Ian Dunst, Director of Mathematics
The 21st century takes us into a new era in mathematics education. Changes in technology have made mathematics an alive and dynamic science in itself, as well as an integral part of our daily lives. Now, more than ever before, educating students for life requires that we provide all students with a strong mathematical background.
The mathematical instructional approach implemented in kindergarten and first grade classrooms is based on the recognition of mathematical concepts in the everyday experiences of children. Beginning in elementary school, the mathematics program focuses on the development of critical thinking and problem solving strategies. The use of various manipulatives enables children to enjoy a hands-on approach to learning. Students participate in small group activities where they learn to listen and consider the ideas of others in solving problems. Students continually communicate mathematical ideas and solutions and explain their reasoning.
Middle School Program
At the middle school level, students continue to use manipulatives, calculators and computer software, as well as paper and pencil, mental math, and estimation where appropriate. Real-life applications and cooperative learning are incorporated into the program. Communication skills of reading, writing and discussion are further developed. In grades six, seven and eight students are encouraged to connect mathematics to other disciplines. Honors students accelerate in grade eight and take the NYS regents course, Algebra 1, culminating with a regents exam in June. All other eighth grade students take a pre-algebra course in preparation for Algebra 1 in ninth grade.
High School Program
At the high school level, the mathematics department follows the new New York State Common Core Learning Standards of Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2. Students completing the required sequence of courses are offered electives, highlighted by our AP Calculus, Statistics and Computer Science classes. Within the department, many students are enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, including AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles. Those who do not wish to take Advanced Placement math courses may choose from Honors College Calculus, Computer Science electives, Pre-Calculus or College Prep Algebra. The high percentage of students taking four or more years of mathematics is a strong measure of success for our students and program.