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Science and Math at St. Paul's

ameridadameridad 25 replies5 threads Junior Member
Hello. My rising eighth grader tells me he's not interested in St. Paul's for 2021-22 (and beyond) primarily because it seems weaker than some of the other "top" boarding schools to him in math, in that it offers little beyond standard calculus. Does anyone know if St. Paul's is considered weaker in math (and maybe science) than some of its peers, or if not weaker, that the school puts more emphasis in other academic areas? Thanks for any insight you can provide.
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Replies to: Science and Math at St. Paul's

  • doschicosdoschicos 27022 replies274 threads Senior Member
    One can take tutorials. There really is no limit. Here's some info. I'd call or email the head of the math department if you have specific questions.

    https://www.sps.edu/news-story?pk=1087057

    Also, SPS has a strong robotics and engineering program if that would be of interest to your son.

    I'd say SPS has strong academics across the board.

    As far as tutorials, they exist for any subject if a student has exhausted class offerings.
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  • ameridadameridad 25 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Very helpful, doschicos. Thank you!
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 2424 replies19 threads Senior Member
    It depends on the level of your student. If your son is 1-2 years ahead, he'll likely be fine at any school. If he is 3-4 years head or starting in Calc or even Pre-Calc, you have to check the curriculum very carefully.
    1. See if classes run every year. Don't want your kid to be on track to take differential equations and it doesn't run that year. You don't want your BS student to have to take classes at a local college. Ideally, you should look at schools that can provide at least two classes beyond Calc BC ( not including Stats).
    2. How many other kids will be in the class ( ask for average statistics). If he is alone, it's very different from having a couple of other kids. Can he do an independent study? How would it work? Who has done it.
    3. Can kids test out of a math section? For example one of mine had all the things to take pre-calc except trig. It was possible to take that online. Not possible at every school. Some schools make kids take math in a specific sequence.

    4. Ask the school about kids who are far advanced. What about the kid who is doing Calc BC and flying through it vs. kid who is struggling. How do they handle it?
    5. Look at the math teams. Anyone on a national level? Anyone placed in a major event?
    As far as robotics most of the top teams are not from BS's. Also, check here the engineering courses. If your kid has been on a robotics team, basic engineering classes might be too easy.

    Check engineering. We were told by someone who works at a top college that they don't consider engineering grades because the classes vary too much. Neither here nor there but was good info.

    Schools that are good in math are very flexible. They'll let you speak to the head of the math department and even walk you through various scenarios. ( I have two mathy kids, one 2 years ahead and 1 four years ahead. Very different. Schools really reached out to the advanced one and were able to explain how they worked in terms of math)
    6. I would also see if they have STEM related internships or programs. Three of the four schools that were math strong had specific programs for kids who had a strong interest in these fields.
    Math like anything else can be a strong EC. Your son is wise to check carefully.
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  • ameridadameridad 25 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thanks so much, Happytimes. My son is on track to take pre-calculus in 9th grade. Very good to excellent in mathematics but not a wunderkind. So, sounds like SPS or the other should be fine, should he decide to try that route. Thanks again.
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  • cityrancityran 136 replies3 threads Junior Member
    One other thing to consider is how strong your child's current math program is. My daughter was on track to take pre-calculus in 9th grade, but when she took the math placement test for her BS, they bumped her back a year. She finished Honors Algebra 2 in 8th grade, received the school's math award every year from 5th-8th grades, and never scored below an A, so having to repeat a year is clearly a reflection of her school's sub-par math program. She's now set to take pre-calculus as a sophomore (which is fine as we'd rather she have a really strong foundation before moving on to Calculus). We know several other BS students who have also repeated a year of math for similar reasons, so you may want to keep that in mind.
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  • HMom16HMom16 883 replies24 threads Member
    Interesting - when we were applying, we felt that SPS had a stronger math/science curriculum than many of the other schools we looked at. My rising senior just finished Honors Calc 1-2 (similar to AP Calc BC.) SPS had 2 sections and the class composition ranged from sophomores to seniors. Next year he'll take Multivariable Calc and Honors Math Seminar. There are several students that have entered the ASME competitions and done well.

    SPS also has quite a few engineering, AI and CS classes, Science on the Sphere, Astronomy, Microbiology, etc. ASEP (Applied Science & Engineering) is a selective honors program that spans Junior and Senior year. Students can join the Robotics team as a club or as a class, or study robotics without competing. There is quite a bit of flexibility in class options.
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  • ameridadameridad 25 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Thanks, HMom16. Much appreciated.
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