Jefferson County students to get harder math

April 29, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County students who are currently sixth graders are going to have to complete algebra and geometry under new state requirements, a schools official said at Monday night's board meeting.

Before, students had a choice about whether they would take algebra and other advanced mathematics, said Doug Perks, director of curriculum for the Jefferson County schools system.

When the students are seventh graders, they will be in a pre-algebra class, replacing a general mathematics course, Perks said.

The state also wanted the students in the eighth grade next school year to be in a pre-geometry class, Perks said.


The school board waived the requirement for eighth graders.Perks said that the eighth graders would not have had the necessary, pre-algebra class to understand the geometry material.

"Our concern is the timing," Perks said.

Perks said math teachers will work to make sure the students understand the subject in seventh grade.

"We want to make sure we don't overwhelm our students," Perks said.

Before, students in the seventh grade took either general mathematics or a more advanced general mathematics, he said.

Those in the advanced general mathematics usually were on a track to take algebra in high school followed by geometry and calculus, Perks said.

With the new state requirements, all students will have to know algebra before graduating, Perks said.

In other school board business, board members said they would like to see students get off and on buses at the back of Jefferson High School instead of in front. The board is reviewing plans for a more than $10 million addition to the school.

Board President Pete Dougherty said that he would like the buses in the back so that students dropped off by their parents in the front of the school will not have to cross in front of the path of buses.

Architect Dave Lipp, whose drawings have the bus loop at the front of the school, said he will come up with alternative plans.

He said the slope of the hill in the back of the school and the cost of adding sidewalks and curbing to the back would have to be considered by the board.

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