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Math

Seattle Academy believes that the study of mathematics is vital to a well-rounded and highly successful individual. The curriculum and faculty of the Math Department provide opportunities for all students to develop as problem solvers, a challenge for math lovers, and an appropriate pace for each student. Classes help students build a strong foundation of skills with applications and extensions that apply to robotics, programming, and engineering. The most important thing you will find in our mathematics class is the outstanding faculty who love their area of study and show that passion to their students. 

Middle School

In Middle School, our algebra-based program merges geometry, statistics, and computer science. As Middle School begins, students hone number-sense skills and develop flexibility with concrete operations and understanding of variables. Continuing through our Middle School program, students master key concepts from algebra and geometry.  

Upper School

Upper School students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As nearly all of our students take four years of mathematics, or even choose to enroll in extra mathematics courses, we offer Calculus 1 and 2 as well as a series of topics that explore the applications of mathematics. Advanced math and elective courses are available to students once they have met core math requirements. ​​​​​​​

Maximum Results  

 

 

Students use the Calculus concept of optimization to collect and analyze real-world datasets of their choosing. Past projects have answered questions such as "How much sleep should I get each night to maximize productivity?" and "What will the world population be when I graduate from college?"

 

Photo of Seattle Academy student in Math class

Foundational Skill Building

“With paper walls a stone roof is impossible” - Chinese proverb. All students at SAAS must learn, develop, and practice the foundational skills to excel in the sciences.

Photo of Seattle Academy Middle School student in Math Class

Critical Thinking Skills

Students will explore how math topics support and confirm each other.  Math more than any other science is verifiable, interconnected, and a beautiful fabric of complex ideas.

Photo of Seattle Academy Middle School student in Math Class

Visualize-Communicate-Evaluate

Mathematics is a language of precise communication. Students are encouraged to visualize ideas, communicate those concepts, and then critically evaluate their own thinking. 

Photo of Seattle Academy student in math class

Going Beyond the Formulas

At all levels and grades teachers encourage students to go beyond worksheets and formulas. They identify the extensions and implications of the math topics they study and take that to a higher level of understanding.

Math at Seattle Academy FAQ

How is a student’s math course determined?

For their first year at SAAS, the following determines how a student is placed:

  • transcripts and other information from previous school(s)
  • standardized test scores
  • information provided by the family 

Throughout the school year faculty observe, assess, and analyze math performance and annual standardized test scores. Each spring faculty make placement recommendations for the following year. 
 

If my child is in an accelerated math program at another school, what options do they have if they transfer to SAAS?

We will work with families to assess individual students and place them in a class that is mathematically and developmentally appropriate.  Please reach out to the Math Department Chair or Dean of STEM to inquire about specific needs.

After the school year starts, can a student change their math placement?

Occasionally after reviewing a student’s progress in a particular math course, a teacher may recommend that a student change courses. Although course changes are rare, we strive to help each student to fully meet their math potential. The Math Department chair oversees all students’ long-term math plans and placement with the advice of teachers, testing data, and the big picture of students’ course schedules. 

What does a typical day look like in a math classroom?

Variety is key! One day students might use technology to make observations and explore patterns, while another day they might investigate a new topic together and report their findings. One week students might work in groups to explore the math supporting a rover’s mission on Mars, while another week students might work at their own pace to develop and grow concepts and procedures.  

Do you have honors or AP classes?

By design, we do not offer honors or AP classes; however, we do provide options for challenge and enrichment in each course. This is communicated directly to colleges, which understand and support this approach. Students who take Calculus 2 have the option to take the AP Calculus BC exam to earn college credit.   

Do you have a Math Club?

The Middle School and Upper School each offer Math Club for students interested in math opportunities beyond the classroom.

What textbooks do you use?

Teachers draw from a variety of texts and online sources to develop their curricula and provide students with resources for learning outside of the classroom.

What are examples of math sequences for students?

Photo of the Seattle Academy 2018-19 Math Sequence FAQ