Mathematics in High School

The mathematics curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students who have varying backgrounds, knowledge and skills, as well as diverse interests and career goals.

The goals of the mathematics program are:
  • to provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves and to encourage them to do so,
  • to provide students with options and wherever possible, keep doors open to high level math offerings,
  • to ensure that all students learn what they need for college success, and where possible, advancement.

All students must earn two math credits in high school, one of which must be at the level of Geometry or higher. It is generally recommended that students take math for all four years of high school.

The math department embraces the use of technology and to this end, the TI–Nspire CX CAS calculator is prescribed for all math courses.

Changes to Course Offerings and Course Flowchart

Highlighted below are the changes to course offerings and sequences that will be implemented in the coming year:


  • The current AP Calculus BC/Multivariable Calculus course will be offered for the last time in its current form in 2018-19.
  • The Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry (FST) course has been renamed Introduction to Statistics and Pre–Calculus and now provides students who excel with access to AP Calculus AB.
  • In 2019–20, SAS will introduce a semester– long AP Calculus BC and a semester–long AT Multivariable Calculus and semester–long AT Linear Algebra courses to replace the year–long Multivariable/BC and Multivariable/Linear Algebra offerings.
The following math department policies and practices should also be noted:
  • Students are generally able to double-up on math credits (take two courses concurrently) where they meet the prerequisites but there are two exceptions. Firstly, in order for a student to double up in Geometry and A2/T,they must obtain a recommendation from their Algebra 1 teacher and secondly, for ninth grade students, a double-up is not permitted.
  • Students looking to accelerate their math sequence are able to take a validation (skip) exam in order to bypass the next course. Students must meet the minimum grade prerequisites in order to be permitted to take the validation exam. If they are able to demonstrate the requisite knowledge in the validation exam, they will be allowed to ‘skip’ the course, but will not receive credit. The validation exam takes place the week before school officially starts for students.
  • New students will be placed based on the results of a placement assessment administered following admission.

Mathematics Courses in 2018-19

Click the course names to view the course descriptions.

View Other High School Courses

Click the buttons below to view other courses offered in SAS.

Course Descriptions

Algebra I

ID: 43003 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math

This is the standard high school Algebra I course designed for students who have mastered the basic mathematics skills and concepts of Pre–Algebra. Algebra I covers linear, quadratic, rational and exponential functions, systems of inequalities and equations, and statistical analysis. The approach used will emphasize problem solving, oral and written communication, and reasoning skills. This course is aligned with Common Core Standards with a strong emphasis on technology.

Geometry

ID: 43011 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Algebra I or Algebra IB. Approval from eighth grade math teacher required to select this course in ninth grade.

This course is designed for students who have successfully completed Algebra I. Students deepen their understanding of geometric relationships, moving towards formal mathematical arguments. The course includes transformations, similarity, triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, triangle trigonometry, circles, and area and volume of two– and three–dimensional figures. Coordinates, problem solving, and other elements of algebra are prevalent. This course is fully aligned to Common Core standards.

Geometry (Self-Paced)

ID: 43010 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Algebra I or Algebra IB. Approval from eighth grade math teacher required to select this course in ninth grade.

This self–paced Geometry covers the same content as the more traditional Geometry course (43011), but students have the flexibility to move faster than the normal pace of the class. Students may take assessments before the normal due date but may not fall behind. Students who sign up for this course will benefit from the flexibility to plan the timing of assessments themselves but should be self–directed and strong independent learners.

Algebra II/Trigonometry

ID: 43013 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite:Semester I grade of C or higher in Geometry.

This course focuses on developing students’ algebra skills and includes a full treatment of trigonometry. Algebra I topics are expanded to include polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions as well as probability. Applications are integrated into all major topics. This course is fully aligned to Common Core standards.

Conceptual Algebra II

ID: 43004 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite:Geometry plus current Math teacher’s recommendation.

This course will allow students to meet the minimum prescribed levels of Algebra required by most colleges. The course is designed to support students for whom the Algebra II/Trigonometry course is not a viable option. The course will focus on the development of the student’s conceptual understanding of the Algebra II topics including elements of functions, quadratic, polynomial, exponential (and logarithmic) functions, and probability. The approach used will emphasize problem solving, oral and written communication, and reasoning skills.

Introduction to Statistics and Pre-Calculus

ID: 43007 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of B or higher in Conceptual Algebra II; or a Semester I grade of C or higher in Algebra II/Trigonometry. This course was previously named Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry. If a credit was earned in that course, you cannot retake it under this new name.

This course focuses on further developing students’ proficiency with algebra and probability, and it includes a review and extension of trigonometry topics previously learned. Students will learn about arithmetic and geometric sequences and series, extend their understanding of probability to include counting methods, expected value and probability distributions, and review trigonometric functions and transformations with an introduction to trigonometric identities. The course also includes exploration of topics including polynomials as well as logarithmic and exponential functions. This course provides students with a solid foundation to take Pre-Calculus, AP Statistics, AT Post–Euclidean Geometry, and AT Finite Math Modelling. This course was formerly known as Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry. The revised course now provides access to AP Calculus AB to students who excel.

Accelerated Math I

ID: 43014 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Math 8+ plus approval from eighthgrade Math teacher; or Semester I grade of A or higher in Algebra I plus current teacher recommendation.

This course is designed to serve highly motivated and able math students who excelled in Math 8+ or in Algebra 1 and are looking to access the highest level math offerings at SAS. It is the first year of a two year sequence that covers key content from Geometry and Algebra II/Trigonometry. The course aims to cover a broad range of topics and will therefore be high paced and rigorous. After successfully completing both Accelerated Math I and II, students will be able to enter AP Calculus. On transcripts this course is identified as being equivalent to an honors level course.

Accelerated Math II

ID: 43015 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of B or higher in Accelerated Math I.

This course is the second year of the Accelerated Math I and II sequence. It is designed to serve highly motivated and able math students looking to access the highest level math offerings at SAS. It covers key content from Algebra II/Trigonometry and Pre–Calculus. The course aims to cover a broad range of topics and will therefore be fast paced and rigorous. After successfully completing both Accelerated Math I and II, students will be able to enter AP Calculus. On transcripts this course is identified as being equivalent to an honors level course.

Pre-Calculus

ID: 43020 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of B or higher in Algebra II/Trig or FST.

This honors level course is a prerequisite for AP Calculus BC and the recommended course of study for students planning to take AP Calculus AB. Typically, students will find this to be a higher-paced, more time-intensive and rigorous option than previous courses in the sequence. Students wishing to be successful in this course will adopt a mindset that is committed to conceptual understanding as they look to examine the common themes that link this discipline together. During the first semester they will encounter sequences and series, probability distributions, and extend their knowledge in analytical trigonometry, polar relationships, and conic sections. Throughout the second semester they will master a variety of topics essential for calculus that include polynomial optimization, rational functions and limits, modeling with the natural base, and modeling problems in motion.

Discrete Mathematics

ID: 43017 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Conceptual Algebra II or Algebra II/Trigonometry.

This course is designed for the student who wants to continue on in mathematics and learn many real-life applications, but might not intend to pursue calculus level classes. Discrete Math students find that the topics covered in class are closely related with many things they do in other disciplines. Discrete Mathematics provides an introduction to a variety of contemporary topics that are useful in various fields such as business and social sciences, as well as the physical and computer sciences. The topics include use of graphs to model real life applications, election theory, fair division of assets, linear programming, logic, and applications of matrices, probability and statistics. Problem-based projects will be included in the class.

AP Statistics

ID: 43040 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester 1 grade of A or higher in Accelerated Math I, Algebra II/Trig; or a B or higher in FST; or a C+ or higher in any higher level Math course.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. The four major themes are exploring data to find patterns, planning a study, exploring random phenomena using probability and simulations, and statistical inference, including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. AP Statistics will receive a 0.25 additional GPA weighting (rather than 0.5). Students will be prepared for and strongly encouraged to sit for the AP exam in May.

AP Calculus AB

ID: 43026 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of an A or higher in Introduction to Statistics and Pre-Calculus, plus teacher recommendation; or semester I grade of B or higher in Pre-Calculus.

This course covers topics typically found in a first-semester calculus course at US universities. The course covers limits, continuity, differentiation and integration, and their applications. Success in this course requires a solid Pre-Calculus background. Students will be prepared for and strongly encouraged to sit for the AP exam in May.

AP Calculus BC

ID: 43032 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of A in Pre-Calculus.

This fast paced course covers topics usually found in the first two semesters of a first year calculus course at US universities. The course covers all of the topics in AP Calculus AB: limits, continuity, differentiation and integration, and their applications. In addition, AP Calculus BC includes: new integration techniques, polar, parametric and vector calculus and sequences and series, including Taylor series. Students will be prepared for and strongly encouraged to sit for the AP exam in May.

AP Calculus BC and Multivariable Calculus

ID: 43032 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of A in Pre-Calculus.

This fast paced course covers topics usually found in the first two semesters of a first year calculus course at US universities. The course covers all of the topics in AP Calculus AB: limits, continuity, differentiation and integration, and their applications. In addition, AP Calculus BC includes: new integration techniques, polar, parametric and vector calculus and sequences and series, including Taylor series. Students will be prepared for and strongly encouraged to sit for the AP exam in May.

AT Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra

ID: 43036 Grade: 9-12 Length: Year
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of B or higher in AP Calculus BC.
Note: This course will be offered as a full-year course for the last time in 2018–19. Beginning in 2019–20, we will offer a semester-long AT Multivariable Calculus and a semester-long AT Linear Algebra.

This course covers topics found in typical semester-long multivariable calculus and linear algebra courses at universities. The first semester will focus on multivariable calculus including visualizing and working with functions of several variables, vectors and vector–valued functions, differentiating functions of several variables, gradients, partial derivatives, and multiple integration of several variables. Students will complete a group project aligning their skills to real world physical models, while presenting their findings to a group of experts and finish the semester with an individual project that will connect multivariable calculus with new contexts.

The second semester will focus on linear algebra including systems of linear equations and their applications, linear independence and dependence, linear transformations and their matrix representations, matrix algebra, characterizations of invertible matrices, determinants, vector spaces and subspaces, null and column spaces, as well as Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors. During the second semester, students will do projects tied to real world applications, which may include; animation, computer graphics, animal carrying capacities, google page rankings, and transformations.

In 2017–18, this course was significantly revised by our math faculty in collaboration with a mathematics professor at Davidson College. These changes have earned the course an Advanced Topic designation. The Advanced Topic (AT) designation indicates a course is at university level, putting it at or above the level of a traditional Advanced Placement (AP) course. The course requires rigorous study and emphasizes in-depth research. Like an AP course, this course has a grade point weighting of an additional 0.5.

AT Post-Euclidean Geometry

ID: 43041 Grade: 9-12 Length: Semester I
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of A or higher in Accelerated Math I or Algebra II/Trig; or a Semester I grade of B or higher in FST; or a Semester I grade of C+ or higher in any higher level Math course. Students must also have successfully completed a high school Geometry course or equivalent.

This elective course is designed for students who seek further advanced study and applications beyond the Geometry course, involving concepts acquired in Algebra II/Trigonometry. Topics will include non-Euclidean geometries, further work with transformations and constructions, and higher level work with conic sections. Project-based learning will be prevalent, involving real-world applications, such as the shapes of satellite dishes, origami, animation design, and the spherical geometry of the Earth. This course was collaboratively developed and endorsed by a professor at Grand View University. The AT designation indicates a course is at university level, putting it at or above the level of a traditional AP course. The course requires rigorous study and emphasizes in-depth research. Like an AP course, this course has a grade point weighting of 0.5 for the duration of the course.

AT Finite Math Modeling

ID: 43042 Grade: 9-12 Length: Semester II
Credit: Math
Prerequisite: Semester I grade of A or higher in Accelerated Math I or Algebra II/Trig; or a Semester I grade of B or higher in FST; or a Semester I grade of C+ or higher in any higher level Math course.

This elective course is designed for students who seek high level applications of math to real life situations. Mathematics will be used to explain and analyze elections, fair allocation of resources, and scheduling. Mathematical models will be used based on matrices, game theory, and graph theory. Project-based learning will be prevalent, involving real-world applications, such as perceived rewards, transportation networks, different systems of voting, and critical path schedules. This course was collaboratively developed and endorsed by a professor at Grand View University. The AT designation indicates a course is at university level, putting it at or above the level of a traditional AP course. The course requires rigorous study and emphasizes in-depth research. Like an AP course, this course has a grade point weighting of 0.5 for the duration of the course.