Math teachers at G. Ray Bodley High School want to create a new course, one that they hope will entice more students to take a fourth year of math.
Teacher Penny Downing outlined for the Board of Education this week a request to create a course on statistics.
The course would become an option for high-performing math students after the third course in the math sequence, Algebra 2 and Trigonometry and would be a second fourth-year option, alongside Precalculus.
She told the board that the math teachers want to reduce the loss of students in the math sequence from year to year, which is more than 50% from 7th grade to the fourth class of high school. “We are hoping it will keep some of our accelerated program students that we lose,” she said.
Many of those high-performing students opt not to take math in 12th grade, preferring to take an elective instead. The problem with that, Downing said, is that math is also required in college.
“You take a break for one year and it’s not a wise thing to do,” she said. Those students are more likely to score low enough on placement exams to be required to take a remedial math course in college.
She said the change, if approved by the board, would not require hiring another teacher. The math teachers would simply shift their workload to accommodate the new class.