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Upper School Academic Departments

Mathematics

The program encourages each student to become aware of the structure and organization of the field of mathematics, and is designed to prepare students for living in a world increasingly influenced by technology and quantitative methods. The curriculum serves students with different learning styles and abilities, enabling them to gain confidence and expand their mathematical skills to become effective problem solvers and communicators of mathematical ideas. Students use a multi-representational approach to examine problems analytically, graphically, numerically, and verbally and to understand the connections between these representations. Students develop logical reasoning, critical analysis, and an appreciation of the beauty and unified structure of mathematics. All Upper School mathematics students are required to own a TI-84 graphing calculator, but they also are expected to work without the aid of a calculator in all our courses.
  • Algebra I

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra
    This course strengthens and expands students’ algebraic skills and understanding. It also builds students’ confidence and facility with mathematical problem solving. The course focuses on three main aspects of algebra: developing, simplifying, and using mathematical operations with numerical and polynomial expressions; solving various types of linear and quadratic equations, and understanding the meaning of those solutions; and graphing data and functions, and understanding the meaning of those graphs.
  • Geometry 9

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Algebra I and departmental approval
    This course investigates Euclidean geometry as a mathematical system built on a foundation of defined and undefined terms, postulates, and theorems. Students successfully completing Geometry gain an understanding of key properties of two and three dimensional figures. Students also develop deductive reasoning skills, and learn to write proofs, both formally and informally. The Geometer’s Sketchpad interactive software is integrated throughout the course. Students will be placed into either Geometry 9 or Geometry 10 based on their grade level. The topics in both levels are the same, though the order and emphasis on proofs may differ. Algebra skills will be reinforced and applied throughout the year to prepare students for Algebra II or Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry, as appropriate.
  • Geometry 10

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Algebra I and departmental approval
    This course investigates Euclidean geometry as a mathematical system built on a foundation of defined and undefined terms, postulates, and theorems. Students successfully completing Geometry gain an understanding of key properties of two and three dimensional figures. Students also develop deductive reasoning skills, and learn to write proofs, both formally and informally. The Geometer’s Sketchpad interactive software is integrated throughout the course. Students will be placed into either Geometry 9 or Geometry 10 based on their grade level. The topics in both levels are the same, though the order and emphasis on proofs may differ. Algebra skills will be reinforced and applied throughout the year to prepare students for Algebra II or Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry, as appropriate.
  • Geometry Honors

    Prerequisites: A- or better in Algebra I Honors and departmental approval
    This course covers all the material in Geometry at a more rigorous and accelerated pace. Formal two-column proofs, along with paragraph, indirect, and coordinate proofs, are studied in depth. Additional topics such as transformations are examined as time permits.
     
  • Algebra II

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: Algebra I and Geometry
    The strands of study in Algebra II include parent functions and their transformations, connecting graphs to equation solving, and the modeling of real world situations with functions. After students review linear and quadratic functions, they will study absolute value, polynomial, rational, and exponential functions. Complex numbers, conic sections, sequences and series, probability, statistics, and data analysis will also be introduced.
  • Algebra II/Trigonometry

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: A- or better in Algebra I and Geometry, and departmental approval
    This accelerated course covers all the Algebra II topics during the first three quarters of the year. The trigonometric functions, their graphs, inverses, identities, and equations are studied during the last quarter. Applications are stressed throughout the course.
  • Algebra II/Trigonometry Honors

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: B or better in Geometry Honors and departmental approval
    This honors course covers the topics of Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry in a more formal way, and students work with increased independence. Theory and the abstract nature of the material are stressed, and greater time is spent on real world applications.
  • Pre-Calculus

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Algebra II or Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry
    This course extends the concepts of Algebra II and introduces new topics necessary for more advanced mathematics. Students study the properties, graphs, and inverses of functions in general as well as polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions in particular. A thorough study of trigonometric functions and their applications is included. Other topics include systems of equations and inequalities, linear programming, matrices, sequences and series, and statistics. This course prepares students for Introduction to Calculus; however, it does not satisfy the prerequisite for AB or BC Calculus.
  • Mathematical Reasoning, Logic, and Statistics

    Grade 12
    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: Algebra II
    This year-long senior elective will provide an overview of the basics of logic, mathematical reasoning, and statistics. The Logic and Mathematical Reasoning course content will include a study of propositional logic, relational logic, proofs of conditional statements, truth tables, rules of inference, mathematical induction, and set theory. The Statistics course content will explore data and the techniques used to gather data as well as probability, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests, as time permits.  All these topics will establish a framework of mathematics and logic, and a foundation in statistics that will aid students in more advanced mathematics classes as well as other STEM disciplines, such as computer science and data analytics.
  • Introduction to Calculus

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: Pre-Calculus and departmental approval
    The first part of this course completes the study of pre-calculus topics and covers trigonometric functions and their applications, vectors, the trigonometric form of complex numbers, and parametric and polar equations. Students then begin a formal study of calculus. Topics covered include limits and continuity, the limit definition of the derivative, rules of differentiation, implicit differentiation, higher order derivatives, curve-sketching techniques, optimization, and related rates problems. Integration of functions and applications will be discussed, as time permits.
  • Advanced Pre-Calculus

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: B or better in Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry and departmental approval
    This accelerated course includes an in-depth analysis of functions (exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, rational, and trigonometric) and their graphs. Other topics covered are rational inequalities, polar coordinates, complex numbers, limits, parametric equations, and sequences and series. This course prepares students for the AP Calculus AB course.
  • Advanced Pre-Calculus Honors

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: B or better in Advanced Algebra II/Trigonometry Honors and departmental approval
    All of the Advanced Pre-Calculus topics are studied during the first three fourths of the year, but the presentation is more rigorous and at an accelerated pace. In the spring, students begin a formal study of Calculus. Limits, continuity, and derivatives are introduced. There is considerable emphasis on proof throughout the course. This course prepares students for the AP Calculus BC course.
  • AP Calculus (AB)

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: B or better in Advanced Pre-Calculus or Advanced Pre-Calculus Honors and departmental approval
    This course is taught as a college-level offering and is the equivalent of 1¼ semesters of college-level calculus. It covers all topics from the College Board AB syllabus. This includes limits, continuity, the derivative, applications of the derivative including modeling and optimization, linear approximation, related rates, definite and indefinite integrals, areas, and volumes. This course prepares students to take the AP Calculus AB exam in May, which is a course requirement.
  • AP Calculus (BC)

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: B+ or better in Advanced Pre-Calculus Honors and departmental approval
    This course is taught as a college-level offering and is the equivalent of two semesters of college-level calculus. It covers all topics from the BC syllabus from the College Board. In addition to the AB Calculus topics, it covers improper integrals, logistic growth, lengths of curves, Taylor series, parametric functions, vectors, and polar functions. This course prepares students to take the AP Calculus BC exam in May, which is a course requirement.
  • AP Statistics

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Pre/Co-requisites: Advanced Pre-Calculus (Regular or Honors) or A- or better in PreCalculus and departmental approval
    AP Statistics is an introductory college-level course that focuses on understanding data and statistical reasoning. It covers all topics from the College Board AP Statistics syllabus. Topics include collection and display of both univariate and bivariate data, choosing and computing appropriate numerical descriptions of data, probability and counting methods, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, significance tests, and regression. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on describing patterns as well as departures from patterns, performing simulations, providing written explanations based on statistical evidence, and interpreting all results in context. This course prepares students to take the AP Statistics exam in May, which is a course requirement.
  • AP Economics

    Full Year
    1 credit
    Prerequisites: B+ or better in Advanced Pre-Calculus (Regular or Honors) and departmental approval
    AP Economics is a rigorous, college-level course that prepares students for both the AP Micro and Macroeconomics exams in May, which are course requirements. Microeconomics, the study of individual choice, covers topics such as the theory of supply and demand, market equilibrium, consumer behavior, the behavior of firms, and perfect and imperfect competition. Macroeconomics, the study of the economy as a whole, focuses on national income, inflation, unemployment, fiscal and monetary policy, the banking system, international trade, and economic growth. Social issues such as poverty, income distribution, unemployment, and environmental quality are examined in an economic framework. Students must be adept at working with graphical and mathematical models.
  • Mathematics of Finance

    Grades 11-12
    First Semester 
    ½ credit
    Prerequisite: Algebra II
    In this semester-long course, students will explore the mathematics of personal finance in order to learn how to manage their finances and prepare for their futures. This course will focus on banking, the stock market, entrepreneurship, business models, auto insurance, and investments. Students will use mathematics to understand and analyze these important aspects of personal finance. Students will also use spreadsheets to create budgets, track investments, and manage finances.

Department Faculty

  • Photo of David Weis

    David Weis

    Mathematics Department Chair, Upper School Mathematics Teacher
    703-212-2926
    University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN - BSE
    Princeton University, Princeton, NJ - MSE
  • Photo of Shawn Cotter

    Shawn Cotter

    Upper School Mathematics Teacher
    703-212-2899
    University at Buffalo - B.A.
  • Photo of Laurel Daly

    Laurel Daly

    Upper School Mathematics Teacher
    703-212-2896
    Williams College, Williamstown, MA - B.A.
  • Photo of Emily Geiger

    Emily Geiger

    Upper School Mathematics Teacher
    703-212-2830
    Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME - B.A.
    George Washington University, Washington, D.C. - M.A.
  • Photo of Maryellen Khosla

    Maryellen Khosla

    Upper School Math Teacher
    703-212-2944
    Colgate University - BA
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Masters of Education
  • Photo of James King

    James King

    Upper School Mathematics Teacher
    703-212-2935
    Berea College, Berea, KY - BA
  • Photo of Jordan LaFever

    Jordan LaFever

    Mathematics Teacher, Upper School; Assistant Coach Cross Country
    703-212-2937
    State University of New York College at Geneseo - B.A.
  • Photo of Wade Summa

    Wade Summa

    Upper School Math Teacher
    703-212-2858
    University of Houston - Clear Lake - BA
  • Photo of Eric Taylor

    Eric Taylor

    Upper School Mathematics Teacher
    703-212-2952
    University of Delaware - Bachelor of Science
    George Mason University - Masters of Education
Age 3-Grade 12 coed Episcopal day school in Alexandria, Virginia

Campuses

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Age 3-Grade 5
    400 Fontaine Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22302
  • Middle School

    Grades: 6-8
    4401 West Braddock Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304
  • Upper School

    Grades: 9-12
    1000 St. Stephen's Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304