An Independent School • Grades 5-12


Lakeside’s math departments aim to challenge and inspire all students to reach their mathematical potential. We offer a wide range of courses and use a variety of teaching modes to meet the specific needs of Lakeside students. From grades 5 through 12, students are actively engaged in math – working together in groups, at the board sharing solutions, presenting to their peers, debating strategies, and creating a wide range of creative projects. In all courses, emphasis is placed on collaboration, problem-solving, computational thinking, and clearly communicating mathematical ideas and concepts.

We believe that strong math skills play an important role in becoming an engaged global citizen. A solid understanding of a wide variety of mathematical disciplines will enhance students’ abilities to understand their world, explore global issues, and promote social justice through the power of analyzing claims and communicating effectively with real data as well as through computational tools and approaches.

Middle School: A strong foundation

The goal of the Middle School math program is to provide a strong foundation in mathematics through challenging courses that are appropriate to the ages, abilities, and needs of our students. In addition to preparing them for future math endeavors, we want students to be excited by math’s potential for fun and creativity.

We aim to equip students with the mathematical skills of a competent citizen in today’s world.

These skills include the ability to model situations mathematically; to estimate and compare magnitudes; to interpret graphs and statistics; to calculate probabilities; to evaluate numerical and spatial conclusions; to solve problems mentally as well as with paper, calculator, and computer; and to communicate findings effectively. At all levels, students learn to work collaboratively as well as on their own.

Part of what you’re teaching is: What do you do when you encounter an obstacle? In the context of math class, that means helping students set high goals, helping them deal with the fact that sometimes you falter on the way to those goals, and helping them celebrate when they meet those goals. – Tom Rona, Middle School math teacher

The content of our grades 5-8 math courses is normally covered in grades 6 through 9 in other schools. Students progress from arithmetic skills and mathematical thinking through pre-algebra and conceptual frameworks, to algebra and trigonometry. In each course, students deepen their understanding of concepts and skills introduced in previous courses. In addition to our regular math curriculum, many students choose to engage in Math Club (5/6 and 7/8), where they can have fun exploring math and extend their learning through working on challenging problems alone or in groups.

Read more about Middle School math in the Middle School curriculum guide.

Upper School: From the basics to college-level

We offer a wide range of math and computer science courses at the Upper School so that students can be challenged at a level appropriate for them at every grade. Each course emphasizes collaboration, problem-solving, and clearly communicating mathematical ideas and concepts. Since 2015, computer science concepts and principles have been embedded in the math curriculum, reflecting Lakeside’s belief that programming is an important 21st-century skill.

Every Lakeside student gains experience with computer science and programming, even if they never take a computer science class.

For the majority of math courses, we offer regular, accelerated, and honors levels. Students work with their teachers to determine the right level for them each year, and students can move between levels. While only three years of mathematics are required for graduation, the majority of Upper School students take a four-year sequence of algebra 2, geometry, precalculus, and statistics or calculus. All levels of courses at Lakeside provide a firm foundation in mathematics and will prepare students for college math courses. Calculus and statistics courses will prepare students for success on AP tests.

We also offer advanced elective courses such as Geopolitics and Game Theory and Mathematics of Democracy: Election 2016. Beyond the set math curriculum, students may create independent studies; a few recent examples have been JavaScript, Linear Algebra, and iPhone App Development. Lakeside also has a thriving math team, and students regularly compete at regional and national math competitions.

A range of computer science course offerings include everything from an introductory level course for those with no prior experience in programming, to advanced project-based courses such as 3-D prototyping and printing. The program takes advantage of the region’s technology community: Through guest lectures, field trips, and other opportunities, students are exposed to real-world applications of computing technology, including its myriad uses in medicine, sports, robotics, architecture, music games, literature, apparel design, communication, and international development.

Read more about Upper School math and computer science in the Upper School curriculum guide.

Learn more about math at Lakeside

Upper School Math: Folding in a lesson

Introducing students to mathematical skills and each other

Meet the math faculty