The Skyline High Math Department in conjunction with the honors teachers at Churchill and Wasatch Junior Highs recently met to discuss some issues we are having with students in the honors math track. We are particularly concerned by the increasing rate of students who are placed in classes where they are not prepared to handle the pace and/or rigor of our advanced math courses. We are finding many students who have attempted to leap ahead through online or abbreviated courses (EHS, summer school, or other local programs) are not adequately prepare for success in honors.
Some of the reasons for this are that the pace may have been too fast for students to process the concepts or the focus has been on teaching procedures and skill-building while neglecting critical problem-solving. Either way, the students’ preparation has been too superficial to provide the deeper understanding that ensures success in the honors program.
We have arrived at some recommendations that we wanted to share with our community:
1) We will no longer consider online math classes (e.g.; Electronic High School or other) adequate to fill the prerequisite for an honors math class. (For example, Algebra II or Secondary Math II taken online or independent study will not be considered as being equivalent to Secondary Math II Honors.)
2) Students who participate in the University of Utah High School Program math classes which are taught by Skyline teachers during the summer will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if they are sufficiently prepared for the subsequent math class.
3) Our junior high and high school honors teachers will require a grade of B or better each term to continue in an honors math course or to register for the next course in the sequence.
4) In some cases, it will be recommended that a student repeat a previous course in the honors sequence before continuing on. This will mean that the student will receive elective rather than math credit. We believe the higher purpose of securing a student’s success takes precedence over earning an additional math credit. In this situation, a student will still earn the requisite three credits of math toward graduation.
We did not develop these guidelines to restrict our best, brightest, and most hard-working students in their progress. Rather our goal is to provide a solid foundation for our students as they prepare for college-level work. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email one of the honors teachers or the department chair, Denice Long, who will put you in touch with the appropriate person. Thanks for all you do to support our school and keep our programs strong. We love teaching your kids!
- Mr. Rodman (Math Coach) – Tuesday at lunch in room 102
- NHS – Tuesday and Thursday after school in room 105
- NHS – Wednesday after school in room 134
Math Online Resources