Accelerated CHS math track may soon be an option

Carmel High School may be implementing a new advanced math program that would allow students to take AP Calculus BC in their senior year.

“Students would take Accelerated Integrated 2 as a freshman, Accelerated Integrated 3 as a sophomore, AP Calculus AB as a junior and AP Calculus BC as a senior,” says Steve Nacht, the head of the CHS Math Department.

Mike Deckelmann and Nacht, both Carmel High math teachers, have written accelerated courses for Integrated 2 and 3. The accelerated course plan would allow some of the stronger math students to take AP Calculus BC, and would allow students who excel at math and to move at a faster pace and have a more rigorous curriculum.

“Another goal,” Deckelmann says, “was to create a track that would allow students to take Calc BC without having to go and take it at a community college.”

According to Nacht, these classes would be selective. The students would have to take an entrance exam and be recommended by their previous teacher. They would only be allowing 30 students into this course.

“It will have everything that is in Pre-Calculus,” Nacht says. “It is basically combining Integrated 2, Integrated 3 and Pre-Calculus into two years instead of three.”

However, this plan has not yet been approved by the school board and cannot become a class until this occurs. The math teachers are hoping to take the plan to the school board by the end of the semester. If the courses are accepted, these teachers will offer accelerated Integrated 2 next fall. Most students in the past were able to skip a year of math in middle school, but those days are long gone.

“With the shift to the Integrated Math sequence and the fact that there is no Integrated 2 Math class offered at Carmel Middle School,” CHS principal Rick Lopez says, “incoming students will not have the chance of taking Calc BC during their high school career without going to a community college in the summer.”

And junior counselor Darren Johnson states the quality and the level of instruction at these summer classes are low and that it is a good thing that they may be offering an alternative.

“You are condensing a nine-month class into four weeks,” Johnson says. “It is kind of crazy. You are burning through material so fast that you are learning material and applying it in the same day.”

Junior Jack Brewer took a math class at Monterey Peninsula College during the summer in order to get ahead and take higher level math courses.

“The MPC class killed my summer because it was a lot of homework,” Brewer says. “I think this idea would be a good alternative, but the students would have to be very dedicated in their studies.”

Additionally, junior Henry Kou states that if he were in this program, he would also take the summer class in addition because he feels it would help significantly. From his experience, the students who took the summer class were more adequately prepare in AP Calculus, but he still thinks combining the classes is a good idea.

While it may seem like the many people seem like they would like this program implemented into CHS, the decision will ultimately fall to the school board.

–Ryan Lin