Students must complete three credits math in grades 9 through 11. Most students take four or five credits of math, a significant number of whom reach Calculus or a higher level of math.
It is the belief of the Math Department that a qualified student who gives the appropriate amount of effort can find success in our program. We do not track students but encourage them to continually challenge themselves to become proficient in the subject area that best matches their ability. Thus a student in a regular class who meets the requirements may be promoted to an advanced class the following year, while a student who is not succeeding in the rigorous environment of an advanced or regular class may be moved into a B-level class.
The Math Department endorses and incorporates the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards and philosophies regarding math instruction. Through the course of a Westtown math education, a student will be exposed to many different ways of defining and framing problems, as well as solving them. Collaborative work, in-depth exploratory projects, and an emphasis on thinking skills pervade our curriculum as we seek more creative ways to help our students learn. Technology is used, depending on student needs and teacher interest, while still maintaining a rigorous grounding in writing clear, analytical mathematics. Traditional concerns about organizing students’ work and knowledge motivate us to encourage the neatness, thoroughness, and clarity of thought and expression necessary for success in math and across the disciplines. The Math Department is also committed to furthering equity in its active encouragement of both male and female students, weaker and stronger students, as well as those from all cultural backgrounds. We believe that math is not just a cornerstone of intellectual development but also essential to effective participation as citizens in our democracy and in the world.
The goals of the mathematics curriculum:
- To identify mathematical questions, to generalize from particular examples, and to use abstract reasoning
- To analyze data, represent it graphically, and gain experience creating mathematical models for the systems generating the data
- To expose students to a rigorous, theoretical development of math systems both algebraic and geometric
- To gain experience in using calculators, programming languages and applications software
- Flexibility of the curriculum: many paths and different paces are possible.
- Curriculum is able to meet a wide variety of student interests and background preparation, very responsive to individual student’s needs. We challenge all students at an appropriate level
- The graphing calculator has been integrated as an educational tool.
- Faculty stay abreast of and respond to the latest developments in research, pedagogy, technology, and curriculum.
- Math Lab is staffed by current teachers offering help daily in the Learning Resource Center.
For specific course information, go to the Curriculum Guide.