Math

Mathematics prepares you for a future in science, engineering, information technology, business, economics, etc. In a world full of data, math is becoming an even more crucial subject.  Students who do not expect to use their math later in life are often surprised by how much the subject contributes to a better understanding of the world. Mathematics fosters accuracy, careful and critical thinking, and finding patterns and making connections.

The typical Thomas Jefferson (TJ) math sequence is first-year algebra in the seventh grade; followed by second-year algebra; geometry (plus statistics); advanced algebra and trigonometry; precalculus; and finally Advanced Placement calculus or statistics in the senior year.

Students who enter in later grades will be placed at an appropriate level; for instance, a new eighth-grader who has not taken algebra will join the Algebra 1 class. A student with an advanced math background will have the chance to accelerate and get to calculus in the junior year or earlier.

The two mathematics Advanced Placement courses at TJ are AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics. Typically, students showing high motivation and achievement in mathematics or science take calculus, while students interested in humanities-focused fields take statistics. This is not a rule, however, and students are encouraged to take the subject that interests them more.

Beginning with advanced algebra and trigonometry, TJ math classes use the TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator as an aid to understanding, not as a substitute for it.