MATHEMATICS

The West Hartford Public High Schools' Mathematics Program embraces a standards-based approach that reflects a balance between the development of conceptual understandings and procedural skills. Our program is grounded within four key areas: high expectations for all learners, promotion of inquiry and conjecture, reasoning and sense making, and habits of mind. The program facilitates inquiry and exploration of real world phenomena utilizing technology. Instruction for all students includes a common core of topics aligned with the Connecticut's Core Standards for Mathematics. The courses focus on exploring mathematical content through multiple representations including algebraic, numerical, graphical, and tabular.

A Level 3 (L3) sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II will result in college and career readiness. Additional courses are recommended for students considering college majors in mathematics, engineering, other science related fields or business. Level 1 (L1) and Level 2 (L2) courses provide students with content and/or rigor beyond what is expected in a college preparatory course which will benefit students who are considering mathematics or science related careers. Level 1 (L1) courses will benefit students who demonstrate exceptional understanding and skill in mathematics.

Experience has shown that a final mark of C or above is needed to assure success in the subsequent mathematics course. You should plan to repeat the course if you earned a D, preferably in summer school. If you do not have a full credit in a prerequisite you may not enroll in the next course. Department permission is required to change courses during the school year. Graphing calculators are used extensively in most courses and required for Advanced Placement exams.

Mathematics programs are individualized and designed to guide students through the sequence of courses which best suits their personal needs. The course progressions listed below reflect only a typical sequence.

Grade 9 
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

Full Year 
Courses: 

  • Algebra I (L2, L3)
  • Honors Geometry (L1)
  • Geometry (L2)

Full Year Courses: 

  • Geometry (L2, L3)
  • Honors Algebra II (L1)
  • Algebra II (L2)

Full Year Courses: 

  • Algebra II (L2, L3)
  • Honors Pre-Calculus
  • Pre-Calculus

Full Year Courses: 

  • Pre-Calculus
  • Advanced Placement Calculus BC (ECE)
  • Advanced Placement Calculus AB

Semester Elective Courses:

  • Exploring Computer Science
  • Cryptography & Cybersecurity 

Full Year Intervention Course:

  • Pre-Algebra (Requires DS approval)

 

Full Year Elective Courses:

  • Advanced Placement Computer Science A 
  • Advanced Placement Statistics (ECE)
  • Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles

Semester Elective Courses

  • Discrete Math (ECE)
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Cryptography & Cybersecurity
  • Exploring Computer Science

**Students are required to complete 3.0 Math credits for graduation, and can do so by successfully completing any combination of the courses listed above.

Algebra I (L3), Algebra I (L2)

1 Credit
Grades 9-10
Prerequisite: Department Recommendation

First year algebra courses build the foundation for future mathematics study. In these courses, students will generalize and extend the Laws of Arithmetic. Students will acquire facility in applying algebraic concepts and skills to real world problems utilizing graphing technology. Students will use their understanding of linear functions and equations as the basis for the study of other functions such as absolute value, quadratic, exponential, piecewise, step, etc. Other topics included are: algebraic inequalities, simplifying expressions, systems of linear and non-linear functions, operating on polynomials, univariate and bivariate statistics.

Geometry (L3), Geometry (L2), Honors Geometry (L1)

1 Credit
Grades 9-11
Prerequisite: Algebra I & Department Recommendation

These courses are designed to foster deductive reasoning through the study of geometric relationships, transformations and proof. The principle topics included are: constructions, congruence, similarity, polygons and conic sections, surface area and volume, and probability. The inclusion of algebra skills provides continued development of abstract reasoning.

Algebra II (L3), Algebra II (L2), Honors Algebra II (L1)

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Algebra I & Geometry & Department Recommendation

Second year algebra significantly extends the conceptual and procedural understandings of first year algebra. These courses provide an in-depth exploration of polynomial, rational, radical, logarithmic, and basic trigonometric functions, equations, and inequalities. Other topics included are: composition of functions and inverse functions, modeling, methods of sampling, and elementary statistical inference.

Honors Pre-Calculus

1 Credit
Grade 11
Prerequisite: Algebra II Honors & Department Recommendation

This course is a more rigorous approach to elementary mathematical analysis than Pre-Calculus. Coursework includes transcendental functions, number systems, analytic geometry (including parametric and vector representation), sequences, series, limits, permutations, combinations and probability. This course provides a foundation for AP Calculus BC. A graphing calculator is required.

Pre-Calculus

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Algebra II & Department Recommendation

This course is recommended for students who intend to study in mathematics, engineering, or other science related fields. Topics include advanced algebra, analytic geometry, the transcendentals (trigonometric, circular, logarithmic and exponential functions), polar coordinates, sequences, series and limits.  Experience has shown that students who have earned grades of "B" or better in Algebra II and Geometry are most likely to be successful. This course provides a foundation for AP Calculus. A graphing calculator is required.

Discrete Mathematics

.5 Credit
Grade 12
Prerequisite: Algebra II (any level) & Department Recommendation

This one semester course focuses on non-algorithmic problem-solving and requires basic algebraic reasoning.  Topics include: voting theory, apportionment, financial applications, probability, and graph theory (Euler paths and circuits, spanning trees, etc.). This course offers an alternative to Pre-Calculus for students who are interested in a focus on mathematics applications. (This course qualifies for UConn ECE credit. See College Credit Programs section for more information.)

Probability and Statistics

.5 Credit
Grade 12
Prerequisite: Algebra II (any level) & Department Recommendation

This course is designed to foster an appreciation for the role of statistics in society and an understanding of statistical procedures. It explores the role of probability in making statistical inferences and provides experiences with problems from a variety of fields including business, government, medicine, science, engineering and law. A graphing calculator is required.

Exploring Computer Science

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Algebra I (completion or concurrent enrollment)

Exploring Computer Science is a STEM-rooted course that promotes the use of computing to solve a wide array of problems. This course provides the prerequisite skills for Advanced Placement Computer Science and other computer science courses. Students will engage in rich activities requiring creativity, computing, critical thinking, collaboration and communication.  This semester course will include topics such as:  human-computer interaction, problem-solving, web design, computing and data analysis, and robotics. Ethical and social issues in computer science are embedded throughout the course. The course utilizes inquiry-based instruction with project-based assessments. (This course fits within the STEM Pathway. Look for other STEM courses under Science, Technology & Engineering and Mathematics).

Advanced Placement Statistics

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus (or Algebra II and concurrent enrollment in Pre-Calculus) & Department Recommendation

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes: exploring data, planning a study, anticipating patterns in advance, and statistical inference. Students with credit in Probability and Statistics must complete the full year of AP Statistics in order to receive .5 credit. A graphing calculator is required. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course. (This course qualifies for UConn ECE credit. See College Credit Programs section for more information.)

Advanced Placement Calculus AB

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus (any level) & Department Recommendation

Calculus AB introduces students to the theories of differential and integral calculus and provides a thorough review of elementary functions. Topics include limits, derivatives and integrals of algebraic and transcendental functions, applications of differentiation and integration. The content of Calculus AB is designed to qualify a student for placement in second semester college calculus. A graphing calculator is required. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Advanced Placement Calculus BC

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors & Department Recommendation

Calculus BC is intended for students who have a thorough knowledge of analytic geometry and elementary functions in addition to college preparatory algebra, geometry and trigonometry. It is an intensive full-year course in calculus. Additional topics include infinite series, elementary differential equations, and calculus of polar and parametric equations. The content of Calculus BC is designed to qualify a student for placement one semester beyond that granted for Calculus AB. A graphing calculator is required. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course. (This course qualifies for UConn ECE credit. See College Credit Programs section for more information.)

Pre-Algebra

1 Credit
Grade 9
Prerequisite: Math Department Supervisor Approval

Success in algebra requires certain prerequisite skills and understandings. Pre-Algebra is designed to prepare students for a successful study of algebra. Students will learn to operate with integers, solve simple equations and graph in a rectangular coordinate system. They will learn to apply problem solving strategies to real life problems. This course is part of a multi-tiered intervention program. The mathematics department supervisor determines whether placement in this course is necessary based on assessment performance and review of records. Please contact the department supervisor for further information.

Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Algebra II - any level (Students may be granted permission to enroll concurrently with Algebra II with department supervisor permission)

AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, fostering computational thinking and inviting students to understand how computing changes the world. Students are encouraged to apply creative processes when developing computational artifacts and while using simulations to explore questions of interest. There is a focus on using technology and programming as a means to solve problems. This course highlights the relevance of computer science by emphasizing the vital impact advances in computing have on people and society. Students also have the opportunity to investigate the innovations in other fields that computing has made possible and examine the ethical implications of new computing technologies. Fundamental course components are: creative thinking, abstraction, data, algorithms, programming, the internet and societal impact. This course is project-based, and designed to help students to access technology as creators, not just consumers. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course. (This course fits within the STEM Pathway. Look for other STEM courses under Science, Technology & Engineering and Mathematics).

Advanced Placement Computer Science A

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: Algebra II- any level (Students may be granted permission to enroll concurrently with Algebra II with department supervisor permission)

This introductory course in computer science is based on requirements that are comparable to an introductory course for computer science majors at a university or college. It is also recommended for students who plan to major in other areas that require significant technology expertise. A large part of the course is built around the writing, running, and debugging of computer programs in Java to correctly design and implement solutions to problems. The design and implementation of computer programs is used as a context for introducing other important aspects of computer science such as the development and analysis of algorithms and the development and use of fundamental data structures. Object-oriented design and the ethical and social implications of computer use are recurring themes. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course. (This course fits within the STEM Pathway. Look for other STEM courses under Science, Technology & Engineering and Mathematics).

Cryptography & Cybersecurity

.5 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisites: Geometry-any level 

Individuals and societies have kept secrets and protected private information for as long as humanity has existed. In this course, students will connect classic cryptography to our present day techniques to reveal our most current needs in cybersecurity.  This course will help students to appreciate how past methods, combined with computer science and mathematical algorithms, can help us to be more secure and more connected. The course will develop the evolution of cryptography methodologies within the historical time periods and important events that precipitated the need for change. (This course fits within the STEM Pathway. Look for other STEM courses under Science, Technology & Engineering and Mathematics).