Math Department Feature

Saint Joseph’s Math Department enables students to meet their learning goals at all levels

Saint Joseph's Math Teachers
September 2021

The rigor of the Math Department at Saint Joseph’s continues to adapt and grow to meet the needs of students at all levels, from Algebra I to AP Calculus.  We offer college preparatory and honors classes at each level.  With a mix of PhDs and Master’s degrees in mathematics, engineering, and education, our math faculty routinely collaborate to best provide support to each individual student.  Outside of class, math faculty sponsor a Math League where students compete with teams from other high schools across the state in challenging monthly contests.

Math Department Faculty

Mrs. Haar, Dr. Masur, and Mrs. Miller, Math Faculty

Let’s take a peek into math class during the months of August and  September:

Algebra I students began the year with a review of real numbers and variables, the order of operations, and simplifying expressions to lay a strong foundation for future work.  We are getting ready to solve equations and inequalities of increasing difficulty and before you know it, students will be graphing lines in the x-y coordinate plane.

On the first day of class in Geometry, students headed outside for a scavenger hunt.  Students already have some familiarity with basic geometric terms and will be building on this knowledge throughout the school year.  Our first weeks of study focused on the building blocks of geometry - points, lines, and planes.  Moving forward, students will begin to write geometric proofs, wherein they will strategically put their logical reasoning skills to use.

In Algebra II classes, students explored inequalities in addition to mathematics from the perspective of Pythagoras. Students reviewed the Pythagorean theorem and the triangles that then developed using both rational and irrational numbers.  The Pythagorean Theorem was replicated using both unit numbers as the ancient Greeks and irrational numbers using more modern technology.  Students will next examine functions, equations, graphs, and their various transformations.

College Algebra with Trigonometry prepares seniors to walk into a university-level math class next school year.  With this goal in mind, students began the school year by revisiting and delving further into Algebra topics such as solving equations, graphing functions, and using mathematical modeling to analyze data.  Trigonometry topics will be covered in Semester 2.

In Trigonometry/Precalculus, students are preparing for college level calculus or other college level math classes by exploring mathematical modeling and rational expressions.  Students are gearing up to dig deeper into polynomial and rational functions by graphing functional transformations and building upon a basic knowledge of logarithms.

For students planning to major in a STEM field in college, Saint Joe’s offers a variety of higher-level courses in mathematics.

Students can take AP Calculus I, a challenging course that prepares them to take the AP Calculus AB test. Calculus I Honors gives those students not quite ready for the pace and rigor of the AP course a good grounding in calculus to prepare them for college work. And for those students who take either of the previously mentioned calculus courses as underclass students, Calculus II Honors will prepare them to take the more advanced AP Calculus BC test. Saint Joe’s students who have taken an AP test in calculus have performed well over the years, with most of them achieving scores of 3 or higher. In addition to calculus, Statistics and Probability is a senior level course based on the AP curriculum.

At Saint Joe’s, all students are encouraged to work hard to be the best math students they can be while having a little bit of fun along the way.  Here’s to another great school year of watching students grow and succeed in their math learning!

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Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy

901 Boalsburg Pike, Boalsburg, PA 16827
(814) 808-6118
sjca@sjcacademy.org