Mathematics is offered in the Academy at three levels: Honors (H), Regular, and Basic College Prep (BCP). The level of study for each student is determined by past performance in mathematics courses. The Honors courses are for those students who have done very well in previous mathematics courses. Students must be highly motivated and able to quickly understand and easily apply new concepts. The Regular courses provide a thorough study of Algebra, Geometry and Pre-Calculus. The Basic College Prep courses are for students who find the regular level of mathematics challenging. The BCP curriculum covers all the basic material in Algebra, Geometry and Pre-Calculus at a pace suitable for the needs of the students.
All levels of mathematics require students to reinforce the work done in class so they will acquire the skills necessary to progress through a sequential course of study. Homework is assigned at each class meeting and tests are given regularly. Semester examinations are given at the end of both semesters in most of the core courses, except Advanced Placement courses, which do not have a second semester exam.
The elective courses provide enrichment topics. The material covered in the electives requires students to use the skills developed in the core courses. The offerings include Elements of Design, Money Management and Computer Science. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered in Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, and Computer Science Principles. A student enrolled in an AP course is required to take the AP examination in that subject in May and the fee for the Advanced Placement exam will be charged to the student’s account. The exam is written, administered and assessed by the College Board.
The faculty in the Mathematics Department uses technology, when appropriate, to deepen understanding and enhance productivity. Computers are routinely used in Elements of Design, AP Statistics and Computer Science courses; and classrooms are equipped with Apple TVs. All students in Algebra 2/Trigonometry and subsequent courses are required to own a graphing calculator. Students may purchase any TI-84 Plus calculator, but a TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculator is recommended for some courses as indicated in the course descriptions.
Three years of study in the core courses are required for graduation. Typically, a student will study Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2/Trigonometry; or Geometry Algebra 2/Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus as the minimum for their graduation requirements. Almost all students choose to study four years of mathematics.
A student may take only one summer school course in mathematics. It is recommended that students who wish to accelerate their study of mathematics take Geometry in the summer between Algebra 1 and Algebra 2/Trigonometry. Students must receive a grade of B+ or better in both semesters of the prerequisite course to be eligible to take a summer school course for acceleration.