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Algebra 1

Placement Information

Placement Process
One critical factor for restful learning is the proper placement of students. If you are unsure which level is the best fit for your student, reach out to the instructor you are considering. Once registered, anticipate contact regarding placement evaluations from instructors by May 15th and throughout the summer. Students must be registered to enter the placement process. Early placement exams may allow time for tutoring or additional review based on the outcomes. See more about placement evaluations in our Student-Parent Handbook.

Math Placement Process
For registered students, please anticipate contact regarding placement evaluations from instructors by May 15th and throughout the summer. Students must be registered in a math course to receive a placement assessment. Math classes have a detailed and specific placement process.
Read more about the math placement process here.

Watch the math placement process video with our department chair, Dr. Fransell Riley, here.

See the Math Scope and Sequence here.

Algebra I serves as the foundation for all future mathematics and science courses. Students continue to study equations, but the focus shifts to solving nonlinear equations (exponential and quadratic). Students begin their study of functions and understand them to be an abstract, algebraic generalization of the relationship between variables. Students will learn about function families and algebraic transformations. They will student the following function families: linear, absolute value, piece-wise, exponential, and quadratic. They will develop 21st-century skills in analyzing data by studying measures of spread and various ways to summarize data.

Students will develop and practice problem-solving skills by working on challenging problems, including competition-level problems. Students will delve into the history of Algebra and participate in philosophical discussions of the course content. 

They will complete portfolio projects that deepen their understanding of the concepts, appreciate the role of mathematics in God’s creation, and lead them to explore real-world applications of mathematics. Throughout the course, students will be led to see mathematics as a tool to solve real-world problems. They will practice problem-solving through their study of HOT (Higher-Order-Thinking) Problems.

The teaching of a new concept opens with a brief review of previously covered content. This review connects the previous lesson to the current lesson. The premise of the current lesson is presented via a question or idea. The students now have a puzzle or idea that they want to explore. As we delve deeper into answering the question at hand, we begin to discover the new mathematical concept. We use our prior knowledge and intuition to uncover a new truth about mathematics. Once this truth has been uncovered, we begin to work examples; first as a class and then as individuals or in groups. As our understanding of the concept deepens, we extend our knowledge base to include specific cases or situations that lead to minor adjustments in the truth that we have uncovered – thus expanding the truth. We use a variety of methods to uncover new truths. The most frequent method is a Socratic-style discussion that the entire class participates in. A discussion takes place that reveals the relevance of this truth in our mathematical studies or our daily lives (real-life application). 

Each teacher has a unique presentation style in delivering the aforementioned experience. Sometimes the teacher leads the discussion using questions; following the example set by Socrates.. Sometimes a problem is presented and the students take the lead in finding a solution based on extending previous knowledge. Sometimes students participate in a hands-on activity to discover new truths. Sometimes a short lecture or presentation is required, however, we aim to minimize lecturing, especially before high school. 

Students continue to study the new truth and deepen their understanding of it via homework, classwork, projects, and assessments. Since our classes do not meet 5 days per week, students must spend time studying the concepts outside of class. This also helps students grow in their ability to think and work math concepts independently which is required for future math classes. For this reason, we ask that parents minimize the assistance that students are given on assignments. If a student receives an A on an assignment, it should be a true indication of their independent ability as the teacher interprets this A as independent mastery. 
Review assignments or classroom review activities are utilized to assist students with opportunities to retain or improve their mastery. Assessments are directly or indirectly cumulative and serve as an opportunity to deepen their learning. Assessments are not meant to be a regurgitation of previous homework assignments.

Students who are adequately prepared to take this course will have mastered (can work independently without prompting):

  • Solve equations with variables and distribution on both sides of equal sign
  • Fluent using the Laws of Exponents
  • Calculate Square and Cube Roots
  • Converting, Add, Subtract, Multiply Scientific Notation
  • Dimensional Analysis (using a Conversion Factor)
  • Can Identify a Function
  • Write and Solve a System of Equations Using Substitution
  • Graph a line using slope and intercept
  • Angle Relationships with Parallel Lines
  • Pythagorean Theorem and Distance Formula
  • Congruence, Similarity, and Transformations on the Coordinate Plane
  • Volume of Cylinders, Cones, and Spheres
  • Can solve multi-step word problems

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

  • Digital Homework: ALEKS 
    • ALEKS delivers textbook practice problems to the students in a manner that promotes mastery and retention. Students work all problems on paper and turn them in for the instructor to review. Students are required to correct their work using ALEKS’ step-by-step solution; thus, they learn from their errors before trying another similar problem. 
    • Purchased via the instructor ($40) by 7/31. Info. will be sent via email in June.
  • Paper Textbook (Optional): Reveal Algebra 1 Vol 1 and Vol 2
    • The instructor does not teach from the book but uses it for example problems and structure. Thus, many students do not make use of the textbook. Therefore, its purchase is optional. Notwithstanding, this book has a superb organization of content with less arithmetic review, and a superb presentation of linear functions. 
  • Mathematics for the Nonmathematician Excerpts (used print or digital is ok)

    • This text will be used to learn some of the related history and philosophy of the concepts covered.
  • Digital tablet. Choose from: Wacom Intuos, Huion, XP-Pen, or other.
  • Three-ring notebook with five dividers or 5 subject spiral
  • Binder Pencil Pouch with multiple sharpened pencils, erasers
  • **Scientific Calculator Examples: **TI, Sharp, other
  • Notebook Paper and Graph paper
  • **Free web accounts: **, desmos.calculator,
    • Ziteboard is used often as a virtual classroom chalkboard, the others are used sparingly.

Danielle Bartko is an experienced Math and Science teacher, and Orthodox Church Cantor and Choir Director. She taught in public schools and a Montessori based Orthodox private school. She has served the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese as a Cantor and Choir Director, and the Orthodox Church in America as a Choir Director. She spent countless summers at Camp Nazareth, first as a camper, and later as a counselor and chant teacher.
She holds degrees in Biology and Music from Lafayette College, and Secondary Teacher Certification from DeSales University. She has taught grades 5-12, and currently homeschools her children. She has experience in a variety of teaching methods, and has taught students with diverse academic needs. She is a lifelong learner, and has enjoyed growing and changing as an educator over the years. Her goal is to inspire her students to become lifelong learners as well.
Her Liturgical music education comes from a variety of coursework in Orthodox Music and Choral Directing. She has taken classes through Christ the Saviour Seminary and the OCA Liturgical Music Department, and independent study with Very Rev. Protopresbyter Michael Rosco and Professors Paul Hilko, George Hanas, Andrew Talarovich, and Jerry Jumba. Whenever she travels and visits a church, she will sneak into the choir loft, wait for an invitation to sing with the choir, and then ask for copies of good music to keep as a souvenir.
She grew up in New Jersey, but now lives in Pittsburgh PA with her husband and two young daughters. When she is not homeschooling her children or teaching classes, she enjoys gardening, jigsaw puzzles, SRS Iconography classes, visiting with friends and family, and going to the beach.

Dr. Fransell Riley, Chair of Math Department spent most of her career working as a quantitative analyst. She earned her PhD in mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington with every intention of remaining in corporate America. Though she enjoyed her work, she ultimately responded to an internal call to pursue a passion for educating students, including her own children. Fransell has taught math and science to students of all ages from elementary school to college. While teaching, she noticed that her natural teaching style aligned almost perfectly with the concepts of classical education. She takes a holistic approach to teaching and involves her students in discussions aimed at developing a deeper understanding of the concept being taught with the desire that student learning extend beyond memorizing algorithms. Fransell has a passion for mathematics and seeks to share that passion with the next generation. Beyond math, Fransell enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 sons. They are all athletes and nature lovers; they enjoy participating in sports, hiking, exploring nature, and traveling. When they aren’t enjoying God’s creation, you can find them indoors reading or watching reruns from the Star Trek series.

Eric Robinson has a MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree in printmaking from Iowa State University and a BS in secondary math education from Western Governors University. Eric and his wife homeschool, so he has taught math from number recognition through Calculus 2. Having taught in private Christian (protestant and Catholic) schools and in public schools as well as tutoring in person and online, he is excited to teach courses in the Great Hall of Scholé Academy so that learning can be the true focus.

Eric was attracted to Scholé Academy for the commitment to restful learning. Eric loves the beauty of mathematical reasoning. He loves the feeling of accomplishment and confidence that comes from learning math. He loves the lightbulb moments, and he loves the real skills math builds--skills that make so many things doable and possible.

Eric also loves the Word of God. God is a God of truth and order, and so we find in scripture truth and logical arguments that help us to understand creation--God, ourselves, one another, redemptive history, and our hope in Christ Jesus. Eric loves sharing the Word of God to start every course session. Eric does that for the same reason he learns and teaches math: because doing so enriches us and helps us to discover the truths God has made. As Proverbs 25:2 says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter."

Amy Sherman is an experienced Secondary Math teacher. She has spent the past 16 years teaching grades 6-12 in public and private schools, and as a private tutor. She holds a B.S. in Organization Communication from Oklahoma Christian University, and holds Texas Educator Certifications in grades 4-8 and grades 8-12 Mathematics. As an educator she works to create opportunities for students to succeed and grow in confidence, as well as opportunities to struggle without being defeated. Her goal for her class is to have a learning environment that encourages contemplation and a genuine appreciation for the subject matter. She has a desire for her students to see the whole in every part, and to recognize the beauty and patterns in mathematics.

Amy lives in Houston with her husband and 3 children. They are active parishioners at St. Anthony the Great Orthodox Church, where Amy teaches Church School and serves on the Church School Leadership Committee. In her spare time, she enjoys cheering on her kids at their sporting events, and watching old movies with her family and their orange cat, Todd.

Quarter 1

  1. Evaluate Numerical and Algebraic Expressions
  2. Review Properties of Real Numbers
  3. Evaluate Expressions Involving Absolute Value
  4. Review Solving Multistep Equations and Proportions
  5. Solve Equations with Absolute Value
  6. Identify Functions
  7. Properties of Graphs
  8. Writing Equations of Lines
  • The order in which topics are presented may vary according to instructor and course section.

Quarter 2

  1. Transformations of Linear Functions
  2. Arithmetic and Geometric Sequences
  3. Special Functions: Piecewise, Step, Absolute Value
  4. Scatterplots, Lines of Fit, Regression
  5. Correlation and Causation
  6. Solve Two-Step, Multi-Step, and Compound Inequalities
  7. Solve Absolute Value Inequalities
  8. Graph Inequalities
  9. Solve Systems of Equations and Inequalities
  • The order in which topics are presented may vary according to instructor and course section.

Quarter 3

  1. Rational Exponents
  2. Simplifying and Operations with Radical Expressions
  3. Exponential Equations and Functions
  4. Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying Polynomials
  5. Factoring Binomials and Trinomials
  6. Graphing and Transforming the Quadratic Equation
  • The order in which topics are presented may vary according to instructor and course section.

Quarter 4

  1. Solving the Quadratic Equation
  2. Combining Functions
  3. Solving Systems of Equations with Quadratic and Linear Functions
  4. Measures of Central Tendency
  5. Measures of Spread: Variance, Standard Deviation
  6. Representing and Using Data
  7. Distribution of Data
  8. Compare and Summarize Data
  • The order in which topics are presented may vary according to instructor and course section.

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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Explore our courses!

First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.


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Read the Student-Parent Handbook.

Please take careful note of our teaching philosophy, our technology requirements, our school policies, the parent agreement, and the distinctions between our grade levels.

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Make sure they don't conflict with other activities in your schedule or other courses you are purchasing. Our system will not catch double-bookings!

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Our Assistant to the Principal will be in touch with you after your enrollment to help you with next steps, including any placement evaluations that may be required for your course selections.

This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

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