The teaching and learning of mathematics begins in a math rich environment. The activities, tasks, and discourse provide a framework for the development of mathematical power in all learners. Mathematical power (NCTM, 2000) is unmistakable in learners that exhibit conceptual and procedural understandings. It is evident in learners that can communicate mathematically, reason logically, problem solve, and exhibit a disposition to persevere. The emphasis of the math curriculum is on numbers and operations, algebraic concepts, geometry, measurement, data, and probability. Constantly changing technology is influencing careers in all fields. To prepare our students for these new and exciting opportunities, the Central Bucks School District offers a mathematics program with a variety of courses combining traditional theory with practical application. Because of the sequential development of the mathematics curriculum, students must attain the prerequisites in the previous course before advancing to a more difficult level. Students with lower grades are encouraged to repeat courses in order to master concepts required for sequential classes. Four high school mathematics credits are required (starting in 9th grade) for graduation.
The mathematics department recognizes the use of calculators as a valuable tool for learning in the classroom, and calculators will be used for classwork and homework. In high school, the district uses TI-83/84 graphing calculators in our courses. Students are encouraged to purchase their own graphing calculator, whether this brand or one with similar functions. In certain advanced courses, graphing calculators with specific capabilities are important for daily classroom performance and are required for Advanced Placement Examinations.
While no specific brands are endorsed, there are restrictions on the type of calculators allowed on classroom tests and final exams. Calculators which do operations with variables, such as the TI-89, TI-92, and HP49G, will not be permitted to be used on district final exams, even though they may be used on some nationwide tests. Teachers have discretion as to whether these types may be used for particular classroom related purposes.