Students are placed into one of our Upper School math courses based on their ability to work independently and persevere with problems, along with their past mathematical coursework and performance, standardized testing, and teacher recommendation. Students in each course engage in productive struggle while tackling problem sets as part of our problem-based learning model. A major goal of all Upper School math classes is to help students learn to write, interpret, and discuss mathematical arguments.
Many students in grade seven study pre-algebra topics in courses designed to develop an understanding of mathematics as a system of thought. After Pre-Algebra or Pre-Algebra Advanced, students take Algebra 1, Algebra 1 Advanced, Algebra 1 Part 1 and Part 2, or Extended Topics in Algebra and Geometry (ETAG). Following coursework in algebra, students take Geometry or Geometry Advanced, which is then followed by Algebra 2.
Student placement is evaluated in the fall and spring of each year, recognizing that students at this age develop at different rates and appreciating that there is more than one path through Fay’s math program.