West adds new Algebra class and divides curriculum


photo by Isabel Cruz

Jasjot Kaur, Copy and Features Editor

Probably unbeknownst to many, West High has implemented a new math class on campus this school year. The math department has decided to, once again, offer Algebra 1A and Algebra 1B to students. The two classes split up the curriculum of Algebra 1 into “a two-part series” as described by math teacher, Mr. Scott Mizuno.

The two classes allow students to learn Algebra 1 over the course of two years. Having two classes helps those who are struggling with math to learn at a more comfortable pace. This two-year option for Algebra 1 was previously available at West High but was removed years ago. Recently, the math department pushed to reinstate the classes as they recognized the benefit provided by Algebra 1A and 1B.

The math requirement to graduate high school for the state of California is to complete at least two years of math and pass Algebra 1. If one doesn’t fulfill the requirement during the four years of high school, they aren’t eligible to graduate and receive a high school diploma. Mizuno mentioned that Algebra 1 tends to be a “barrier” to graduating for certain students, so by splitting up the curriculum and “…going at a more manageable pace, it will hopefully give them a better chance at passing and graduating.”

When asked why the classes are beneficial, Mizuno mentioned that the classes are valuable to the many students that enter high school with gaps of knowledge in Algebra. The slower pace allows teachers to go back and instruct the students on the vital concepts they may not have learned or grasped in middle school.

Since it is the first year back with the split course, there are only Algebra 1A classes this year and the Algebra 1B classes will be instated next school year. Currently, there are five periods of Algebra 1A which are being taught by Mr. Mizuno, Ms. James, Mr. Whetstone and Mr. Farrens.

West High is the only school in the district participating in this program with this year being the pilot.

Hopefully the new math class installment will be advantageous for the West High population; only time will tell. Although, one thing is for certain, the push to bring back Algebra 1A and 1B once again proves the dedication West High teachers have in helping their students succeed.