The math program at TJ is unique. The decision to come to TJ includes the acceptance of the math program as it has been developed. At all levels it exceeds the basic requirements of similar advanced courses. There is an emphasis on problem solving and the use of technology throughout the program. Data analysis units in the Algebra 2 – Trigonometry program are taught in support of the science program, recursion is taught in support of the Computer Science program, etc.
This year all incoming freshmen will be asked to take a math diagnostic assessment. This assessment will be delivered online and will provide valuable information about your strengths and weaknesses in math. The diagnostic test will not be used to bar you from moving ahead in math, nor will it be used to allow you to accelerate. Instead, we will give you detailed feedback on your readiness for your first TJ mathematics experience, and will give you some opportunities for additional support if you need it. More information about the diagnostic will be available on the registration nights.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the math at TJ:
Which calculator should I have? The Geometry, Advanced Algebra 2 – Trigonometry and Precalculus programs have been developed with the assumption that students will be using the
TI-84 or a similar calculator. Students enrolled in Geometry and Algebra 2 – Trigonometry will be required to take the state-mandated Standards of Learning test in May. These tests do not allow the use of calculators beyond the capability of the TI-84, therefore students may not use more advanced calculators (i.e. TI-89) in classes below Precalculus.
Which courses can I take in summer school? The only approved Summer School math course is Advanced Geometry offered at TJ. No other online courses or other summer school courses meet the requirements of TJ courses. You may also take Trigonometry through the
FCPS Online Campus if you have completed an Algebra 2 Honors course without trig. (see below)
Which class should I take next year? If you are currently in Algebra 1 Honors, you will enroll in Advanced Geometry for the upcoming school year. You may wish to take Summer School Advanced Geometry at TJ. If you are currently in Geometry Honors, you will enroll in Advanced Algebra 2/Trigonometry for the upcoming school year. If you are currently in Algebra 2-Trig Honors, you will enroll in Precalculus Honors. If you are enrolled in any course higher than Algebra 2, please consult with the Math-CS division or a guidance counselor about which math course to sign up for.
My Algebra 2 class didn’t include Trig. What should I do? To satisfy the Trig requirement, you have two options: (1) Take the ½ credit Trigonometry course offered through the
FCPS Online Campus this summer, or (2) study the material on your own during the summer and take a placement test on Friday, August 24 proving your mastery (you must earn an 84% in order to prove mastery). If you wish to attempt the placement test, please go to the Math-CS website and download and complete the Trig Placement Form, which must be returned to Mrs. Allard by August 1. You will also find information on the website about the Trig topics that you are responsible for.
Is there anything else I need to do to prepare for higher level math courses? If you are entering TJ in Precalculus Honors or higher, you have not had the opportunity to study data analysis and will need these skills in your science classes. You must complete the Data Analysis Packets A and B. Go to go to the Math-CS website and download the packets. Complete them before September. The packets will not be collected but you are accountable for the information. You may ask your math teacher next year for help if needed.
I want to skip a math class. Do you have placement tests? We strongly encourage you to take Precalculus with us. Many students find adjustment to high school demanding and time-consuming. It is important that you are successful in all of your courses next year, and attempting a college level course during your freshman year can be daunting. With those words of advice in mind, however, the only course that we allow placement out of is Precalculus (which for most students occurs after they have been with us for at least one year). In order to attempt the test you must meet the following criteria:
- earned A’s in Algebra 1 and Geometry
- currently have an A average (94% or above) in your Advanced Algebra 2 – Trigonometry class
- demonstrate a strong interest in mathematics (eg., be an involved, active and successful member of your school’s math team and/or a successful American Math Competitions participant and/or have participated in an enrichment mathematics program outside of school)
The placement test will be administered on Friday, August 24. A score of 90% must be earned in order to place out of Precalculus and into BC Calculus. You will earn placement, not credit so you are committing yourself to an additional upper level math course. Approximately 30% of those students who attempt the placement test are successful, and the proportion of rising ninth graders is lower. It is extremely difficult to master an entire year of math over the summer. If you wish to attempt this and meet the criteria above, go to the Math-CS website for the PreCalc Placement Form and more information. Request forms are due to Mrs. Allard on or before June 22. You must enroll in Precalculus for next year. Once a student passes the placement test, his/her counselor is notified that a schedule change is required and the student will then be enrolled in BC Calculus.