Flintridge Preparatory School Mathematics

The Mathematics Department recognizes that there are many different types of math students. Every member of the department is sensitive to this variance of skill and enthusiasm and employs this understanding in the classroom. It is the goal of the department to communicate the dynamism and importance of this subject for all students and enable students to apply the analytic concepts of mathematics in other subjects. The department emphasizes the need to place students into the proper course level so that they can be challenged appropriately.

Our curriculum offers a wide range of courses related to both empirical and abstract mathematics. Our core curriculum builds from Pre-Algebra to Pre-Calculus. After Pre-Calculus, students have opportunities to concentrate on a statistical or analytic course of study. We help students make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. In the senior year, students may take both AP Statistics and AP Calculus BC or Multivariable Calculus, reflecting our commitment to offering the most engaged and enthusiastic math students the chance to explore diverse approaches. Several course offerings are algorithmically based, providing a foundation in the core concepts of computer science. Our STEAM program engages students and teachers in cross-curricular exploration.

Click below to browse our course descriptions

Algorithmic Thinking

This weekly class introduces the concept of "thinking like a computer" to all 7th grade students. Using individual assignments and group projects, students learn problem solving, basic programming and symbolic logic. Projects include a movie designed in the online programming language Scratch, an original game built from the ground up and solving a mystery by connecting evidence between students. 


In this course, students learn how to perform operations with rational numbers, focusing heavily on the order of operations.  They explore concepts in geometry, statistics and proportionality.  As the year progresses, students are introduced to variable expressions and learn to solve and graph single-variable equations.  Students become adept at algebraic manipulations in preparation for Algebra 1. Problem solving and mental math are emphasized throughout the year, as this is a non-calculator course.  Through class notes, homework, projects and assessments students hone their number sense, learn to recognize reasonable answers within a mathematical context and solidify their mental math abilities.

Algebra 1

This first course in algebra covers the properties of a number field, linear and quadratic relations, radicals, factoring, inequalities and absolute values. The emphasis is balanced so that students learn fundamental concepts and basic theory that enable them to manipulate algebraic expressions and perform algebraic modeling. Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra.


This course introduces logic and uses it to present the structure of Euclidian geometry in the plane. Topics covered are congruence, proof, similarity, parallelism, transformations and selected non-Euclidian geometries. Prerequisite: Algebra 1.

Algebra 2/Trigonometry

This intermediate-level course extends to a more mature level than the material covered in Algebra 1 through ordered field properties, inequalities, rational number systems, complex number systems, radicals, exponents and logarithms, systems of quadratics, statistics, trigonometric graphs, matrices and conic sections. The curriculum emphasizes word problems and algebraic modeling, with significant student responsibility for explaining problem-solving strategies. Graphing calculators are required for all classes from Algebra 2 on. Prerequisites: Algebra 1 and Geometry.


The course investigates the fundamentals of statistics, including exploratory data analysis, probability, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, tests of hypotheses and linear regression. Students use hands-on activities, computer simulations and software to learn statistical concepts. Prerequisites: Algebra 2.


This course covers circular and trigonometric functions, parametric equations, polar equations, vectors, complex numbers, exponential and logarithmic functions, rational functions, conic sections, sequences, series, limits, determinants, matrices and topics from probability and statistics. Prerequisites: Algebra 2 and teacher recommendation.

AP Statistics

This course prepares students to take the Statistics Advanced Placement exam, covering the four main areas of the exam, including exploratory analysis of data (graphically and numerically), data collection techniques, probability and statistical inference. Students apply computer modeling extensively.   Prerequisites: Algebra 2 and teacher recommendation. Students who are successful in this course will be qualified to take the Advanced Placement exam.


This course is an introduction to calculus that includes the study of derivatives, integrals and their applications. It is not intended as preparation for the Advanced Placement exam. Prerequisites: Pre-Calculus and teacher recommendation.

AP Calculus AB

This course introduces students to fundamental concepts, including limits, derivatives, definite and indefinite integrals and differential equations; familiarizes students with the concepts and theories underlying calculus and physics; helps students recognize certain types of problems and subsequently solve them; teaches students how to set up problems and find real-world solutions; encourages students to visualize concepts with the aid of technology, models and graphs; and instills an appreciation for the elegance and beauty of the subject and its many applications. Students exit the course with a full year of functional analysis as well as differential and integral calculus. Prerequisites: Pre-Calculus and teacher recommendation. Students who are successful in this course will be qualified to take the Advanced Placement exam.

AP Calculus BC

All students entering Calculus BC will have had a full year of functional analysis as well as differential and integral calculus through our Calculus AB program. The course begins with the analytic proofs of theorems from Calculus AB and how these topics apply in physics. New topics include polar and parametric functions, techniques of integration, differential equations, infinite process, delta-epsilon proofs and approximating with error analysis the values of transcendental numbers. Throughout the course, infinite process is applied to finite algorithmic development in computer science. Prerequisites: AP Calculus AB and teacher recommendation. Students who are successful in this course will be qualified to take the Advanced Placement exam.

Multivariable Calculus Honors

The first semester of Multivariable Calculus covers partial derivatives, double and triple integrals in rectangular, polar, cylindrical and spherical coordinates, vector calculus, surface integrals and the applications of Green’s Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem, the Divergence Theorem, curl and divergence. The second semester begins with an introduction to linear algebra, covering matrix algebra and determinants. This is followed by an exploration of abstract algebra. Students become familiar with sets, mappings, binary relations, equivalence relations, ordering and operations. The course culminates with a capstone project in which students invent their own algebra. Prerequisites: AP Calculus BC and teacher recommendation.

Introduction to Programming

This course covers the fundamentals of programming in Java: syntax, control flow, objects and classes, user input and more. Through projects students learn basic logic and problem solving, program design and debugging. Projects include text-based games and an open-ended project of the students' design. Material is geared toward students new to programming, but additional challenges are present for those with prior experience.

Topics in Computer Science

This course builds upon the foundation taught in Introduction to Programming, focusing on user interaction, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and algorithms. Students will build a quiz on subjects of their choosing, design a minimalist paint program and program search and sort methods via recursion. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Programming.

Flintridge Preparatory School
4543 Crown Avenue La Cañada Flintridge CA 91011
Tel: 818-790-1178
Fax: 818-952-6247
Located near Pasadena and Los Angeles in La Cañada, CA, Flintridge Prep is a private independent, coed day school for grades 7-12.
  • NAIS
  • FAST
  • CSEE
  • Independent Curriculum Group
  • Independent Curriculum Group
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