High School Math


Our high school math courses cover the full spectrum of core math, from algebra and geometry to trigonometry to calculus, linear algebra, and statistics. Courses can be designed around the traditional American curriculum—algebra, algebra II, precalculus, and calculus or statistics—or an integrated curriculum like one finds in the UK, Europe, and most of the rest of world—math 1, math 2, math 3, and then calculus or statistics.

First Principles

Cicero math teachers all design and approach their math courses differently, depending on the student. But, there are a few first principles that pervade all our math courses.

One principle is that math, at its core, is a language that is open to all intellectually curious students. The phrase “I’m not good at math,” is not part of our vocabulary. Instead, we meet all students where they are and take them on a learning adventure. The goal (and usual result) is to help the student discover the wonder and power of this universal language.

A second principle is that math is accretive: concepts build upon each other in a relatively linear fashion. As a result, it doesn’t make sense to hurry math. Students should master a concept before moving on to the next concept. Not only does this make for stronger, better grounded “math thinking,” it builds confidence.

Across all our math courses Cicero teachers use problem-solving strategies, questioning, investigating, analyzing critically, gathering and constructing evidence, and communicating rigorous arguments justifying our thinking while we tackle the core concepts of whichever level math we’re approaching. Cicero teachers generally use a combination of an investigative, low-floor-high-ceiling curriculum like CPM in conjunction with personalized projects and goals of the student and their family.

Typical Math Courses

For students who want to follow a traditional American curriculum, we normally suggest the following math stack:

  • Algebra – 9th grade
  • Algebra II – 10th grade
  • Precalculus – 11th grade
  • Calculus or Statistics – 12th grade

For students who want to follow an integrated curriculum (where algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are integrated) we normally suggest this progression:

  • Math 1 – 9th grade
  • Math 2 – 10th grade
  • Math 3 – 11th grade
  • Calculus or Statistics – 12th grade

Of course, since all our math courses are completely customized to the student, this progression can be adjusted and melded to the family’s needs.

How Our Math Courses Are Organized

Normally, we recommend that math courses meet twice weekly for a full term (14 – 16 weeks), and that a student complete two terms per course level to coordinate with normal high school expectations and receive the level of prep required for colleges and universities.

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