Mathematics at SI

In keeping with the Jesuit tradition of education at St. Ignatius College Preparatory and in accordance with our school's statement of philosophy, the mission of the Mathematics Department is to develop “men and women for and with others” through a comprehensive and structured mathematics program.  We strive to prepare 90% or more of the student body, over the course of four years, for success in a college calculus and/or statistics course.  We instill a fundamental appreciation of the techniques of algebra in solution of problems and of logic through the study of geometry.  Though only three years of math are required for graduation, we encourage students to continue math through their senior year in order to have the greatest flexibility in choosing courses of study in college.

Key information for the Geometry Waiver Exam:

Freshmen who want to take the Geometry Waiver Exam should have taken a Geometry class in middle school.  SI does not give course credit for passing this waiver, it only allows you to pass into the next higher class.  Therefore, if the colleges you are considering have a geometry requirement (particularly the UC system), you must have geometry on either your middle school transcript or through an accredited online course.

Appeals Process for Math Placements:

The appeals process for 2016-2017 classes is now open.  Students should send an email to the Math Department Chair, Mr. Paul Maychrowitz, at, from their S.I. email account describing their situation and making a case for their qualification for a class other than the ones available to them.  This appeal should include the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Student ID Number
  • Current Math Class and Teacher
  • Grade History in Math: include course title(s), teacher name(s), and the semester grade(s) earned for all courses taken in high school.
  • Counselor’s Name
  • Course originally applied for (and denied)
  • Reason for Appeal: This should include a full description of the reasons you think that your appeal should be granted.  Please indicate any special circumstances that should be considered, including (but not limited to) things such as extended illness or documented learning differences.
  • Personal Goals:  Describe in detail your personal goals for achievement in the course if you are admitted on appeal.  Reflect on (and include) how realistic these goals are.  Also include the specific steps that you will take to achieve these goals.

Appeals will be accepted until 8:20 am, February 17th, 2017.  Emails sent that are not sent from S.I. email addresses, incomplete emails, and appeals sent after the deadline will be denied. 

Challenge Exam for Precalculus Accelerated/Honors:

 If, in your appeals process, the department chair has indicated that you are required to pass a challenge exam to get into Precalculus Accelerated or Precalculus Honors, the test will be available from 4/22/17 to 4/29/17.  If you do not pass this exam, or if you do not take it, you will not be considered qualified to move into the desired class, and your placement will remain as it currently stands.

Topics and practice problems for the Challenge Exam are linked below