WHITTIER – One of Whittier Union’s most popular academic programs – the Summer Math Academy at Pioneer High School – will celebrate its 30-year anniversary as an online learning program, continuing its rich tradition of challenging students to complete a year’s worth of advanced math in six weeks.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the math academy, held in partnership with East Los Angeles College’s Jaime Escalante Program, will be administered online and is open to incoming ninth through 12th grade Whittier Union students only.
“The purpose of the Pioneer Math Academy is to ensure that our kids have an equal opportunity to attend a four-year university,” Math Academy Director Javier Gonzalez said. “Our format will be different this year, but it will still provide the highest quality instruction that channels the legacy of our mentor, Jaime Escalante.”
Online registration is open through May 22.
The summer program – which will offer Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Math analysis ¬– will run from June 15 to July 23, with classes held from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Classes will be conducted via Zoom videoconferencing, with attendance and assessment provided using Google Classroom. An additional one hour of virtual individualized tutorial and small group work time sessions will be offered from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
The accelerated courses will cover an entire year’s worth of curriculum, with students eligible to receive up to 10 high school credits if they earn a B or better. Whittier Union will provide Chromebooks to students in need. Families must contact their high school to make arrangements.
“These are trying times, but our students deserve the opportunities to nourish and demonstrate their talents,” Gonzalez said. “This is our 30-year milestone and we are growing stronger no matter what the challenges or obstacles that are presented us.”
The Math Academy, which Gonzalez founded in 1990, employs the instruction model of Escalante, the former Garfield High School teacher whose success teaching calculus was the subject of the 1988 movie “Stand and Deliver.”
ELAC’s Escalante Program joined Pioneer’s efforts in 2012 and has helped grow the Math Academy to more than 600 students every year from the sixth grade to high school.
“The Math Academy’s success is due to the collaboration of our amazing family – the district personnel, site administrators, teachers, college tutors, classified, cafeteria and security staff – without whom we wouldn’t have made it to 30 years,” Gonzalez said. “The students remain motivated because they want to learn, they understand that going to college is their right and their destiny. I want to help every single kid realize their dream.”