Geometry A, Algebra P3-P4 discontinued

Isabella Alioto

This past December, the Redwood administration decided to discontinue Geometry A and Algebra P3-P4 for the 2015-2016 school year.

Geometry A was a class intended for students whose teachers believed they weren’t ready for standard Geometry, while Algebra P3-P4 was a year-long class covering the second half of Algebra.

Math teacher Eric Brody lectures his third period Geometry A class, which will no longer be offered next year.
Math teacher Eric Brody lectures his third period Geometry A class, which will no longer be offered next year.

Students who previously would have taken Algebra P3-P4 will take Algebra 1-2, a year-long class covering both halves of the first year of Algebra, according to Principal David Sondheim.

The administration believes that every student should be in a grade level course, and Geometry A was not considered a grade level course because it was almost guaranteed that any student in that class would have to take Intermediate Algebra before moving on to Advanced Algebra, according to Sondheim.

“We’d rather have students at grade level math with extra support to be successful,” Sondheim said.

However, many members of the math department were unhappy with the administration’s decision. When presented with the idea, the math teachers voted 13-2 against discontinuing Geometry A.

“It is not an idea that came from us at all. We’re strongly against it,” said a math teacher who wished to remain anonymous, but said that she was speaking on behalf of the majority of the math department.

“It’s going to be hard on those kids who need extra help. We will have so many levels within one class,” said the teacher, referring to the fact that not all students in the class will have the same amount of knowledge at the start of the course.

To address the possibility of students falling behind, the administration plans to implement extra support for those who need it, but they have yet to come up with a definite plan on how to do so.

There has been a proposal to add an Academic Workshop class for those students, but that would require certain students to give up another elective to take two math classes.

“I think that it is critical that we look for ways to support students who are going to be in Geometry [1-2] who might have been in Geometry A before so that we can see them not just be in the class, but be successful in the class,” said Sondheim.

As for the other schools in the Tamalpais Union High School District, Tam and Drake do not have Geometry A, but Drake offers an Honors Geometry class that Redwood does not have.

Both schools also offer both Algebra P3-P4 and Algebra 1-2, as well.