The mathematics program at Vistamar, “VistaMath”, is based on the integrated, problem-based approach developed at Phillips Exeter Academy. We believe that problem solving skills like dissecting a problem, recognizing familiar challenges, exploring and generalizing, and making conjectures and proving them, are essential to the development of mathematical and critical thinking skills. Consequently, all students are expected to learn not just the rules of mathematics, but how those rules are derived and applied, and to be able to discuss those concepts using proper mathematical terminology.
- Explore concepts from a math-oriented perspective
- Develop fluency and precision in the use of mathematics as a language
- Communicate mathematical ideas effectively in writing and in speech
- Develop a wide range of tools for solving problems and making connections
- Strategize mathematically and translate ordinary language into both mathematical formulations and modern technical applications
- Build the necessary foundation to support the further study of mathematics at the college level
- Demonstrate proactivity, initiative, and perseverance
- Master the art of collaboration
Placement in the Vistamar mathematics program is based on several factors: previous math experience and grades, interest and enjoyment of mathematics, and a placement exam. Most freshmen start in Math 1 or Math 2, while students who have taken geometry may begin in Math 3 or Honors Math 3. Placement in an honors math class is based on three primary factors: the student’s academic maturity, the student’s interest in mathematics, and the student’s achievement in their current mathematics course.