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Math Courses

Algebra I/ Algebra I Honors

This course lays the foundation needed for the study of all later mathematics courses. Some topics studied are the following; solving equations and inequalities, working with polynomials and rational expressions, graphing of simple functions, the quadratic formula and radical expressions. Interspersed throughout are many and varied word problems that provide opportunities to apply the material studied. All ninth grade students will be tested in May prior to their arrival to Central to determine their math course for ninth grade. The students will either be placed in regular Algebra 1, Algebra 1 Honors, or Algebra 2 Honors.

NOTE: Students who have earned an A or B in Algebra I at Central are encouraged to double up in tenth grade and take both Geometry and Algebra 2 simultaneously during their sophomore year.

 

Geometry/ Geometry Honors

This is the first mathematics course in which the student sees a mathematical system, developed from simple definitions and fundamental axioms grow into a full and useful body of knowledge. This logical development is a prime reason for the study of geometry. Topics studied include proofs of theorems about circles, triangles and quadrilaterals, as well as areas and volumes. An introduction to practical trigonometry is also included.  To get into Geometry Honors students must pass the Algebra 2 Honors test and have received at least an 80 test average in Algebra 1 Honors or have received at least an 84 test average in regular Algebra 1.

 

Algebra II / Algebra II Honors

This course is an extension of first‑year algebra. Additional topics studied are 3-dimensional graphs, sequences and series, complex numbers, polynomial functions, quadratic systems, conic sections, logarithms, etc. To get into Algebra 2 Honors students must pass the Algebra 2 Honors test and have received at least an 80 test average in Algebra 1 Honors or have received at least an 84 test average in regular Algebra 1.

 

Pre-Calculus/ Pre-Calculus Honors

This course is an extension of second-year algebra with expanded emphasis and detail on many topics. Approximately one‑half of this course is devoted to the study of trigonometry and its applications (laws of sines and cosines, trigonometric equations, DeMoivre’s theorem, etc.). To get into regular Pre-Calculus students should have received at least a 75 test average in Algebra 2. To get into Pre-Calculus Honors students must pass the Algebra 2 Honors test and have received at least an 80 test average in Algebra 2 Honors or have received at least an 84 test average in regular Algebra 2.

Calculus

Differential and integral calculus, including volumes and other applications are covered in some depth.  Prerequisite: A or B in Pre-Calculus.

AP Calculus AB / AP Calculus BC

The Advanced Placement calculus course covers all topics normally covered in a first college course. BC Calculus will cover some additional topics (series, differential equations, parametric equations, etc.)  and proceed at a more rapid rate. Students must pass the Calculus AP test and have received at least an 80 test average in Pre-Calculus Honors or have received at least an 84 test average in regular Pre-Calculus.

Statistics

This course is an introductory, non-calculus based college statistics course that emphasizes understanding and analyzing statistical studies. Participants develop skills in sampling procedures, analyzing data, designing and analyzing surveys and experiments, as well as hypothesis testing. The course emphasizes the development of an intuitive understanding of statistics and probability. Students gain a sense of the importance/relevance of statistics in the real world and are able to evaluate the use and misuse of statistics.  Requirements:  Students taking this course have successfully completed Algebra 2 with a C or better and are seeking to complete an elective college prep math course.

 

AP Statistics

AP Statistics is a non-calculus based statistics course covering what is usually learned in a one semester college introductory statistics course.  The course emphasizes understanding and analyzing statistical studies and the development of an intuitive understanding of statistics and probability.  Students develops skills in sampling procedure, analyzing data, designing and analyzing surveys and experiments, estimation, and hypothesis testing.  Students gain a sense of the importance/relevance of statistics in the real world and are able to evaluate the use and misuse of statistics.  All students are expected to take the AP Statistics Examination in May.

Requirements:

  • Students applying to AP statistics typically complete a written assessment.  The department publishes the assignment in January and interested students have approximately three weeks to submit their work.
  • The assignment is marked according to a rubric by a committee of mathematics teachers based on the following criteria:  communications, mathematical presentations, personal engagement/reflections, and use of mathematics.
  • While students should have earned at least a B in their current mathematics courses, students with at least a C will be considered for AP Statistics provides their overall weighted GPA is at least 3.7.

 

IB Mathematical Studies Standard Level

This is a one-year course that caters to students with varied backgrounds and abilities. It is designed to build confidence and encourage an appreciation of mathematics in students who do not anticipate a need for mathematics in their future studies. Students embarking on this course need to be equipped with fundamental skills and a rudimentary knowledge of basic processes. Prerequisite: Algebra 2.

 

IB Mathematics Standard Level

This is a one-year course that is focused on the study of elementary functions, basics of calculus, vector geometry, matrices, probability and statistics, and other advanced topics along with an appreciation of the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives. Mathematics SL is a demanding course due to the broad range of mathematical topics. Students will receive more in-depth preparation for internal assessments and the IB Mathematics SL exam (given in May of the senior year). IB Math SL includes material similar to that in Precalculus Honors through AP Calculus AB.

Prerequisites: Algebra 2

IB Mathematics Higher Level

This is a two-year course that is focused on the study of elementary functions, basics of calculus, vector geometry, matrices, probability and statistics, and other advanced topics along with an appreciation of the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives. Mathematics HL is a demanding course due to the broad range of mathematical topics. Students will receive more in-depth preparation for internal assessments and the IB Mathematics HL exam (given in May of the senior year). IB Math HL includes material similar to that in Precalculus Honors through AP Calculus BC.

 

* Enrollment in Honors or AP level course requires the permission of the Department Chair (Haviland Harper in room 128 or hharper@philasd.org) as well as a high score on the qualifying examination and at least a grade of 86 in current mathematics course and permission of current math teacher.

The Honors and Advanced Placement courses have a much higher degree of rigor.  These courses are designed for students who can learn at an accelerated pace and wish to go beyond the normal scope and sequence of our standard advanced courses. Students can expect more challenging and in-depth homework and assignments. Students will have to devote a larger percentage of their time to studying the material. Students taking Advanced Placement courses are required to take the examination in March/April.

Last modified: January 26, 2018