Princeton Charter School


A strong foundation in mathematics is a prerequisite for success in our increasingly analytical world. Just as PCS is dedicated to early achievement in reading, early mastery of arithmetic skills and basic mathematical problem solving are viewed as essential first steps.

These goals are clearly set out in the school's Charter:

PCS students master the basic mathematical skills identified by the 1977 National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Position Paper on Basic Mathematical Skills,including problem solving; applying mathematics to everyday situations; alertness to the reasonableness of results; estimation and approximation; appropriate computational skills; geometry; measurement; reading, interpreting, and constructing tables, charts, and graphs; using mathematics to predict; and computer literacy. PCS adds to this list a knowledge of probability and statistics, risk, and orders of magnitude. Our students will need these to confront many of the complex social and technical issues facing society. The hour spent on mathematics each day includes a balance between discovery directed by the exchange of ideas between the teacher and the class, and direct presentation of material by the teacher. In addition, several hours each month are used for mathematical games, special topics, and experiments. The program is rich in the use of concrete materials and applications to develop concepts and to connect children's intuition to abstract mathematics. Instruction cycles between using problems to motivate knowledge and using the knowledge base to solve problems. The problem-solving activities are carefully selected to challenge children to think creatively and to extend their knowledge. Applications for problem solving are to science, other aspects of the real world, and internal applications to mathematics itself.

What are the principal elements in PCS's mathematics curriculum?

  • Algebraic topics and geometry are woven throughout the curriculum, starting with simple intuitive concepts and progressing to more formal deductive reasoning.
  • Computation is fundamental, but PCS also stresses problem-solving skills and strategies for word problems.
  • All students have summer assignments in mathematics.
  • In grades three through eight, students use advanced texts.
  • Teachers use instructional time well; the daily hour is devoted strictly to mathematics.
  • PCS students match their mathematics skills with other schools in a number of yearly contests including the New Jersey Mathematics League (grades 6 - 8) and MathCounts (grades 6 - 8).

 For a full description of the mathematics curriculm, click here.


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