The mathematics requirement for all students is the satisfactory completion of four years of mathematical study. Approximately 60% of Freshmen begin with Algebra I. The remaining students begin with Geometry with the exception of a few who begin with Algebra II. Several course sequence possibilities are given.
Readiness for the Strake Jesuit Mathematics Curriculum
We have found that students are well prepared for Algebra I if they:
• know the subsets of the real numbers
• are able to add, subtract, multiply and divide integral values mentally and accurately without calculators.
• know the rules for operating (calculating) with fractions, decimals and percents.
• know the properties of addition and multiplication and appreciate the value of these properties in calculation.
Certainly, calculators have a place; unfortunately, many students have been led to believe that having access to the calculator means they no longer have to understand fundamental mathematical concepts. We expect students to have calculators, and we will encourage their use when appropriate. On the other hand, we will strongly oppose their use when unnecessary or ill advised. Calculators are not permitted in Algebra I. A scientific calculator is sufficient for Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-calculus. Graphing calculators are required for Calculus, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics.
Note: AC designates a more demanding work load with greater GPA value. AP means college credit might be earned by taking an Advanced Placement test at the completion of the course. AP Calculus and AP Statistics are also AC courses.
Placement into the Geometry section as a Freshman requires having completed Algebra I by the end of 8th grade and passing an Algebra test at 80% or higher. This test will be administered in May. Only students with Algebra I on their middle school transcript should take this test. Students who do not score 80% or better will be expected to take Algebra I in their freshman year.
Placement in AC courses is an option only for students who excel in mathematics the preceding year. These placements are made each summer in consultation with the student’s former teacher, guidance counselors, the mathematics department chairman, and the academic assistant principal.
Trigonometry and analytic geometry are taught in the Algebra II courses, and reinforced in the Introductory Analysis and Pre-Calculus courses. The Calculus courses presume these materials.