please contact the campus counselors.

More information about Exam for Acceleration


Students who wish to take the higher-level academic classes that best prepare them for college benefit greatly from advanced-course preparation in middle school.

The Advanced courses that are available to Leander ISD middle school students include Math 6/7, Math 7/8, Algebra I, Geometry, Advanced Language Arts grades 6-8, and 8th-grade Social Studies.

Math Pathways

Leander ISD aims to provide access to math instruction at a level and pace to meet the learning needs of our students. To achieve this goal, we have developed math challenge opportunities in elementary that lead to Math Pathways beginning in 5th grade and continuing through high school. All students will be offered challenge and support to develop strong foundations that lead to the pathways that best fit their long-term academic goals.

LISD Math Pathway Sequence Options Grades 5-8

Math Pathway 1

Grade 5Grade 6Grade 7Grade 8
Grade 5 MathGrade 6 MathGrade 7 MathGrade 8 Math

Math Pathway 2

Grade 5Grade 6Grade 7Grade 8
Grade 5/6 MathGrade 6/7 MathGrade 7/8 MathAlgebra I

What is the content in Math Pathway 2?

Course NameContentState Assessment
Math 5/6All grade 5 math TEKS and approximately 1/2 grade 6 math TEKS5th Grade Math STAAR
Math 6/7Remaining 1/2 grade 6 math TEKS and 1/2 grade 7 math TEKS6th Grade Math STAAR
Math 7/8Remaining 1/2 grade 7 math TEKS and all grade 8 math TEKS8th Grade Math STAAR
Algebra IAlgebra I TEKS – High School Credit not included in HS GPAAlgebra I EOC

Which high school courses align to Math Pathway 1 and 2?
Leander ISD 5th – 12th Grade Math Pathways

Math Pathway 2 Placement Process
All LISD students are considered for placement in Math Pathway 2 in the spring of the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade years.

Students currently enrolled in Math Pathway 2 remain enrolled as long as data indicates it is instructionally appropriate.

Each spring, all 4th grade students and Pathway 1 5th and 6th grade students are considered for placement in Pathway 2 for the next school year. Letters regarding placement in Pathway 2 will be sent home from the campus during the first week of May.

In 2023 Senate Bill 2124 passed, which requires Texas Public School Districts to use STAAR and/or a local measures to automatically enroll students in the top two quintiles (top 40%) of STAAR and/or a local measure. Leander ISD uses a combination of STAAR and MAP as our local measure to automatically place students in Math Pathway 2. Students not automatically placed in Math Pathway 2 will be reviewed based on multiple criteria. Note: parents or guardians may request information from the learner’s math teacher about placement and may request that the learner be placed in Math Pathway 2.

What if my student struggles in the Math Pathway 2 course sequence?
To ensure all students reach their full potential in math, teachers regularly assess understanding through classwork and multiple assessments. Teachers, students and families work in unison to develop personalized learning plans in the event additional support in mastering concepts is needed. The personalized learning plan will leverage student strengths while targeting specific areas for growth. In the event the plan does not lead to significant progress, placement in Math Pathway 1 (grade-level math) may be recommended to ensure a solid mathematical foundation.

Math Challenge in Elementary Grades K-5
To meet the diverse needs of LISD’s student population, many resources are provided in all content area curricula to provide support and challenge for students when appropriate. A new supplemental math resource, Concept Quests, has been added beginning in 23-24 for all elementary grades 2 -5 math teachers. This is one of many resources available to teachers to ensure all learners have access to challenge that sets a strong foundation to build academic knowledge and skills for their future readiness. Reach out to your child’s teacher if you have questions about how resources are used to engage and challenge the learner.

Exam for Acceleration – Whole Grade Advancement
Exam for acceleration is designed for whole grade advancement in grades K-5. Upon completion of grade 5, students who want to skip a single subjects to potentially advance to geometry by eighth grade may do so by exam for acceleration. The district is continuing to review processes and is developing a math pathway 3 to be implemented in the 2025-2026 school year. We will update this website and share more information once we have the pathway finalized near the end of the 2024-2025 school year.

Who is the best contact for additional questions about math instruction, math pathways or exams for acceleration?
Reach out to your learner’s math teacher with questions related to math instruction. Should you need more details about math pathways or exams for acceleration, your campus Instructional Coach and counselor are great resources. If the campus staff is unable to answer your questions, reach out to the following district staff with questions specific to their areas:

Math Pathways – Alicia Westcot, Senior Director of Math and Science Curriculum, [email protected]
Exam for Acceleration – Ashlee Pope, Coordinator, Advanced Programs/AVID, [email protected]
Advanced Programs – Shirley Bachus, Director, Advanced Programs, [email protected]

QUEST- Gifted and Talented Enrichment

In grades 6-8, Gifted and Talented students may elect to participate in QUEST – GT Studies. The QUEST-GT Studies curriculum is designed to provide challenging learning opportunities for identified students. QUEST-GT students receive advanced instruction through an interdisciplinary gifted curriculum, utilizing gifted teaching strategies.

More information GT Services