Summer Geometry Shut Down


Felicia Mo

Students who were not able to take the summer geometry program enrolled in the more rigorous accelerated compaction course to finish precalculus by the end of sophomore year.

Felicia Mo, Staff Writer

During the monthly district board meeting on Mar. 27 2019, the FUSD Board of Education decided to discontinue the accelerated geometry summer school course, a math acceleration program offered to incoming high school freshmen. According to the Board of Education, the course did not meet summer school policies and proposed equity issues.

The program’s purpose was to help students avoid the geometry/algebra 2/precalculus compaction. To do so, students who took the course were required to finish geometry in six weeks, following a schedule similar to a normal school day. They would then take the Algebra 2 course in their freshman year, which was a much less rigorous class than the compaction.

The Board chose to pilot the geometry program in 2016 in response to a shift towards the new math pathways in the district. Although many students from all schools in the district expressed interest, the program was limited to 35 spots. Membership was determined through a lottery system.

“My eighth grade math teacher gave us a form and we dropped it off at the District Office,” said Aditi Krishnan (10), who attended the geometry course. “They sent an email one day saying I got in and that was that.”

At the Board meeting on Mar. 13, the inequities of the program were discussed. With such a small capacity, the course could not satisfy all the students who expressed interest in the class.

“We have many students who qualified, but we don’t have the money and staffing to teach that many kids,” said Mrs. Mohandas, co-head of the Math Department at Irvington. “When you really think about it, when so many qualify, and we’re only picking 30, it’s simply not fair. Equal chance for everyone is what we believe in.”

In addition, although held in the summer, the geometry program was not a method of regaining credit, which is the primary purpose of summer school. According to Michelle Berke, the president of the Board of Education, “In 2020 and beyond, the focus of summer school will be credit recovery and extended school year for students who have individual needs.”

As of now, there are no indications of replacing the program in the future.