The mathematics program at Vistamar, “VistaMath”, is based on the integrated, problem-based approach developed at Phillips Exeter Academy and is guided by the belief that problem solving—investigating, conjecturing, predicting, verifying, and proving—is essential to the development of 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 that using proper mathematical terminology.
- Look at things from a mathy perspective
- Develop fluency and precision in the use of mathematics as a language
- Communicate mathematical ideas in writing and in speech effectively
- 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
- Develop the necessary foundations for continuing the study of mathematics at the college level
- Demonstrate proactivity, initiative, and perserverance
- Master the art of collaboration
Placement in the Vistamar mathematics program is based on several factors, including 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.