Levels and Classes
Our program is split into many levels and targets students in Grades 2-8, though we admit some exceptional first graders. Each class has between 14 and 18 students and is taught by one of our teachers with the help of two teacher assistants (undergraduate students majoring in math, engineering, or education and high school students who graduated from our program).
We strive to put each child into the best situation to develop their abilities while maintaining positive and happy experience. As a result, our classes often have a mix of students from 2-3 grades, because analytical reasoning development does not always coincide with the student’s grade. For example, a typical Level 2 class will have 75% of fourth graders and 25% of third graders, with an occasional second grader. There is even more age variety in our top classes.
Note that placement of a student in a double- or triple-accelerate class at school does not necessarily translate into similar acceleration in our program. Analytical reasoning abilities require greater mental maturity than just learning math techniques, and so even if a student is taking a triple-accelerated class at school, they are almost always not nearly as far ahead when it comes to logical and critical thinking.
We value kids’ psychological well-being over their mathematical prowess. We want kids to be confident and happy. We want their time with us to be a fun adventure. So, we will only put a student onto an accelerated track if we are confident the student can fit into the top half of the class. The last thing we want to happen is have a brilliant child feel “below average” because they were put into a group above their comfort zone.
We do, however, provide exceptional students many opportunity to go above and beyond their peers. The small class sizes and working in small groups allow us to greater challenge more advanced students. Our homework always includes problems of varying difficulty, so everyone is challenged. We are able to customize elective worksheets to the student’s abilities. Finally, since our teams participate in math contests at many levels, we often invite exceptional students to participate in some contests with the higher group in addition to their participation in the contests at their grade level.