A successful eighth grade algebra program encourages students to start on the path to doing college level math.
In Martha’s Vineyard, an Islandwide program is offering algebra to eighth grade students, preparing them for higher level math. About 40 students are participating in the program, which brings the Island to the same level as other schools around the country.
“It’s the result of a lot of hard work over the years trying to get algebra in the eighth grade,” assistant superintendent Matthew D’Andrea told the regional high school committee last week. “It allows kids to have more math, and more in-depth math. I think we’ve made some good strides in that.”
Originally, algebra was offered as an after school enrichment class. It later was offered as a half year program for eighth graders. Last year the full pilot program was launched, giving way to the current Islandwide program. Students must test into the program in seventh grade.
“Most other schools in the country have an eighth grade full year of algebra,” said Edgartown principal John Stevens. “We at the school felt it was important to move in that direction.” Five students were in the pilot last year; there are now eight new students in the school’s eighth grade algebra class.