Singapore Math Drives Achievement at Milpitas Christian School

Milpitas Christian School's decision to adopt Singapore Math for the elementary grades has helped the students to perform significantly higher than the national norm on standardized achievement tests. Singapore Math prepares students to understand numerical relationships, concept skills, and data analysis with problem-solving. Students showed strong performance across all objectives, including reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and spelling.

San Jose, CA, January 23, 2020 --( Milpitas Christian School (MCS) students are performing significantly above national norms in mathematics and math computation, according to the latest standardized tests. Each year, MCS students in grades 2-8 are measured on their mastery of key educational objectives, including reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and spelling. The current 2019-2020 school year marks the first time MCS has offered Singapore Math across the K-5 elementary grades.

“MCS has a proud tradition of being known for students who perform way above the national norm on standardized tests,” stated Clark Gilbert, Head of School/Principal for Milpitas Christian School. “Our school continues to focus upon equipping our students to reach their God-given potential in as many areas as possible. We are pleased to see our students continue to excel when compared with others at the national level.”

Singapore Math
As national and state standards moved to Common Core, MCS made a strategic decision to adopt the Singapore Math approach across the elementary grades. The Singapore Math pedagogy prepares students to understand numerical relationships, concept skills, plus multiple strategies for data analysis with real-world problem-solving. During this five-year phase-in, teachers received professional development and curriculum training for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Math in Focus: Singapore Math series.

To support the move to Singapore Math, technology enhancements were made. Digital math resources are now designed for use both in the classroom and at home. Interactive whiteboards and large screen displays offer more immersive viewing and learning experiences. The MCS Resource Center has been upgraded to offer differentiated instruction to meet the needs of individual learners. For students with learning challenges, private tutoring is available during and after school.

For middle school students (grades 6 to 8), the math curriculum continues to meet and exceed California State Standards (based on the Common Core Standards). This provides a consistent continuum of critical thinking, problem-solving, and obtainment of conceptual math understanding. An advanced math track is available for students who qualify, based on objective and subjective assessments. Sixth graders learn Pre-Algebra, seventh graders study Algebra, and eighth graders experience Geometry.

Grade 2: Building a Firm Foundation
In second grade, students are introduced to standardized achievement testing using TerraNova. This helps them to become familiar with reading and answering test questions. These initial scores not only establish a baseline for each student, but they also provide guidance for third grade instructional staff.

TerraNova defines assessment objectives in these ten categories:
- Reading: basic understanding, analyze text, and reading/writing strategies
- Vocabulary: word meaning and words in context
- Language: sentence structure, writing strategies, and editing skills
- Language Mechanics: sentences, phrases/clauses, and writing conventions
- Mathematics: numbers/number relations, computation/estimation, operation concepts, measurement, geometry/spatial sense, statistics, patterns, algebra, and problem-solving
- Math computation: add/subtract whole numbers
- Science: Science inquiry, physical science, life science, earth/space science, and technology
- Social studies: geographic perspectives, history/culture, government, and economic perspectives
- Spelling: vowels, consonants, and structural units
- Word analysis: consonants, vowels, contractions, and roots

Grade 5: Aiming Higher
Students finishing fifth grade continue to strengthen their language, mathematics, science, and social studies skills. Compared with the national norm, MCS fifth grade students show proficiency in the ten objectives measured with the achievement test.

Assessment Summary MCS Grade Mean Equivalent Standard Deviation
Reading Composite 10.6 3.0
Language Composite 10.1 3.0
Math Composite 9.7 2.5
Science 10.9 2.2
Social Studies 10.1 2.7
Spelling 10.8 2.5

“Grade Equivalent” indicates the year and month that a student’s achievement is typical. For example, a 10.1 means a student’s achievement is typical of students who have completed the first month (October) of Grade 10 who take the same test.

Grade 8: Finishing Strong
Approaching the completion of eighth grade, MCS students are well-prepared for high school.

Assessment Summary MCS Grade Mean Equivalent Standard Deviation
Reading Composite 13.0 1.2
Language Composite 13.0 2.1
Math Composite 13.0 1.1
Science 13.0 1.6
Social Studies 13.0 1.0
Spelling 13.0 1.7

About the Testing
TerraNova3 is an assessment system designed to measure concepts, processes, and skills taught throughout the nation. Items are organized by content categories reflecting educational objectives found in state, district, and diocesan curriculum frameworks; in major textbooks, basal series, and instructional programs; and in national standards publications. TerraNova3 aligns with the framework of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). TerraNova testing is published by CTB/McGraw-Hill (

About Milpitas Christian School
Founded in 1974, Milpitas Christian School (MCS) seeks to transform lives for Christ through excellence in education, relationships, and service. For over 45 years, MCS has educated thousands of preschool, elementary and middle school students on its Milpitas and San Jose, California campuses. MCS holds dual accreditation from the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). MCS accepts students of all races and nationalities and does not discriminate in any of its programs based on gender, race, or national origin.

For more information or to arrange a campus tour, visit or call (408) 945-6530 x11209.
Milpitas Christian School
Jim Hsia